FEEDBACK for the Home Energy Inspection Tool & Report

For those of you who have used the Home Energy Inspection Tool, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

I have done a few for free and I don’t like how it says stuff like

“To achieve these savings, you must perform the following upgrade: MEF=1.42 WF=9.5 ENERGY STAR.” and,

“To achieve these savings, you must perform the following upgrade: SEER=14 HSPF=8.2 ENERGY STAR.”

That doesn’t mean a whole lot to anyone. It needs to be a clear recommendation.

I think it would be fantastic if you would make a advertisement video that we can use for marketing to out clients. So far we are just getting prepared to offer the service. Also it would be great to have a link to the tool that is simple to find.


I agree completely, hard for the average homeowner to decipher. Also, I think the savings numbers seem a little crazy, hard to believe that my electric bill for A/C unit can drop by like 75% by upgrading from a 11 SEER to a 14 SEER unit.

I do believe someone is starting to catch on…:wink:

So what did your clients say when you handed this to them… Go ahead if you need to go ahead and build up Ben’s ego if you want…:wink:

I provided them the EPA link that defines the terms…I have no idea what you meant about Bens Ego

Some guys who sell radiant barriers, replacement windows and other such things will also pass on the same hyperbole, Mary. According to reports such as this, if you implement every recommendation … the utility company will be paying you every month.

Gimmicks sell stuff … and it is important to know that the money that paid NREL to develop this tool (that INACHI and others have access to) were paid from money earmarked NOT for energy efficiency … but for economic stimulus and job development]( In other words, it was designed to get the home owner to BUY an item or a service.

It is the same agenda used by the electric company who pays rebates to customers who replace their gas water heaters with electric water heaters while the same customer can get a rebate from the gas company to replace his brand new electric water heater with a gas water heater. None of this has anything to do with energy efficiency and everything to do with encouraging the consumer to make a particular purchase.

This tool is available to anyone for free. Why any legitimate home inspector would want to taint the accuracy and unbiased nature of his home inspection with something as amateurish and unreliable as this is hard for me to understand. If they need the extra $50, they should simply increase their fee by that much and put more effort into the accuracy of their reports.

My advice to home inspectors who wish to introduce home buyers to a first step toward affecting the energy efficiency of their home is to publish the free on-line link to this tool in their inspection reports and disclaim the accuracy of the information it provides … just as InterNACHI has disclaimed it when providing it to you.

James. Everyone is already aware of your position on the tool

Thats okay, I did’nt expect you too…

Well now I feel like an idiot. Care to elaborate?

Please don’t take it that way and it wasn’t meant to be a insult to you…

The tool is as basic as possible. A good HERS audit takes 3-4 hours then you have to fill out the report. There is another software that allows you to do a less detailed but faster audit. This tool is far below all of that. Is it good for Home Inspectors. Yea probably as long as you set the expectations of the client and don’t sell it as an audit or replacement for an audit. If some Real Estate agent started using a software that took 45 points of data and put it into a software called Home Condition Tool and though people could not get home inspections what would you think about it? That’s why I’m cautious with this tool.

Robert provides an excellent analogy. Why not take it another step?

How hard would it *really *be for a real estate salesman to simply purchase one of the many computerized report generating programs, plug in some pictures she took of the house, click on the most applicable narrative that describes the photograph, print out the report, call it a “home inspection” and charge $50 for it?

Keep the feedback coming. We love it.

We’re working on:

  • more home energy improvement tips within the report (things to do right now and things to do later);
  • a “Homeowners Guide to Saving Energy” within the report; and
  • marketing pieces targeted to current and prospective homeowners.

A promo video for inspectors to embed on their websites is a great idea. Top-of-the-list idea.

If you haven’t seen Nick… check him out in this short video

The Home Energy Inspection - ancillary inspection service for InterNACHI members.

electric bill for A/C unit can drop by like 75% by upgrading from a 11 SEER to a 14 SEER unit.

It won’t.

It’s a good tool, Ben although I have not been able to get anyone to pay for it yet. One problem, is many times the client doesn’t know if they will buy the property at the time of inspection. I can’t go back to the home for the low price after they buy. So, I am struggling a little with the marketing concept. I like it and would like to expand upon it but the timing/numbers need to jive.

I agree.
But the report does not recommend simply one thing to do. The Dept. of Energy’s energy calculator takes all of the information entered and makes a package of upgrade measures, including possibly the A/C unit.

Air sealing and insulating, along with other measures, will together have a large impact on the utility bills.

In relation to the marketing… well, we’ve heard several ways that inspectors are using the Home Energy Inspection. I personally like including it with every home inspection and then bumping up the fee of the home inspection.

There have been studies (performed by inspectors) that show “packages” are more profitable than single inspection services. So, making the energy report as part of the home inspection service is something to consider.

For a home buyer, the Home Energy Inspection will give them a quick understanding of:

  • how much this home will cost them to operate;
  • where energy (and, therefore, money) is being wasted in the home; and
  • what can be done to save energy and increase comfort after they move in.

That valuable information, along with the information provided by other inspection services, will help a home buyer make informed decisions about the property.

Thanks, Ben. I have been considering putting this into a bundle using the Good, Better, Best concept. My competitors are giving so much away, I’ve also been thinking of including a puppy.


I have insurance that covers me when I use my RESNET or BPI certifications to do a real energy analysis and they have told me to be extremely careful when giving numbers on much the client will save. In other words if I get sued because of my energy analysis they probably will not suppoort me! Your analysis is too simplistic for me to use.

You guys do such a good job. So I took the initiative and created an electronic form out of your InterNACHI-Home-Energy-Inspection-Checklist.pdf.
It can be used in any PDF reader that can handle input. It also has a print button, since you can not save a form. The parameters are set for extraction for advanced users.

I have attached it, but it needs some fixing. There are a couple places where the your text doesn’t leave room for radio buttons or check boxes.