May, 2019

Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

High-Energy Conversations


This month’s topics: New tech, unlikely advocates and national recognition greet the summer season for the Home Energy Score.…Read on to get the details! 

An app-tastic reception
“A definite time-saver,” “totally worth the wait,” and “it’s actually fun to use!” These are the kinds of early testimonials that an app developer dreams about, which probably means that I.D. Energy is on the right track with its new Scoring App for ASHI Home Energy Score Certified Assessors™. Released in April 2019 and debuted at the National Home Performance Council Conference in Chicago, the app is the brainchild of a team at I.D. Energy that has firm footing in both the home inspection and the energy modeling camps. With their background, the team designed a tool that is perfectly suited to an inspector’s particular needs.

They were able to reverse-engineer the sometimes clunky, often redundant U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Scoring Tool in favor of a pared-down interface that makes data collection a snap, and lets inspectors plug into the I.D. Energy compliance system without having to jump from camera to browser to calculator to email. All of these functions and more are now wrapped up into one intuitive package. 

According to early adopters, assessors who’ve been waiting for the app are in for a life-changing (or at least an inspection-enhancing) experience. New inspectors coming on board will start right out of the gate with access to a tool that reminds us that sometimes technology actually does make our lives easier and our businesses more profitable. The App is available right now—free of charge—to all ASHI Certified Assessors through I.D. Energy.

REALTORs® foot the bill for Home Energy Scores
Yes, you read that correctly: REALTORs® have just announced a program in which they will pay $250 to inspectors who deliver a Home Energy Score to their homebuyer clients. Okay, the hard dose of reality is that the program is only currently available in California since it’s being run through the California Association of REALTORS®. The REAP, or REALTORs® Energy Audit Program, is obviously great news for ASHI members, many of whom are already in the early stages of taking part in this generous policy. 

For those who don’t serve homebuyers in California, however, we’re hopeful that REAP will mean that the message we’ve been hearing from agents across the country—that energy-informed buyers are more satisfied and confident buyers—makes its way back to the National Association of REALTORs® so that energy disclosure through the Home Energy Score is recognized at the national level as the true homebuyer benefit that it is. ASHI inspectors in California who want to take part in REAP should contact Brent Loya at I.D. Energy to get in on the action.

An awarding experience for ASHI and I.D. Energy
We are proud to report that our faithful partners at I.D. Energy have racked up back-to-back awards from the DOE for their visionary work with ASHI inspectors and the Home Energy Score. At last month’s National Home Performance Coalition Conference, Michael Rowan and Brent Loya received the DOE’s coveted “Innovation Award” for the second time in a row. This status situates I.D. Energy at the forefront of a group of dozens of big-name national partners in the program. 

We see this as a win for both ASHI members and for the inspection industry as a whole. Joan Glickman, acting Program Manager for Residential Buildings Integration at the DOE, echoed this perspective as she delivered the award. She cited I.D. Energy’s leadership in inspector-driven pilot programs like the ongoing initiative in Denver, CO, as well as the ground-breaking programs that I.D. Energy has developed around training, mentorship and quality assurance that have made delivering “the Score” an approachable and affordable possibility for inspectors around the country, from single operators to multi-inspector firms to national franchises.

Glickman also noted that I.D. Energy’s leadership and outside-the-box thinking have made it possible for 2019 to become the year that the Home Energy Score will become mainstream in the inspection industry, a year when home inspectors will take their rightful place as the trusted and highly trained providers of the full picture of what it’s going to mean for American families to actually live in their homes. She closed by saying that it’s especially rewarding for the agency when businesses of all sizes benefit from a program that better serves homebuyers, and that I.D. Energy’s suite of business-building services has allowed the market to react to viable customer demand rather than to rely on heavy-handed, top-down regulations.