High performance green and energy efficient building is fast becoming a market force. Why are so many builders participating in such programs as ENERGY STAR and Building America™ Because across the nation builders are discovering building high performance, energy efficient homes can enhance their company's bottom line through:
- Fewer callbacks
- High returns on investments in energy efficiency upgrades
- Positioning for competitive advantage and product differentiation
- Higher customer satisfaction
Documenting a home's energy performance is a critical piece of information you need in building and marketing an energy efficient home. A home energy rating will educate you about the condition of a home's energy performance.
Home energy ratings provide a standard measurement of a home's energy efficiency. Ratings are used for both and new and existing homes. In new homes, ratings often verify energy performance for the ENERGY STAR homes program, energy efficient mortgages, and energy code compliance.
Across the nation builders have found a home energy rater as a key ally in determining the most cost-effective method in reaching their energy performance goals and in providing credible documentation on the home's performance. Services that a rater can provider include:
- Assistance in the design of the home through a whole building analysis that calculates expected energy savings and energy rating.
- Working with supervisors and crews in incorporating energy designs into construction practice. Many raters observe construction practices in the field and offer training.
- Performing field tests and inspections including blower door and duct leakage tests after home completion and assigning a rating score to the home.
- Providing the results of the field inspections and testing, rating, and ENERGY STAR verification that can be used in marketing the energy efficient home.
As in any trade, all raters are not the same. Raters have different experience, training and skills. You should not select a rater based solely on price. The following are issues to consider when choosing a home energy rater:
- Find out what are the basic services the rater provides.
- Determine what training and experience the rater has to meet your needs. In addition to receiving a rating score, do you require design assistance, HVAC sizing calculations, or construction crew training? Be sure you know that the rater's skills meet your needs.
- With litigation in the building construction industry on the rise, make sure that your rater carries proper insurance coverage.
Choosing an Energy Smart rater means that you are selecting someone you can trust to objectively provide you with a comprehensive analysis of a home's major energy systems and components.
Energy Smart rater members are trained and have demonstrated technical proficiency and have committed to maintain and improve their technical proficiency through continuing education.
Energy Smart rater members are committed to conducting ratings in accordance with the RESNET Rating Standards of Practice; abiding by the RESNET Rating Code of Ethics, and disclosing any financial interest in the home being rated. Through their membership to RESNET, member raters demonstrate their commitment to technical and ethical quality (article excerpted from the RESNET website).
Energy Smart provides third party residential inspection and testing services designed to help builders construct more energy efficient homes. To find out how our services may benefit your company, please contact us today.