Of particular interest is this comment form page 1 section 2
“A certified professional with accreditation from the Building Performance Institute (BPI), the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) or an approved equivalent conducts an energy audit before work begins, and a test‐out when the performance retrofit is complete. [FONT=Times New Roman]“[/FONT]
Any comments or thoughts on this? Nick, will the new Energy Audit Class count as an “ approved equivalent” ? I believe that the green enery audit train is moving and I want to be on it. :mrgreen:
Resnet and BPI have standards by which the audit is done. The course on here is a good one and I would recommend it, but it is not BPI or Resnet. Also, I would like to think that the over $3000 I have invested in training is not just replaced by a free internet class I can take in my jammies.
I would like to think so as well, but in reality (depending on your state location) perceived accepted standards may not be a requirement for your location. There is a probability that a “take a course in your pajamas” educational course will fit required parameters of some states!
I was pursuing BPI/ RESNET training which was canceled due to a lack of interest, only to find that my state only accepts standards locally produced and training provided ($96 million available for educating auditors, why should my state except somebody else’s training when they can make money on their own?). So besides the concept of “any education is an asset”, subscribing to these programs is theoretically a waste of my time and money!
However, let’s look at this from a different perspective. Required training is only to conduct energy audits on low income housing where occupants are 200% below the property level! Is this where I really want to work?
I am getting high-end corporate clients beginning to realize and requesting auditing when they move into this area and have experienced energy standards from another location. They want their new homes built to those standards (whether they are required by the state or not).
So how do we service these clients?
Probably the best answer is from the trainers that supply these services from wherever these clients come from.
BPI / RESNET!
No education is a waste of money.
Expecting the cost of your education and equipment to provide these services to be readily reimbursed is another issue!
If you feel that you need the equipment and you need to be certified, your client had better perceive your services to achieve these goals worthy to pay you accordingly.
The energy audit field is upside down!
If you haven’t realized this yet, it is driven by somebody that has something to sell (and this is not services, but appliances).
Working for a mechanical contractor years ago, I only saw that it was more about selling new equipment than making what you have run better! This is in the best interest of the contractor, not the client. They get markup on equipment without having to put out any labor or overhead!
You get government rebates when you buy something tangible, not because you spent three dollars on a can of “great stuff”" and lowered your electric bill 23%! It’s not about the energy you save, it’s about how much you spend.
If you’re considering the energy auditing fields, be careful. The current administration has no intention of putting people back to work that are capable of doing the job. They are interested in selling equipment manufactured by corporations that will fund their election campaign!
Can you make a go of this?
Absolutely! But you can’t do it from the “bandwagon”!
Is this something that will eventually evolve?
Most likely! When the price of oil, natural gas and electricity go through the roof!
When cap-and-trade taxes your butt to death, you’ll think about saving some energy.
The current budget proposals for our administration includes assets from cap-and-trade it doesn’t even exist, yet!
You don’t have to jump on the bandwagon right now, just get ready for what will come!
He used it to jam the meter until they caught him.
Other then the clearly political nonsense I happen to agree with David. It remains hard to justify energy retrofits based on ROI. And until folks are in pain they won’t feel motivated.
Of course having decent standards would be helpful for when people update / remodel any way. That’s when most energy work is cost effective.
The BPI / Resnet thing sounds like so many other schemes. Let’s have a certification program that will nick the contractors for 5-6 K. On the other side we’ll tell them that they will become the only authorized providers and be able to clean up.
Linus, I first went through the Resnet course and became a HERS Rater. I am signed up to do BPI training because I would like to offer my customers combustion analysis and other things that Resnet does not teach. Yes, i realize this might be overkill, however I have been lucky in picking up a great contract with a builder that funds my obsession.
I don’t think anyone is opposed to standards. I know I’m not.
What I am opposed to is some artificial standard that says only people who have a certain certification (have paid the correct amount of money to the correct organizations) are qualified to apply those standards. Which is the push I see from BPI.
As for the 5-6 K. Take 2K for the basic training and add in 2k or more for a blower door. Add in the costs associated with acquiring the training (Remember you went to Arizona) and I think 5-6K is a reasonable ballpark. Of course if you really want an effective tool lets add IR and 5-6K can easy become 15-16K or more.
You are in what I see as a special situation. You have the construction company so were set to flow into the productive side of this business (the performance contractor). If the rebate programs we’ve talked about happen and only certified contractors are able to do such work that qualifes for the rebates then you are well out in front of almost everyone.
I know my focus is where I fit into this mix. Knowing there is at least some demand for energy audit/inspection work as part of an HI as well as standalone since I already do that now. But if it becomes a required thing (a very large and unlikely if IMO) for a real estate transaction exactly what is that going to mean for my business.
What do you think the chances are that this 6 billion dollar legislation will become law, given the country’s current political climate?
I’ve said it before… the only way this whole Energy Auditor thing is going to pan out is if we figure out a way to offer it as a service that consumers want or need… and not rely on all this silly green rebate, tax credit nonsense.
P.S. Any Energy Audit course that doesn’t include IR is outdated IMHO.
Hey Don, you make some valid points but I disagree that BPI is an artificial standard.
Also, my BPI training cost 875.00 and I did it in AZ because I combined a vaca with business… SHHHH don’t tell the IRS, I also rented a Harley instead of a car but that’s a different story.
My blower door cost 2450.00 so I have less than 3500.00 invested.
Still, if not for my construction company I doubt I would have done it.
Did you already have a combustion analyzer and gas leak detector?
I am unclear why you guys are upset by the costs of certifications. The business that you guys can get in to might be one of the cheapest start ups for any business i have ever seen. Peter is in for $3500. I cannot think of a single business endevour that is cheaper, that is as viable as this one.
As far as certifications and standards, would you go to a doctor that was not licensed and educated? If not…why would you ask your potential customers to buy a service that you are not…trained properly in (no matter where the training comes from)?
My wife is going through med school right now, she would love to pay $3500 and be done with it.
Another question you guys should have is this. If/when it becomes part of a real estate transaction, do you want to compete with the energy auditor that started a home inspection business, or be the home inspector that is also known as an energy auditor? Branding takes time.
You don’t have to pay for training to sit for the BPI exam.
You could get the training materials from Saturn.biz or even the library. Study hard, play with the equipment and then pay a $100 sitting fee for the exam.
It would be tough, but it could be done.
On the other hand, there isn’t anything that says you MUST be certified by BPI, ResNet or anyone else to do an energy audit.
To answer Jason’s question: I would rather be the home inspector that also does energy audits - if you ever want a realtor to recommend you.
But I’m not going to hold my breath for an energy audit to be part of the real-estate transaction. Geez, we don’t even have BUILDING codes here. We have commercial building codes, but they are routinely ignored and not inspected. Kansas has adopted the 2006 IECC for commercial buildings, but I’m not sure we have built a commercial building since 2006 - so what’s the point.
Oh and you may have heard that the realtors have quite a bit of influence over transaction regulations here in KS. Currently an inspection is not required in most states. I’m not confident that an energy audit will ever be. To many homes would be condemned.