Home Energy Tool

How many of you charge for the home energy report? And how much do you charge?

Good question.

I am thinking $150 with thermal imaging or I leave the camera in the truck.

Would be great if the energy tool was in app form.
Not sure about charging for it though. The tool is just that…a tool. Seems more of a close estimate, and not actually a true number.

Maybe it has changed, but I found it to not beaccurate enough (too general) to consider it for a fee. I do thermal imaging on every property I do it as part of the inspection. I am the only inspector in my area and possibly the state to do so. I would say that is a competitive advantage. It is really beneficial for not only the structure, but to inspect all of the heating components, and appliances and temperatures. I walk the home doing a thermal scan first, then back around again for general inspection and photos. Really allows me to be super thorough. It adds little extra time and I see 95 percent of the issues I am going to photograph. It also allows me to lose my buyer as I tell them I am going to do my thermal scan first and then the inspection. They go off on their own and typically, don’t rejoin me ( another bonus). I do tell them " today is a great day to slow yourself down, get past the excitement of buying this home and really look things over at your own pace. I will be doing the same. Together, with that approach, we will get the best sense of the home. I am not going to spend one night in the home and you really know how you are going to live here." And they are off!

Jeff I understand giving a service away does offer an advantage over other providers but considering the cost of a camera and the time spent I just can’t get my head around offering free IR scans.

I have a guy in my area who has a cheap thermal camera and although he is not IR trained gives verbal IR summaries, all fine and good considering also there is another company doing inspections that offers thermal reporting for a fee, these fee based reports can be saved and used to improve the property and they are performed by guys who took IR classes. I’m sure many buyers would opt for the free report which is little more than a conversation and showing blurry colored pictures. I agree better than nothing, or is it?

My point is both companies offer thermal but one company has managed to turn a profit on it based on a value built into this extra service and if given the choice I would prefer to be the guy who gets paid rather than the guy who gives it away.

The profit is in the next customer. Word is out among realtors and I gain new folks daily because of the offering. If I charged for it, I bet it would only leave the van 5 times per year. I want to use it to my advantage and that is not sitting in the van. It is like charging $200 for a radon test. I wouldn’t sell 50 per year at that rate. Instead, by charging a lesser rate and doing more, radon generated $30,000 for me this year across 8 monitors. It would also be like charging extra to use a drone or spectoscope or even a moisture meter. They are all tools. The thermal is a tool. I would certainly do a thermal only inspection and charge a fee. Do you know how many orders I took for that last year?..None. I would rather have it assist me in making money. I really try to look at human behavior and use it to my advantage. I have a degree in that field, why waste that effort as well? Right. I see your point indeed and certainly considered that at the outset. But, for my little research and application…this has been a hit.

I’m with Jeff on this. It’s just another tool.

Yow, an expensive one.

Some of you guys were contractors so I’m sure we all get buying good tools as an investment rather than a thrill and right now I have a German jamb saw and biscuit joiner I bought for one fancy staircase I built. No regrets but I sure didn’t make any money with them either.

I hear you both and accept its a value for you. Not sure what I’ll do yet but these conversations help me.

I have about a $1000 each in a drone and a spectoscope. They are valuable tools that help me do things safely and efficiently. Only more customers will pay for the stuff. Now, I do own a load of water damage equipment and mold remediation gear. That stuff all has daily rates and insurance assigns values to each item and what I can charge. For instance, the daily rate for a commercial dehumidifier is $110 per day. Each fan $25 per day. Most jobs last 3-5 days and have 1 to 2 dehumidifiers and 8-10 fans on them on average (it all has to be calculated). The meter runs up fast on those jobs.

Paul, I bet that was one heck of a good staircase though!

“Tool” is a stretch when it comes to this energy analysis. Not only is it inaccurate, it is completely bogus. I always get about 725 per year cost to run a heat pump. Realistically it is closer to about 12-1500 per year.

Cooling says 255 per year. It’s closer to 255 per month.

I’ve been told to do a “work around”. Just plug in the numbers that make sense.

So it’s basically a WAG, you’re better off to just advise the customer to replace both units, and guess what their electric and gas bill is gonna be.

Charging for the Energy Analysis is a rip off to your customer and probably business suicide.

I guess the more logical question is why would anybody NOT charge for it. It is not part of Home Inspection… is a service offered on the side.

I am with Mike on this. The numbers never made any sense in my area. I tried a bunch as a courtesy and had to stop using it (even as a free item) as it looked way off and I didn’t that perception to creep into my customers mind. A savvy person could easily see that it was off. I like the idea, but it is too general (not specific enough to the property and my are…the 802) for me to consider doing and I would never charge for that.

I agree 100%. The Home Energy Report “tool” is extremely inaccurate; and puts out a wide spectrum of unrealistic numbers. I would/do not rely on it for my own house, therefor I surely wouldn’t offer it to a client, even for free.

I struggled through the whole thing and it turned out well at my expense. Thought I could do everything, found out I had my limitations.:wink: