Training and certification programs are available to ensure that energy auditors and contractors are fully qualified to assess your house and implement effective measures that simultaneously improve energy efficiency, air quality, durability, and safety.
When choosing an energy auditor, look for BPI Building Analyst or RESNET HERS Rater certification.
BPI Professional Certification
BPI training, from a network of affiliates, teaches the fundamentals of home performance evaluation, home performance assessments, building envelope and HVAC testing and more. Whole-home retrofit planning helps prioritize repairs and provide customers with an economic forecast of return on investment through energy savings. Training on the execution of retrofit projects has a focus on the house-as-a-system concept, tracing problems to their root causes and prescribing solutions that actually work.
BPI Building Analyst Professional Certification is granted to individuals who have passed a written exam demonstrating a knowledge of the fundamentals of whole home retrofit planning and execution, and passed a proctored field test demonstrating competence in using equipment to perform key measurements and safety tests.
All BPI Professional Certifications are based on demonstrated knowledge and competence in applying building science and safety principals.
HERS raters are certified by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) to conduct audits and accurately determine the home's HERS Index, which rates energy efficiency for uses such as real estate marketing programs and energy efficiency financing programs.
The HERS Index is a scoring system in which a home built to the specifications of the HERS Reference Home (based on the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code) scores a HERS Index of 100, while a net zero energy home scores a HERS Index of 0. The lower a home’s HERS Index, the more energy efficient it is in comparison to the HERS Reference Home.
Each 1-point decrease in the HERS Index corresponds to a 1% reduction in energy consumption compared to the HERS Reference Home. Thus a home with a HERS Index of 85 is 15% more energy efficient than the HERS Reference Home and a home with a HERS Index of 80 is 20% more energy efficient.
HERS Raters in Washington are trained and certified by:
Washington State University Energy Program, in Olympia
Performance Tested Comfort Systems Northwest
PTCS Certified Technician
Many utilities offer conservation programs that provide financial incentives to customers who have Duct Sealing and Heat Pumps installed by a PTCS™ Certified technician.
Examples include: ENERGY STAR® Homes Northwest, public utilities that utilize funding from Bonneville Power Administration’s (BPA’s) Conservation Rate Credit, and Puget Sound Energy’s Air Source Electric Heat Pump program.
PTCS™ “Service Providers,” such as Ecos Consulting and Proctor Engineering, provide quality control by reviewing forms and conducting on site inspections. Feedback is provided to technicians and utilities in order to continue to improve the quality of the installations.
Customers can use the database at www.ptcsnw.com
to find a duct sealer or heat pump installer in their area which employs PTCS Certified technicians.
Laborers International Union of North America
The Laborers International Union of North America’s residential energy efficiency training program provides credentials that satisfy the Home Star legislation’s certified workforce criteria. LIUNA’s weatherization training is cited as a national standard by the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. LIUNA credentials individuals in three areas of home performance:
- Weatherization Supervisor
- Energy Auditor
LIUNA training also includes foundational competencies all home performance workers should have:
- General Construction
- Safety and Environmental Hazards, including EPA-approved Lead Renovator training
BPI Contractor Accreditation
BPI Accreditation is a standards-based program to identify and promote qualified and committed home performance contractors. By ensuring certified staff, quality management, and the delivery of consistent, high-quality services on every project. Accreditation requires a true commitment to approach each project from a house-as-a-system perspective and to meet nationally-recognized BPI standards every time.
Home Performance with EnergyStar program
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, a national program from the U.S. EPA and U.S. DOE, offers a comprehensive, whole-house approach to improving energy efficiency and comfort at home, while helping to protect the environment.
Contractors participating in a locally-sponsored Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program can help you cost-effectively improve your home’s energy efficiency. These specially-trained contractors evaluate your home using state-of-the-art equipment and recommend comprehensive improvements that will yield the best results.
Puget Sound Energy is in the process of rolling out a Home Performance with Energy Star program within its 11 county service territory.
This information is here to help industry members and prospective industry members obtain training and certification. Home Performance Washington is not formally affiliated with any of the providers described on this page.