I’m sad to see RESNET choosing to promote the lower standard simply to attract more builders. It is on the same plane as the home inspector marketing himself as the “non-alarmist” as he seeks the approval of real estate salesmen.
Glad to see somebody else sees what RESNET is doing. They have made numerous agreements with builders to give them a HERS Rating (index) but not Energy Star V3. Have you studied V3? Here is an example: Rater (if they do the Indoor AirPlus Checklist) has to sign this statement on the form “HVAC system and ductwork verified dry, clean and properly installed”. Would you as a rater sign that?
I think Resnet is taking a shot-gun approach on its partnerships. One day it is Ryland Homes and the next is NATE. One of those wants the cheapest way to do things and the other wants the best scientific way. Usually those two paths do not cross.
I think that RESNET is selling itself as an alternative to the higher (and more expensive, to the builder) standard in order to (1) create more work for HERS raters, and (2) increase the popularity of the HERS rating as a cheaper alternative.
I think their alliance with Home Depot … promoting their sales clerks to do DOE Home Energy Scores under the RESNET label … was a first step onto the slippery slope. This one is the second and the decline will, undoubtedly, speed up in the weeks and months to come.
I know you are highly involved in this industry, you will appreciate this study:
Good stuff and shows a good future for this industry, although I am not sure if the USA is ready to do it. Other countries are way ahead of us on this stuff.
We have an oil industry that is presently in control over most of our lawmakers … but they are losing ground. Once the US gets in the race, we will take the usual position at the front of the pack. It will be exciting to see what we do with this industry once we can get it moving, here.
I think if we head into an inflationary period, like many are predicting, that energy upgrades will take a hit. It’s to bad because audits and retrofits can really make an impact on our local economy if the government and utilities would just get out of the way.
Whereas I see your point, I myself don’t believe that it will do this, there are so many funding programs out there for a individual to tap into and most of those programs are not income restrictive. It will be up to auditors (independent of weathererization contractors) to take it to thier new clients as well as to thier previous HI clients (if auditor was a HI) and educate them and provide some direction. EA’s can control this and have a good business if they are not lazy no matter what the economy will do… A bit of history, service provider related companies tend to always do better during hard economic times…
“We need an energy bill that encourages consumption.” ~George W. Bush, 2002:D
Thats exactly the problem in my area. If you want the work, auditing or retrofits, you have to be associated with the utilities. In my area these utilities set the pricing on audits and retrofits, mostly based on the pricing as established by the state sponsored weatherization program. This pricing is about 30% less than what you would do this work for independently. All the subsidies need to stop and the free market needs to control the future.
It’s a matter of survival!
I got a call from BPI a few weeks ago asking me about “how’s it going, want to take some more classes?”
BPI was set up to provide contractors and inspectors (test in, test out) to support the contractors.
The Silver Star/Gold Star programs got stuck in the Senate and never emerged.
Just like every government program, it’s mostly about politics.
However, I do receive calls from people interested in the BPI program and my recommendation is that it is a worthwhile education program and an appropriate perception of handling the energy efficiency situation.
There is a big difference in helping someone correct their building deficiencies and jumping on the government bandwagon.
I am making money hand over fist and I totally 100% refuse to become involved in any government program or agency.
The only thing that I received as far as support from the energy programs that I have enlisted in, is political propaganda on a daily basis!
They want you to vote for some idiot in Washington that is tagging onto the green standard (that’s got to make you a whole bunch of “No Money”!)!!!
The testers, the contractors, the out testers were in place. The government failed to allow the program to proceed.
We are here to make money and feed our families.
When you get involved with the government, you are selling your soul for the income that you received. You will be expected to repay your harvest in the future!
Government money invites corruption and dependence. Neither are a part of my business plan.
Frankly, I think the government has jumped the gun with financial incentives for home energy efficiency improvements, anyway.
In anticipation of decreased use, utility companies are in the process of rapidly increasing rates. In the midwest, rates have increased by 20% in the last 18 months with future increases already planned and announced. Energy efficient homes will see their owners paying, in five years, the same amounts they are paying today - but for less energy.
It will be those who are entering the game late … trying to find extra money to improve the energy efficiency of their homes while, at the same time, paying the triple and higher bills … who will need the help. By then, the stimulus money will be gone and the likelihood of additional funding appears to be slim.
This is what is particularly disturbing about seeing RESNET encouraging builders to apply the lesser standard. Their service is to the builder and his bottom line … not the end user of the house.
Yes, inflation and not just in the energy sector either. Food, gas, clothing will all be on the rise and people will struggle this winter here in the North East just to heat their home’s. Nobody will spend 3000.00 for energy retrofits when thats what it cost to heat a home for one season.
A lot of what Jim posted I agree with.
But one large missing piece is the fact that various jurisdictions have mandated as much as 28% of produced energy come from so called renewable resources.
These include wind, solar and biomass all of which cost more to produce a kilowatt of electricity so the utilities have little choice but to raise rates to to pay for these new sources.
That coupled with the increase in commodity prices and the devaluation of the dollar have squeezed their margins to the vanishing point.
There is no free lunch.
People who cannot afford their energy bills can neither afford audits or upgrades. They are not who I market to.
I serve (and market to) those who prefer to improve their levels of comfort and who want to reduce their use and costs for energy. They know that they stand to gain a bigger investment on money that they put into their home to make it more energy efficient than to simply mail it to their power company.
The idea of paying three times than what they have to in order to heat and cool their home … while affordable, is still not preferable.
At the other end of the spectrum will be those who have to make a choice between keeping their homes heated and pipes from freezing OR staying current with their mortgage payments.