New BPI Standard

BPI just released its new Home Energy Audit Standard for public review and comments.

http://www.bpi.org/documents/BPIs_home_energy_auditing_standard.htm

Kevin

Nice find Kevin, thanks.

JJ

One of the things I noted in the Standard that is of particular interest is the requirement of the Energy Auditor to use the RESNET Thermography Standard when Infrared is used during the Audit process.

So, if you follow the BPI Standard and use Thermography during your energy audits, then you will have to follow the RESNET Standard.

Kevin

yeah I knew that was coming. From what I have heard through the grapevine is that there will be an additional cert out there for BPI guys very soon. BPI - HERS rater. That is great and good news for any current BPI guy.

I also noted the use of a duct blaster (also a Resnet thing) for ducts in un-conditioned spaces of 25% or more. There is also reference in there to approved BPI software analysis. I am assuming TREAT would fit that bill. TREAT is great energy auditing software.

JJ

Now all that industry has to figure out is how to make consumers want to hire energy auditors. They have to crack the “lack of demand” puzzle.

Make the cost of #2 oil go over $3.50 per gallon.

You ain’t kidding, Peter. It is amazing how fast people forget.

There is definately some marketing angle out there. We have customers that started with one complete set up, and have bought upwards of 20 more. 100% of those type of customers are a construction company in the back end.

JJ

That’s the best way to make money in the audit business, best marketing tool I’ve had in a long time.

The problem is not the demand. People hire energy auditors for two reasons - they have high energy bills or they are uncomfortable. The latter seems to be more prevalent.

The problem is most consumers don’t have a clue where to begin. There’s no shortage of Home Performance Contractors in my area and actually it’s very competitive. Yet, I still get feedback from my clients that they didn’t know where to begin with the whole energy audit process. This is largely due to all the different organizations and energy related services out there. People seem to be overwhelmed with choices.

Kevin

While both requirements to use the duct blaster and the modeling software make sense, it just adds to the already long list of requiements in order to conduct an Energy Audit to the BPI Standards.

My average time on-site while conducting an energy audit is about four hours. Using the duct blaster will add another 30 to 45 mins to an already long process. BPI’s current standards don’t require you to use modeling software. Once this new standard gets approved, then it will take even longer on-site and take longer to generate the report. There is a lot of data that needs to be collected in order to properly model the home.

Kevin

yeah, someone needs to make a piece of software that will work with any blower door and duct blaster, combustion analyzer, etc and automatically generate the numbers and report. The Retrotec doors & duct blasters, as well as the Testo combustion analyzers, have an ethernet out. Technically all the other numbers (except combustion) could be had from a Testo 435 with some optional probes, it has ethernet out also. Actually now that I think about it, the 435 could also pull the blower door / duct blaster numbers, so any door/duct blaster would work with that. So it is possible.

JJ

TREAT is the best out there! The problem with TREAT or any other modeling or energy analysis software is the format of the output. You end up having to piece meal the report from different packages. I currently use Home Gauge and have written and developed my own BPI template. I’m also working on a HIP BPI Template.

HG is gearing up to release there own BPI Template, which I’m sure will be much better than mine. However, the auditor will still need to take the data produced from the modeling software and transfer it over to the HG template.

TREAT generates a decent report, but you do not have the ability to add pictures or thermal images. The output is all numbers, charts and graphs and does not resemble a professional report.

A vendor with a lot time and cash flow needs to step up and create the ultimate BPI software that does energy analysis and generates a nice report format with images.

I’m not holding my breath :slight_smile: But, I am excited about the HG template. I hear it’s supposed to be really good.

Kevin

I hate to sound stupid but what’s HG

HG = Home Gauge

https://www.homegauge.com/index.html

Kevin

Hey Kevin,
What’s the going rate for BPI type energy audit in your area? (Not necessarily what you charge of course)
Peter

Anywhere between 300 and 500. Most of the Home Performance Contractors have been charging 300, which I think is extremely low for what we are required to do. But, they don’t make their money on the audit. They make money on the retrofit work, so they can charge that rate.

It’s very competitive in my area, but I’ve still managed to get a piece of the pie in a short period of time. One of the advantages of an inspector might have over the performance contractor, is that we see and interact with clients that are buying house every day.

I have a pool of past clients (close to 3000) that I have not yet tapped into yet. All I’ve done is market through my website.

I’m not going to spend 4 hours on-site and then another 2-3 hours writing the report for less than 500, but that’s just me. I can say in the past week, I’ve received several leads or “price shoppers” that I’m sure went with the cheapest auditor, which in my area are the performance contractors.

I really like doing the audits, but I must admit it’s a lot of work. Sorry for the rambling :slight_smile:

Kevin