How Much Will Energy Star Rated Appliances Save You?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 12:17
Posted in category Energy Auditor Articles

Energy StarWhen you consider that home appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and laundry machines account for about 13% of your home energy costs, it only makes sense to take a close look at their efficiency. High-efficiency appliances like those with Energy Star ratings not only save money in the long run, but they also benefit the environment. Case in point: In 2010, Americans saved enough power with their Energy Star-rated appliances to prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 33 million cars, which also equaled about $18 billion in utility bill savings.

Energy Star-rated appliances can have higher price tags than their standard counterparts, but you must consider the dollars you’ll save over the lifetime of the appliance, which, in most cases, more than makes up for the initial cost increase.

What is Energy Star? Read the rest of this entry »

Convincing Homeowners of the Importance of an Energy Audit

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 13:23
Posted in category Energy Auditor Articles

Home Energy Audit

Even though one of the biggest complaints from homeowners is high energy costs, convincing them of the value of a home energy audit can still be a challenge. The audit is quick and painless, typically involving the use of infrared cameras and blower doors, and the findings in regards to the home’s energy efficiency can be addressed to drastically reduce electric bills. Pinpointing the problem is really the most reliable, efficient way to cut excess spending on utilities.

What is a home energy audit, anyway?

Read the rest of this entry »

Convincing Homeowners of the Benefits of Air Sealing

Friday, April 25, 2014 14:44
Posted in category Energy Auditor Articles

 

A challenge contractors often face is convincing homeowners of the many benefits of air sealing. Often times, homeowners see this as no more than an additional expense that they do not need. However, what many homeowners do not realize is that air sealing can make a great difference in air quality while also lowering energy bills. As a contractor, you want to do your best to look out for your clients. Here are some tips to convince them of the benefits of air sealing. By utilizing these, you may be able to increase air sealing sales, which benefits not only you as a contractor but the homeowners in the long term as well.

Show Visuals

Visuals can be a great tool to help convince people about the benefits of air sealing. Some studies have come to the conclusion that 65% of people are visual learners and the effective use of visuals can help decrease learning time, improve comprehension, enhance retrieval, and increase retention. I recommend showing a chart like the one above from the EPA when explaining air sealing benefits to a homeowner. Read the rest of this entry »

Why is a BPI Building Analyst training an asset?

Friday, December 6, 2013 11:06
Posted in category Energy Auditor Articles


In order to answer this, let’s have a short recap on what BPI stands for. The Building Performance Institute, or BPI, is an organism certifying energy efficiency efforts or energy audits in a house. For any individual working in this field, a BPI training and thus certification is a proof that knowledge and competences have been verified by an independent third party. BPI then oversees everything related to residential energy efficiency, home’s energy flow and energy conservation. Read the rest of this entry »

Quiz: New NREL / BPI Certifications

Monday, December 10, 2012 13:49
Posted in category Uncategorized

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Friday Round-Up 12/7/2012

Friday, December 7, 2012 14:00
Posted in category Uncategorized

Warming Slopes, Shriveled Revenues

Melting Ice SlopesSnow can be an entrancing sight or an exhausting burden, but for communities dependent on winter sports, it is one thing above all else: revenue.

In recent years, however, the cold cash that used to fall from the sky, giving an economic boost to 38 states, has become less reliable. Winters are getting warmer, less snow is falling, and snow seasons are starting later and ending earlier.

A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council and the climate-themed industry group Protect Our Winters takes a look at the possible impacts of climate change on the nation’s $12.2 billion snow sports industry and the 211,900 jobs it supports.

Read more at the NYTimes Green Blog

Solar Power Installation Prices Fell 14% in Past Year

Solar Installation PricesThe price of installing solar power for homeowners and businesses fell 11-14% in 2011 and in the first six months of 2012, new stats from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory show. In the fist six months of this year, California saw even greater drops in the cost of installing solar panels, an additional 3-7% above the national figures.

The report indicates that the median installed price of PV systems installed in 2011 was $6.10 per watt (W) for residential and small commercial systems smaller than 10 kilowatts (kW) in size and was $4.90/W for larger commercial systems of 100 kW or more in size. Utility-sector PV systems larger than 2,000 kW in size averaged $3.40/W in 2011.

Read more at TreeHugger

Read the rest of this entry »

7 Tips to Becoming an Energy Auditor

Thursday, September 27, 2012 9:56
Posted in category Energy Auditor Articles

Energy auditors diagnose the efficiency of a home or business’ heating and cooling systems, ducts, filters, thermostats, etc. and provide recommendations to help owners save money. As the interest in energy efficiency continues to grow and local and national programs are creating incentives for those who make their homes more efficient. This means that the demand for energy auditors continues to grow, and now’s a great time to enter the field. Here are some tips to help you get started in the business:

Seven Tips for Becoming an Energy Auditor

1) Do Research about the Field: Consider purchasing The Contractor Guide to Home Performance or a similar guide to arm yourself with information. Check out the DSIRE database to get an idea of the rebates and incentives offered to understand what’s available to consumers in your area as well. In other words, know what you’re getting into and what’s involved in the position.

2) Do Research about Training: It’s important to find training that prepares you for a nationally recognized certification as well as research any other designations your local utility might require. Generally, becoming an industry auditor requires some type of national certification such as BPI or RESNET HERS.

3) Get an Energy Audit for Your Own Residence: This will give you an idea of what energy auditors actually do, and you can learn some of the tricks of the trade firsthand. There are also videos online that can give you an idea of what processes are involved before you actually see them in person.

Read the rest of this entry »

How Reliable is an Energy Audit?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 9:21
Posted in category Energy Auditor Articles

There are many reasons to be interested in an energy audit; the results can help you save money, improve the indoor air quality of your home or business and reduce the environmental impact of your energy use. However, it’s important to keep in mind that energy audits are much the same as any other service; their accuracy depends on the person or company performing them, and there are many different levels of reliability out there.

Energy Auditors

When searching for a reliable energy auditor, you’ll need to make note of the person or firm’s record, as well as any reviews you’ve discovered online or through word-of-mouth. Asking for sample audits from the past is always a smart choice, as is doing some research about how much previous clients have accrued in savings.

It’s also important to keep in mind that reliability of energy predictions will vary greatly depending on the type of savings that you’re looking for. For example, fixes such as switching to higher efficiency heaters or A/C units or buying new fixtures often have a high predictability on savings, while more complicated changes such as changing HVAC schedules can be much more difficult to predict. This is further complicated by the fact that occupant behavior will also have an effect on energy savings, or lack thereof.

Keep in mind that energy audits provide additional benefits beyond simply saving money. They can improve the comfort of your residence/workplace, as well as pinpoint ways to make your home/workplace a safer place to be because a proper energy audit will measure leaks in ductwork, which can lead to mold and mildew later.

Have you had a positive or negative experience with energy audits? Let us know how reliable your energy audit was by leaving a comment. We look forward to hearing from you!

BPI Building Analyst- Now What?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 9:37
Posted in category Uncategorized

You did your research, you’ve undergone training, and now you’re ready to enter the world of energy auditing, right? Don’t worry, we understand sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. There are many questions you should ask yourself and many aspects of the business to consider. For example, will you be working alone as a contractor or join an existing energy audit team?

Heating Specialist

Whichever you choose, keep in mind that more titles doesn’t always mean “better.” However, often it does make sense to earn multiple certifications so that you can show customers you are well-rounded and have the ability to help them in several areas. One of the best pieces of advice we have is to add a specialized certification such as Multi-Family or Shell Professional to your already existing BPI Building Analyst designation. In addition to showing your advanced knowledge in the industry, advanced certifications gives the opportunity of applying your company for BPI Accreditation, which can often be a requirement to offer your customer’s the rebates and incentives given by state and utility programs.

CleanEdison offers several energy auditing training programs, such as heating, envelope, shell, and multi-family, meaning you have the opportunity to become quite a well-rounded energy auditor! And, with some of the best trainers and staff in industry, you can rest-assured that you’ll receive all of the information you require.

Received your BPI Building Analyst certification and have tips on where to go from there? Leave inquiring minds some tips to help them along the way!

3 Essential Pieces of Equipment for an Energy Auditor

Monday, September 24, 2012 12:09
Posted in category Energy Auditor Articles

Once you’ve decided to enter the field of energy auditing, there are several pieces of equipment that will become an integral part of your everyday work. Three of the most important are a blower door, a thermal infrared camera, and a DuctBlaster.

  • Blower Door: Blower DoorThis is a machine used to measure how airtight a building’s envelope is. Blower doors can also be used to test the airtightness of ductwork, to measure airflow between building zones, and to aid in physically locating places where air is leaking out into the building envelope. Blower door technology was first invented in the late 1970s and has been a primary way to measure leakage factors since that time. A blower door can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000.

 

  • Thermal Infrared Camera: Thermal CameraThis camera forms images using infrared radiation instead of visible light like a traditional camera. It operates in wavelengths to measure surface temperatures and discover light that is in the heat spectrum. These cameras assure that insulation has been installed correctly and can be used on interior and exterior energy audit surveys. Often, thermographic inspections work in tandem with blower door tests. A thermal infrared camera costs about $4,000+.

 

  • DuctBlaster: Duct BlasterA DuctBlaster (also referred to as a duct leakage tester) is a tool used to measure how airtight a HVAC (air heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning) ductwork system is. It consists of a calibrated fan to test air flow rate and a pressure sensing device to measure fan-flow created pressure. Together, these measurements determine ductwork airtightness, which can aid in one’s knowledge of how to increase energy conservation.

With these tools, an energy auditor has the ability to create a more efficient home or workplace for his/her customers, saving them money in the long run. Are you an energy auditor? Comment and let us know what tools you wouldn’t leave home without!