Among other things, EnergySmart will support a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE”) and InterNACHI in the use of the DOE Home Energy Score by qualified home inspectors conducting home energy inspections.
You are placing a lot of eggs in your basket some eggs don’t hatch. The DOE has a very high chance of disappearance with next years election;-)
If you’re wrong though, InterNACHI will be doing most of their inspections.
If you’re right, InterNACHI will be doing all of them.
IMHO When the US becomes independent of foreign oil with the installation of a inter continental Natural gas pipe line along the major inter-state highway system and trucks are converted to CNG. NYC and Philly already have a natural gas pipe line headed their way to reduce home heating oil and history repeats itself when the cost of energy becomes cheap the public will no longer care how much energy is being lost in the home and some baskets will have eggs that did not hatch just saying what I saw in my crystal ball ;-)
The objection I have to a lot of this is that the latest push by DOE tatamounts to a power play by BPI to CONTROL training for energy assessors. They are in bed with NYSERTA here in NY, and there is currently a coalition of 72 professional organizations preparing to challenge the award of the DOE contract, and the standards promulgated, with WAY too much influence peddling and back-door dealings.
I have no qualms regarding one or two testing certification methods tied to independent orgs under contract to the DOE. I do, however, have a major problem with being a captive audience to a sole-source supplier of mandated education.
You are very negative in the majority of responses you have posted regarding the subject of BPI’s relationships in the energy field and I am curious why the bad attitude…
Also who are these 72 professional organizations…
Or do you have a link that promotes their mission statement as a group and that will tell us really what this is about because I have searched and cannot find one…
Or is this just some individual companies/learning centers that are afraid they are going to be missing some of their annual energy dollar distribution from the feds in the future and are just creating confusion and chaos (being much ado about nothing mentality) to protect their own individual revenue resource and/or source (U.S. Government as their sugar daddy)…
While I admit that my concern on the subject has led to only a mild, superficial research … it is my impression from what little I have read that this is a New York engineer lobby against those who are not New York engineers performing what we (you and I) do on a regular basis. I believe that these engineers make up a large number of the members of the 72 organizations that want them to have exclusivity in this type of work.
Joe will probably have more on this, but that is what I have read from the JLC article.
I think where these engineers are really missing the point is how the intent of the DOE is to simply dumb down the energy score as much as they can so that it can be given free (like you and I) or for $25 from the Home Depot employee and home inspector. Consumers who might … even might … consider wasting money on a home energy score are certainly NOT going to be paying hundreds of dollars to some professional engineer to get one. DOE knows that and knows that tying it up in such a silly manner will kill the whole program before it even has a chance to die on its own, as I think it will.
I think they are only requiring the certifications that they do to lend some illusion of value to it. Frankly, it is nothing that a home owner couldn’t do on his own, IMO.
You are on the inside looking out. You have paid for trainiing from a SPECIFIC organization who is the driving force behind this. Is their intent altruistic, or is it money driven? I suspect it is the latter. Do the math. Muultiply what you paid for training times 100,000 would-be participants.
I have absolutely NO PROBLEM with a DOE mandated certification. I have a MAJOR problem with the notion that there is a SINGLE way in which to perform a DOE sanctioned energy assessment, and that one needs to be certified by a specific organization(s) PRIOR to being able to take the DOE certification testing and training. This is BOGUS on multiple levels and stinks to high-heavens.
I disagree with many of the modalities that BPI claims need to be performed iin order to perform a proper energy assessment. I am not alone in this. ASHRAE is comprised or professional mecanical engineers, and they dont buy all of what BPI is sellng.
And, yes, there is a coalition of 72 orgs actively seeking a governmental investigation into the award of the contract to BPI. I suspect that this is why the DOE has publicly stated that there will be more than one certification process. I do not count RESNET as a legitimate 2nd means, as the two are tied at the hip through the process.
Most Federal and State laws regarding licensing and certifications mandate that the bar be set as a minimum standard. This means that they must seek the lowest common denominator. Additionally, each Federal agency has certain socio-economic goals with regard to the award of contracts. With a new economic stimulus package looming, it is doubtful that any government-mandated certification program would DARE to limit training sources to a single, expensive sole-source supplier.
BPI training is expensive, and the tools they require to conduct an assessment are also not cheap. With the evidence not completely in, and professional engineers questioning whether this or that is needed to conduct a true energy assessment, I suspect that this will be but one of the DOE’s programs aimed at improving energy effeciencies in homes throughot the US. That is, of course, if the DOE is not marginalized over the next two years, or eliminated entirely.
Negative? You bet. And, Patrick, please remember that your opinion is fueled by your investmment in a process that all have not subscribed to. I can tell you that the Federal Government, itself, DOES NOT mandate BPI-driven modalities when formulating how to evaluate the energy efficiencies of their own buildings.
I deal with professional engineers every day of the week. I know more than a little of what I speak.
Finally, I can easily PROVE, based on the law regardng the practice of professioinal engineerng, that the pressurization or depressurization of a dwellng, and the measurements and application of data to formulate a calculation based on said process, easily jumps into the realm of professional engineering.
Look at the application of what we do in a typiical home inspection, and look at the precautions we all take to avoid crossing the line based on how the laws are written. Then listen to your own arguments, and tell me they are not disingenuous.
Did it ever occur to you that some industries, including contractors and PEs, are waiting for all of this to pass before raising an issue that they are the ONLY ones that should be able to perform this type of work?
Is it any wonder that ONLY contractors were eligiible to participate in the trial of the new DOE standards? The DOE website clearly states that AFTER the trial, that others would be ALLOWED to participate. Yet, the initial plan ensured that those conducting the “assessments” had a vested interest in selling solutions to their assessments. Can you spell government-sanctioned conflicts of interest?
You wonder why I am negative? Why shouldnt I be? And above all of this, there are enough of you who have drank the kool-aid and who actually believe you will that you will be given exclusivity to the process.
At the end of the day, the BPI model limits competition to itself as a source of recognized certification. If there was ever a definition for self-serving, this is it.
Are these the same engineers that claim house inspections should be done only by engineers?
From an engineer/inspectors website-
**By law, only an Engineer can give evaluations, recommendations and solutions regarding a structure and its systems. A ‘home inspector’ may only comment on the condition of individual ‘components’ within a system. He cannot, for instance, legally state that “the structure appears sound,” for this would be regarded as the practice of engineering for which he is not licensed. Most of the time home inspector saw a problem and “recommended that it be looked at by an Engineer." **
I looked into doing the the BPI certification through Clean Edison and considered doing energy audits, I even purchased a couple website domains geared toward energy audits. I registered for a class and it was cancelled due to lack of participation or it was overbooked. I was hounded by phone calls and e-mails offering the certification class. Sure am glad I didn’t blow 5 grand for training and equipment to offer worthless audits for pennies on the dollar. The training providers and insulation contractors are the only one’s making money.
… Unless and until our industry is ready to do something about it.
There is some added revenue to be recognized depending on how you market/execute the audit as an ancillary to the insopection, or as a separe, cost effective stand-alone service.
Which is why I believe that there are more cost-effective means toi education, and more than one way to perform an energy audit, absent of investments iin blower doors and manometers and $$$$ training.
Assuming that there actually is such a thing as “our industry” … I would hope that it would not choose to discredit itself further than it already has (i.e. subjugating itself as a commodity to real estate salesmen, $75 insurance inspections, etc) by misrepresenting to the public that home inspectors are capable … particularly in the absence of the necessary training and tools … to analyze the combustion of fossil fuel burning devices in the home, the draft of their chimneys, the worst case and/or actual air pressure in combustion appliance zones and all of the other major components of a diagnostic home performance analysis as an “ancillary service”.
If the engineers in New York covet this work for themselves and have the political clout to eventually exclude others … good for them. It doesn’t change what is already happening on a daily basis in the rest of the world, though.
The diagnostic home performance analyses that are provided by me and others that I know are NOT for people who cannot afford their electric bills … nor are they for those who are looking for a home inspector or window salesman to come to their home and provide a “free” or cheap “energy audit” that they could do on their own. Such “energy audits” as these that simply identify missing insulation, obvious air leaks, or other such anamolies … absent of diagnostic analysis and computer modeling … can be done by savvy home owners by themselves (or, if they choose to hire them, home inspectors) and their remedies are no farther away than their nearest Home Depot. No big deal.
Even these silly “ratings” or “scores” are no-brainers that RESNET has already allied themselves with salespeople at Lowes to provide under their certification and quality assurance.
We have to be careful not to mix the apples with the oranges when we are discussing simple observations that require little or no training — and the comprehensive diagnostic performance testing that does require the training, certifications, computer modeling and equipment.
Any and all home owners can use and benefit from the simple observations that some call “energy audits” that home owners can do on their own, get for free from window and insulation salesmen, or pay home inspectors to provide as an ancillary service.
The diagnostic home performance analysis is for the home owner who is looking to invest additional money into their home for added comfort, value and efficiency. People who cannot afford their electric bills or those who are shopping for the “cheapest” home inspector do not fall within this demographic.
“People who cannot afford their electric bills or those who are shopping for the “cheapest” home inspector do not fall within this demographic”.
These are 98% of home owners. With the economy the way it is, almost no one will be shelling out hundreds of dollars for these audits, just so they can save a few dollars on their electric bills.
Here in KC, I must charge higher home inspection prices than the other guy. I have to pay dues of several types, pay insurance, pay for office supplies, etc. The cheap guys will always be there, and now it is over 98% of the business. Audits will be the same. Those that have high certification and education will charge high fees. This will not work here. If it is forced upon the home owner during a real estate transaction, good bye home inspections.
Perhaps this is why Nick is pushing these certifications, because the home inspection industry is slowing to a crawl. Appraisers, insurance agents, Uncle Bob, contractors are all doing home checks and pushing the home inspector out of business. Which is what the agents want. Same will happen to these audits.
Wrong again…:roll: Keep working at it, hopefully one of these days the light bulb will come on…
Doing inspections in KC for 10 years, I have seen the home inspection business going to the cheap, low guy in recent months. I spent years as a director in a top 75 fortune company. I know how it works. The light is on.
Being educated, have many certification initials next to your name, being a member of countless associations, will no longer get you business.
Only by being cheap, and writing basic short reports, and paying office fees are now the only ways that you will get any revenue.
That is not being positive, that is just being real. All home inspection and audit laws are written as a basic, minimum standard, and allow for very low prices. Free energy audits will then be provided by utility companies, insulation installers, etc. due to the basic minimums.
Thanks for responding Joe, but again I was asking for a reason for your negativity towards BPI, not why I am biased towards them because of investment…
I am not in the need for a lecture on business decisions I have made nor do I need you to be condesending. It is what it is, I can turn this around and claim that you have exhibited the same attitude and prejudices as well, but that is not what I wanted to do in my orginal post, I was honestly trying to understand your viewpoint and not asking for or to recieve accusations regarding my mind-set on decisions I made and/or about to make. There is some forms of intelligence on this MB, but it sure is hard to find sometimes because of suppress anger issues towards others…
Really don’t care about your marketing credentials, anyone can have those by sending in their dollars…
wrong again about the energy audits… Someone the other day told me it was futile to argue with someone who just doesn’t get it… I guess I need to take their advice…:shock:
It’s not about audits. It’s not about the process. It’s about a private company attempting to control a blossoming industry.
Imagine if you will that the Feds just decided, not through law, but through some mandated program for folks to qualify for loans, that the prospectove borrower had to hire a Federally sanctioned inspector. Imagine for a moment that that inspector had to have been trained by ASHI. Mind you that anyone can provide training on how to do an inspection, but you needed to show that you were trained by ASHI, and prove that you passed their course PRIOR to beiing able to take the national exam.
Now imagine that the ASHI training was really costly and that the tools they mandated you use during your inspection were also costly. Imagine that everyone did not agree that the manner in which ASHI insists an inspection be performed.
If this were the case, would we even be having this discussion? No one involved sees the problem with this…
Final point to ponder…
Now imagine that it remained uncertain, even after doing all this, that there was the possibility that at the end of the day the Feds hadnt given the green light for just anyone being able to do it, because the pilot program was currently being approved for ASHI members only…
Joe, there are two certifying bodies that federal and state governments (along with utility companies) will recognize for participation with their tax incentive and rebate programs … BPI and RESNET.
These are not simply clubs with members who pay dues to belong to it, like ASHI.
In the meantime, this “doomed” bipartisan legislation appears to be picking up steam…