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Old 01-07-2010, 11:50 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by willowgirl View Post
The 56 is what my house will go up to if I do all the upgrades
how much did the audit cost you?

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Old 01-07-2010, 01:06 PM   #47
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Thanks for the referenced report.

No, the scale that he/they use is either something used in your locale or a grading system that he/they use in their company. It is not a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index. On the HERS Index, a home built to code scores a 100 and the best possible score would be a 0 which would mean that the home doesn't need to use any purchased energy for any end use, (on-site generation combined with high-efficiency equipment and super-insulated walls and no thermal bridging.

I've never seen that number even approached. I've done well over a thousand home energy ratings and the best score I've ever had on a home is a 27. (photovoltaic generation, solar water heating, superinsulated walls, solar tuned windows, ERV). All of the other new homes I've done have scored between 48 and 95. Older homes, of course have scored much worse than that, (had one score in the 460s, old balloon-framed, no insulation, 40 year old atmospheric NG furnace, single-pane wood leaky windows, you get the picture).
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Old 01-07-2010, 01:19 PM   #48
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Yeah, I see that now...boy you must have a lot of work to do...! What was the top items they energy advisor told you you should do and do you think it's worth it?

FYI: the costs of the audits depend on where you live as they are provincial responsibilities, but under the federal ecoENERGY system that audit should have cost around $300...the grants would kick in if the HO does all the things recommended in the report within 18 months.
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Old 01-07-2010, 01:34 PM   #49
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Energyrater:

The format that this guy used is national in its applicability since it is subsidized by the federal Gov't. So every report is similar.

I'm interested in your particular training, Energyrater; are you BPI-certifiied and are you busy with residential or commerical inspections?

On that note, I found this:

Both BPI and RESNET are home energy audit programs. RESNET is focused on new home construction, while BPI is focused on retrofitting existing homes. Home energy retrofits and weatherization incentives are a core component of federal stimulus funds and are driving a huge demand for home energy auditors.
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:54 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CowboyAndy View Post
how much did the audit cost you?
It depends on the size of your house. Usually starts at $100 and goes up. The most is probably around $200. If its multie unit it can change to.
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:55 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccarlisle View Post
Energyrater:

The format that this guy used is national in its applicability since it is subsidized by the federal Gov't. So every report is similar.

I'm interested in your particular training, Energyrater; are you BPI-certifiied and are you busy with residential or commerical inspections?

On that note, I found this:

Both BPI and RESNET are home energy audit programs. RESNET is focused on new home construction, while BPI is focused on retrofitting existing homes. Home energy retrofits and weatherization incentives are a core component of federal stimulus funds and are driving a huge demand for home energy auditors.
Just a quick question, how do you guys get the pic by your name?
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Old 01-07-2010, 05:09 PM   #52
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pics are only for VIPs
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:56 PM   #53
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Ccarlisle,

Thanks for the insight, I know us neighbors do things differently sometimes.

I am certified as a home energy rater, a rater trainer, and a Quality Assurance designee through RESNET.

I am certified as a BPI Building Analyst I through BPI of course.

To some degree, what you have stated is true. RESNET seems to have the greater part of it's business through new homes largely due to it's acceptance as an oversight verification entity for the EPA ENERGY STAR for New Homes program. BPI is definitely focused on existing home retrofits and safety though RESNET does have an existing home audit standard in the standards I've referenced earlier which generally covers the rating and the combustion safety testing.

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Old 01-07-2010, 09:40 PM   #54
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pics are only for VIPs
Just curious -- how is VIP status determined on this forum?
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:14 AM   #55
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This was not a real answer. To add a picture click on the User CP label at the top or the page. Then from the selections at the left column select edit profile picture. Then find a picture to upload and attach from your computer.
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:21 AM   #56
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Willowgirl:

I, for one, would be interested on what else is in your report, particularly the recommendations of what needs doing, the anticipated Government rebates and the costs (if any) associated with these recommendations...It is a pet peeve of mine the way we do "energy rating" things up here and thus I address this partly to 'Energyrater' being one who is 'in the business'.

One of the main, IMO, 'weaknesses' of our "Energy Retrofit"-type policies (there are a few different names to them) is that it is too political in nature for it to be useful to citizens.

On the one hand, politicians made big news about how many billions of $$ they are going to make available to citizens for energy saving programs, to retrofit existing homes with for example Energy-Star appliances...However, the system requires the ordinary citizen, like willowgirl in this case, to get an energy audit from a licensed energy auditor. An 'Energy Auditor' is in turn licensed by private certification companies. These certification companies receive most of the audit fees directly from the Government, so the citizen pays very little and the actual auditor makes minimum wage.

Therefore, shortages of energy auditors. Therefore, fewer audits. Therefore subsidies left on the table. The citizen who does get an audit receives wild recommendations as to what (theoretically) ought to be done but most recommendations are impratical.

Like "replace all 20 windows, get a $1000 rebate and save $400 a year"

That's all very good but at $500 per window, that's a $12,500+ investment. So, the citizen can't really take advantage of the rebates. So the citizen paid $350 for the audit, and of that the auditor got $100, the training company got $250.

There's no point to this; the Government looks good, the trainer makes a fortune and the auditor looks for another line of work. Net loss.

With the subsidy monies that the US - and the Canadian - Governments are making available, I wonder if their progams actually reach the right hands?
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:58 AM   #57
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This all depends like everything else on the quality of the auditor. When I do audits and recommendations I start with fixing the things that make the most difference. Software allows me to show the client that getting a low interest loan with a payment plan of $100 / mo will be beneficial since the energy savings proposed will reduce heating/cooling costs by $125. Requiring a certified auditor is good since we need more controls of assuring qualified trained individuals to provide better guidance to the homeowner. With the blower door in place we can make simple air sealing tasks and retest. Thus showing positive improvements within a few hours. This is not speculation. It is using the art developed from years of contracting combined with the science of treating the house as a whole system.
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:36 AM   #58
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I am not disputing the need for quality auditors at all, nor am I playing down the usefulness of this profession.

However, in Canada, being an independent energy auditor (even trained to BPI standards) you cannot access the Government subsidies and means you fight against, for example, Home Depot or Sears energy auditors, who require the auditor to have his own equipment (fair enough), his own certification (?) - but only to be paid $80 per 2-hour audit.

Not an easy sell.
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:13 AM   #59
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Alot of good concerns voiced here.

I guess a little explanation is necessary here.

I, and many certified Home Energy Raters were certified before all of these govt subsidies were implemented as part of these new "stimulus" monies were made available. We who have been in it before this chaos have and still use software which creates some really helpful reports in my opinion. As part of our software, an Improvement analysis can be generated and that is totally by rater input. We look at the building as we have analyzed the details and see where potential improvements can be made. Then, we can input the improvement, the costs (separatable by labor/materials/permits/inspections if we so desire), specify the life of the improvement measure and then the software does the annual savings analysis of each measure to show whether it is cost effective or not. This report, along with building leakage, duct leakage, and infrared scans sometimes create a pretty good picture of what really should be done. Many raters who have been in the business for several years know what works and what doesn't. Sometimes, homeowners see a gap and assume they should caulk it, (and maybe they should?), but some more construction and leakage knowledge may tend to show that the hole they are caulking or foaming represents putting you finger in a flow of water (the leakage just finds another path). Or even worse, they seal up a weep hole.

This is not to say that homeowner can't do effective improvments. As a matter of fact, we send a report and recommendations with each report with pictures of problem areas and what should/could be done and a list of contractor (not affiliated with us), that can do the work. OR, the homeowner can do it themselves.

Unfortunately, I think a natural unintended consequence of new government monies and quite a few newly unemployed is a glut of new raters who may have the best of intentions but not the knowledge behind what they are doing and they want to jump on what they perceive to be the next big thing with some job security. Not for me to judge really though.

To sum it all up, I believe in Energy efficient homes for 1 reason and 1 reason ONLY. That is, to save the homeowner's money and to hopefully influence new home builders and subs to do better. Some others do it to help the environment. Fine for them, but I don't want my job to be based on politics or shaky science. Just my opinion. Whatever floats your boat.

The company I work for doesn't receive any funding or pay for our services from the government. And we want to keep it that way. We are happily a for-profit corporation.

Last edited by Energyrater; 01-08-2010 at 10:16 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:30 AM   #60
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Energy Raters usually work with builders and with new homes. Normally they provide a report but are not the ones doing the work. But BPI (Building Performance Instutite) is more for retrofitting existing structures. They are the ones that will air seal and insulated and test ventilation and HVAC systems. The do the work. As such cost for this estimate should not deter anyone. For instance I can give Audit parties... Free audit report for anyone bringing in 6 neighbors to see the process as well as the quick and reportable fixes that can be made. This leads to more work. And since we do every trade even something as small as fixing the outlet for a stove has lead to 180,000 additions. Use these tools as another service and another way to market your skills.

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