Last September, I blogged about how you can prepare for the heating season by getting an energy assessment for your home. This time, let's talk about the flipside: a career performing assessments.
A home energy assessment is a series of tests that reveal energy leaks in a home such as air leaks, poor insulation, and hot water loss. By identifying sources of energy loss and making recommended changes, homeowners can save energy and money while reducing the use of fossil fuels. Read more about energy assessments and watch a video in our Home Energy Assessments section.
If you're looking for a career as an energy professional, you might consider getting training and certification as an energy assessor or auditor.
While there are some tests that homeowners can do themselves, a professional can perform more in-depth tests and provide results that are accurate and dependable. An energy assessor runs a variety of tests using specialized equipment such as infrared cameras, which reveal hard-to-detect areas of air infiltration and missing insulation, and blower doors, which measure the extent of leaks in the building.
An increasing number of organizations provide training and certification to become an energy assessor. The requirements for certification (and periodic re-certification) can vary from one institution to another, but the most common skills of a successful professional include:
- An in-depth knowledge of building energy science
- The ability to analyze and interpret utility bills
- Proper application of diagnostic tools, including blower doors, duct blasters, and infrared cameras
- Good communication skills to provide the results and suggested actions to a homeowner.
Some major organizations that provide training, certification, and career information are:
- Association of Energy Engineers: Certified Residential Energy Auditor
- Building Performance Institute: Building Analyst Certified Professional
- Residential Energy Services Network: Certified HERS Rater or Home Energy Auditor.
There may also be regional programs such as the Northwest Energy Education Institute, local colleges and universities that provide training, and individual training on the use of diagnostic tools or state-specific programs. For more information on available state programs or requirements, contact your state energy office.