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Important RESNET® Amendment on Rating Software Changes (Persistence)

RESNET Adopts Standard Amendment on Persistence of the Use of Previous Versions of HERS Software When Standards Change

The latest release of Rating software, represented by the new ANSI/RESNET/ICC 301-2014, has dramatically demonstrated an issue that has been apparent for quite some time. To further expand on how various software versions impact changes to HERS Index scores, and how the recently adopted amendment, effective February 16, 2017, applies, please review the following:

  • When standards and software are updated, the HERS Index score can change.  In the case of ANSI/RESNET/ICC 301-2014 the score change is dramatic.
  • As the HERS Index continues to grow in our national vocabulary, consistency of the scoring system becomes increasingly important.

As the standards are currently written, homes in a community with a buildout of twenty years can use old software because software does not have to be updated due to the notion of “Persistence”. If left open to interpretation, one Projected Rating could be applied to multiple building permits in production housing, allowing “Persistence” based on a Projected Rating to extend the use of older software versions to 5, 10, or even 20 years.

After the RESNET Standard Public Review and Comment process, the RESNET Standards Management Board has adopted Amendment #2017-01.

  • The amendment requires that “Confirmed or Sampled Ratings on homes with a building permit date that is on or after the six-month anniversary of the release of the software must utilize the newly released software.
  • Homes with a building permit date before the six-month anniversary of the release of the software will be allowed to complete a Confirmed or Sampled Rating based on the previous version of the software that was utilized for the Projected Rating.”

The amendment also allows the RESNET Board of Directors to stipulate a timeframe other than the six-month anniversary of the building permit date.  The RESNET Board of Directors has not used this clause to date.

The adopted amendment is posted at RESNET Standard Amendment #2017-01

The amendment goes into effect on February 16, 2017.

Link to related article: HERS® Rating Scores Going Up

Robby Schwarz

 

Who to Contact:

Robby Schwarz
Principal, Director of Builder Relations

Email Robby
720-838-0677

HERS Energy Rating Index Scores are Going Up!

In July of 2015, EnergyLogic began informing you about upcoming software changes.  As a reminder, the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) began to align the energy rating reference home to the 2006 IECC almost two years ago.  The reference home, which currently reflects the 2004 IECC supplemental code, is what your home is compared to in order to create the HERS Index score.  RESNET has gone through a process of taking the rule set for how to develop the HERS Index score through the ANSI process in order to create the ANSI/RESNET/ICC 301-2014 Standard for the Calculation and Labeling of the Energy Performance of Low-Rise Residential Buildings using an Energy Rating Index.  The main impetus for this ANSI Standard arose from the desire to use the Index Score for code compliance and the adoption of the Energy Rating Index (ERI), a HERS path, as a compliance matrix for the 2015 IECC.

Effects

The alignment with the 2006 IECC has three primary effects on the HERS reference home.

  • First, the updated 2006 IECC reference home infiltration rate became tighter to better reflect the improved tightness levels of newly constructed homes.
  • Second, the updated 2006 IECC reference home window solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) went from 0.55 in climate zones 4 through 8 to a SHGC of 0.40 in those climate zones. This updated value reflects the market penetration of improvements in basic window technology and is in alignment with the 2006 IECC.
  • Lastly, revised mechanical ventilation requirements are used in the HERS reference home which are now aligned with the ASHRAE 62.2-2013 ventilation standard.

Scores to Increase by 2 to 6 Points

Philip Fairey, Deputy Director of the Florida Solar Energy Center and a consultant for RESNET, performed research on the impact of these changes on the HERS Index values of rated homes in all eight climate zones. His research has demonstrated that the HERS Index values will increase across all climate zones by a range of 2 to 6 points due to the reference home alignment with the 2006 IECC that occurred through the creation of the ANSI/RESNET 301-2014 Standard.  EnergyLogic has been working with the newly released software, and we are seeing results that are consistently on the high end of the range (3-8 HERS Index points) when comparing homes that were rated with software developed prior to the ANSI standard adoption.  RESNET is mandating that HERS providers begin using the new software on January 1, 2017.  EnergyLogic has worked with RESNET to find ways to reduce the impact of the implementation of the ANSI standard software. A few things are, or have been, changed but the impact of the score increase will remain significant, affecting every home across the country.

Incorporating Water Heating

The development of the ANSI standard has also given RESNET the opportunity to include additional features related to water heating.  This is specific to energy use related to hot water distribution and does not take into account water conservation.  RESNET is working on a Water Index score that will address water conservation. The ANSI standard addendum allows the HERS Index score to quantify the efficiency or loss of energy through; pipe runs from the water heater to the farthest fixture, hot water pipes that are insulated, on-demand recirculation systems, high-efficiency low flow fixtures, and drain water heat recovery systems.  If all of these systems are deployed in a home, the technologies can provide builders approximately 1-3 point reduction in the HERS Index.

It is important to also understand that if a builder is currently utilizing a water delivery system that is not delivering the hot water efficiently then the HERS Index would be penalized.  For example, if you are currently using a timer or continuous recirculation loop to deliver hot water, your home’s HERS Index will be penalized. This will result in a higher score than the normal transition to the ANSI approved software.  So, in this example, if the transitioning to the ANSI approved software took a HERS Index from 60 to 65, the inefficient hot water circulation system could add another 5-10 points, taking the score to 70 or 75. It is important to evaluate your current specifications and choose the most efficient water distribution systems, such as an on-demand hot water recirculation system, or stop installing them all together.

Summary: All Homes will Be Affected

These changes will affect every home that is rated but should have minimal impact on the use of the Index score for demonstrating compliance with programs such as EnergyStar, as the program’s energy Index target will fluctuate in unison with the home that is being rated. In the same way, these changes should have minimal effects on code compliance when utilizing the Simulated Performance path as the code reference home is separate from the HERS reference home. For those few builders utilizing the 2015 IECC Energy Rating Index path (ERI), these changes will be significant.  Lastly, builders utilizing the Index score in their marketing efforts will need to update HERS related marketing collaterals.

Robby Schwarz (faked)

 

Robby Schwarz

Principal / Director of Builder Relations

EnergyLogic, Inc.

720-838-0677

Contact Robby Schwarz

Field Fusion: Learning How to Sell the Benefits of High-Performance Homes

Get in the Game by Selling High Performance 

Field-Fusion-LogoDate: November 16, 2016
3:00 – 7:00 PM

Cost: None

Location: Tavern Tech Center (Upstairs) 
5336 DTC Blvd
Greenwood Village, CO 80111

Please RSVP here

Event Logistics:

3:00 – 5:00 PM 

Presenter: Todd Gamboa, President of Building Trust LLC

Issue: New construction is on the rise again. However, the real estate market is still dominated by older homes as they represent over 85% of sales. Homebuilders, HERS® Raters, trade partners, suppliers, and manufacturers have a significant impact on the way new homes are designed, built, and sold.
 
Objective:  Converting prospective buyers to new construction is a team effort. Leveraging your knowledge of building science, energy efficiency, and consumer trends and behavior, is the most effective way to create opportunities. Get in the game by learning how to demonstrate and sell the benefits of high-performance homes, services, and products. You will increase your sales, improve your profitability, and differentiate your brand!

5:00 – 7:00 PM 

EnergyLogic’s Mixer and networking

Drinks & hors d’oeuvres provided!

Todd Gamboa

todd-gamboa

Todd Gamboa, President of Building Trust LLC, has been in the building industry for over 30 years, managing private and public companies. As a homebuilder, he has been responsible for the creation of thousands of homes. As a building science consultant, public speaker, and host of “New Home Solutions Radio”, he educates homebuilders, contractors, architects, appraisers, and realtors all over the country about the value and benefits of buying new construction. Mr Gamboa has launched and managed several, energy efficiency and “market transformation” programs for utility providers; home builder and realtor associations; and  state and federal government agencies throughout the U.S. His fast-paced, fun, and informative sales training have been described as “Info-tainment” by attendees.

 

This Field Fusion event is generously supported by Tyvek.

 

Get to know our new Field Services Manager & Software Technical Liaison, Steve Eagleburger

steve-eagleburger-serious-for-ela

EnergyLogic is proud to announce some exciting changes to our team! Get to know our new Field Services Manager & Software Technical Liaison, Steve Eagleburger.

Q&A: Learn more about Steve, his comprehensive background, and credentials!

What was your first job in the residential construction industry?

I’ve been involved in construction most of my life. I started as a painter/faux finisher around 30 years ago. I moved on to handyman work and eventually became a General Contractor around 2003.

How and when did you first become interested in high-performance homes and energy efficiency?

I’ve always been interested in environmental construction and design. I built the one and only Compressed Earth Block home in Denver and currently live there. It’s imperative that the construction industry realizes the impact it has on this planet and its inhabitants and take steps to move toward more efficient, cleaner and safer homes.

What insights did you gain in your time working as a general contractor?

Contractors can change the way we build homes and by making that change we can create longer- lasting, more comfortable, better performing homes. We often are focused on the bottom line when we should step back and look at the big picture. Success comes when we meet a triple bottom line -Economic Value, Environmental Sustainability and Social Responsibility. This is what drove me as a G.C. and eventually what lead me to work at Energylogic.

You’ve been with EnergyLogic since 2010 and have worked at a number of different roles.  What are some things you can share about your background in residential energy consulting?

You don’t know what you don’t know until you know it and as soon as you know it you need to share it. This is a constantly evolving industry and as raters and builders, we have to stay informed. Codes and programs evolve over time. It’s our responsibility as energy consultants to keep our clients informed and be as pre-emptive as possible when change is coming. Nobody likes surprises!

What are some of the common design mistakes or misconceptions builders should watch out for?

Demand a detailed set of drawings from your architect and engineer before you start to build and make sure those drawing specify local codes and builder program details! Refresh your plan set to include updated codes or details that were missed originally so you don’t keep repeating the same mistakes. So many failures and re-inspections can be avoided by having a knee wall framing detail somewhere in your plan set, or air barrier detail drawn for double framed walls, or by making sure there’s room between the stairs and foundation wall to add insulation, etc. These details allow everyone to do their job better, from estimators to installers.

Little things do matter. Even though we don’t like to delay construction schedules over minor issues, small improvements on a national scale can make an impact. We call these things out to help you build a better product, not to be obstructive. The building code and national programs such as Energy Star and DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes exist to help you build a better product and get to that triple bottom line. Embrace it and accept the future of construction!

What do you like to do in your free time?

When I’m not working you’ll find me hiking or camping with my wife and dog, but nothing too extreme. We like the quiet places.  Or maybe I’m down at the local brewery for a pint of cask-conditioned English ale.  Once a week you’ll find me at Zenko Kyudojo in Boulder, practicing Japanese archery.

 

RESNET HERS® Rater Online & Field Training December 5-8, 2016

$500 Discount for Online/Field Combo Students!

Click here to register

Use coupon code december2016 for $500 off of the HERS Rater Training Combo

EnergyLogic Academy’s Referral Program Rewards – Tell ALL Your Friends!

We feel everyone should benefit from ‘word of mouth’ marketing, not just us! We make it worth your while by offering cash rewards through our referral program.

Earn up to $100 cash per referral

Let’s keep building this industry – together!

RESNET HERS® Rater Training Combo Package (Phase 1 & 2)

PHASE 1 – ONLINE & SELF-PACED 
Start Today! 

Phase 1 of the EnergyLogic Academy HERS Rater training is designed to allow participants to navigate through the knowledge base needed for a HERS Rater at the users own pace. The course prepares students for the extensive knowledge needed in building science, building materials, integrated construction processes, HVAC equipment, and diagnostic testing equipment and processes.

The HERS Rater Training online course covers the core knowledge for the HERS Rater certification. By enrolling in our self-paced, open enrollment course, you will have 90 days to complete the training. You can complete the training at your own pace, and you do not need to use the whole enrollment period if it is not needed. There are 24 modules in the course – each module will take a minimum of two hours to complete, with some taking over four hours.

PHASE 2 – FIELD TRAINING 
December 5-8, 2016
Denver, CO

Phase 2 is four days of field training designed to introduce the HERS Rater inspection processes and diagnostic testing. During the field training, we will complete two practice ratings according to the RESNET training standard. Practice ratings will be performed on an existing home and a new home.

This is an instructor-facilitated course. Students will have one-on-one instruction with the testing equipment. Much of the field work will be done in a group setting, where peer-to-peer interaction is used to complete the practice ratings.

 

INSTRUCTORS: 

ben-for-ela

 

             Ben Graham

             RESNET® Instructor, Green Rater, Auditor

 

 

steve-eagleburger-serious-for-ela

 

          Steve Eagleburger 

          Field Services Manager & Software Technical Liaison

 

 

 

After completing the course, Rater candidates have two steps remaining before earning certification:

The candidate must pass three exams. The exam fees are not included in the price of tuition. These fees are paid directly to RESNET. For more information click on the RESNET Exams tab.

The candidate must join a provider and complete the probationary phase of certification. The provider ultimately issues the certification once the candidate completes the probationary phase.

A package you just can’t turn down!

Click here to register

Use coupon code december2016 for $500 off of the HERS Rater Training Como

 

Energy Rating Index Scores are Set to Go Up

new-resnet-logoIn July of 2015, EnergyLogic began informing you about the upcoming software changes that are set to go into effect in July of this year. As a reminder, the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET®) began to align the energy rating reference home to the 2006 IECC almost two years ago. The reference home, which currently reflects the 2004 IECC supplemental code, is the home that your home is compared to in order to create the HERS® Index score. RESNET has gone through a process of taking the rule set for how to develop the HERS Index score through the ANSI process in order to create the ANSI/RESNET/ICC 301-2014 Standard for the Calculation and Labeling of the Energy Performance of Low-Rise Residential Buildings using an Energy Rating Index. The main impetus for this ANSI Standard arose from the desire to use the Index score for code compliance and the adoption of the Energy Rating Index (ERI), a HERS path, as a compliance matrix for the 2015 IECC.

The alignment with the 2006 IECC has three primary effects on the HERS reference home. First, the updated 2006 IECC reference home infiltration rate got tighter to better reflect the improved tightness levels of newly constructed homes. Second, the updated 2006 IECC reference home window solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) went from 0.55 in climate zones 4 through 8 to a SHGC of 0.40 in those climate zones. This updated value reflects the market penetration of improvements in basic window technology and is in alignment with the 2006 IECC. Lastly, revised mechanical ventilation requirements are used in the HERS reference home which are now aligned with the ASHRAE 62.2-2013 ventilation standard.

Philip Fairey, Deputy Director of the Florida Solar Energy Center and a consultant for RESNET, performed research on the impact of these changes in the reference home on the HERS Index values of rated homes in all eight climate zones. His research has demonstrated that the HERS Index values will increase across all climate zones by a range of 2 to 6 points due to the reference home alignment with the 2006 IECC that occurred through the creation of the ANSI/RESNET 301-2014 Standard. EnergyLogic has been working with the newly released software, and as of now, we are seeing similar results when comparing homes that were rated with software developed prior to the ANSI standard adoption. RESNET is mandating that HERS providers begin using the new software on July 1, 2016. EnergyLogic is working with RESNET to find ways to reduce the impact of the implementation of the ANSI standard.

The development of the ANSI standard has also given RESNET the opportunity to include additional features related to water heating energy use. Specifically, this is an effort to include the energy use that is part of hot water distribution and is not about water conservation. RESNET is working on a Water Index score that will address water conservation. The ANSI standard addendum allows the HERS Index score to quantify the efficiency or loss of energy through pipe runs from the water heater to the farthest fixture, through hot water pipes that are insulated, on demand recirculation systems, high efficiency-low flow fixtures, and drain water heat recovery systems. If all of these systems are deployed in a home, the technologies can provide approximately a 3-point reduction in the HERS Index for builders.

These changes will affect every home that is rated, but should have minimal impact on the use of the Index score for demonstrating compliance with programs such as ENERGY STAR® as the program’s energy Index target will fluctuate in unison with the home that is being rated. In the same way, these changes should have minimal effect on code compliance when utilizing the Simulated Performance path, because the code reference home is separate from the HERS reference home. For those few builders utilizing the 2015 IECC Energy Rating index path, these changes will be significant. Lastly, all rated homes will be affected and therefore all builders utilizing the index score in their marketing efforts will need to update HERS related marketing collateral.

Providers – Start Counting Your Quarters

Descending quarters on a white background showing loss or risk

RESNET QA Changes Now in Effect

There has been much deliberation over RESNET’s Quality Assurance (QA) requirements over the last few years, specifically the frequency of QA on raters.  In 2014, RESNET announced a big change that has gone into effect as of June 1st, 2015.

1% and 10% QA are still required for each rater based on annual volume – no changes here.  What has changed involves those managing a RESNET Providership and Quality Assurance Designees.

  • Providers must do 1% site QA every quarter based on the provider’s total counts from the previous quarter.
  • Once a Provider has met the annual quota for every rater (could be during any quarter) then you don’t need to keep going with the 1% of total provider count.

Addendum 15 states:

“904.4.2.3 The Provider shall complete a minimum of 1% quarterly onsite QA field reviews of the Provider’s ratings, based on the total number of ratings registered the previous quarter, until all annual QA requirements for the Provider have been met for each Rater. QA field reviews are not required on every Rater every quarter.”

EnergyLogic worked really hard to make it clear that quarterly QA of every rater would not be required.  We commented multiple times in the standard review process and we are glad this language was adopted.

However there is still a bit of gray area that providers need to consider. Let’s break down the site QA counting requirements in terms of buckets.

Pretend there’s a bucket for each quarter. Each bucket needs X amount of site QAs. The provider can mix and match which raters they choose to fill each of the buckets.  If a provider did 201 ratings in the last quarter then they require 3 field QAs in the next quarter. This way, providers have to spread out field QA throughout the year. However, once the annual 1% field QA requirements are met for every rater, then the provider no longer needs to fill their bucket of 1% of their total rating count for the quarter.  In other words, when all raters have met their annual allotted QA they don’t need to meet the quarterly QA requirements (assuming a rater doesn’t go over in the 4th quarter). RESNET is looking for the provider to spread out their field QA throughout the year, but not looking to put additional burden on the rater and we feel this was a good compromise.

We have worked up a visual aid with an example of how providers will need to track field QA.  In this example the provider is lucky enough to not need 4th Quarter QA.

buckets_Final 7-22

*The provider in this example chose to get a head start on their QA and do six site QAs in 2nd quarter where only three were required and five site QA’s in the 3rd quarter, where only three were required. This cut down on needing to do 4th Quarter QA, which is a good idea if you live in a snowy climate! We believe with a policy of only 2 site QAs per rater per quarter that this should still meet the intent of spreading out QA of high volume raters.

What should other providers consider?

Well let’s look at a scenario.  Let’s say by end of 3rd Quarter, a provider has done all the required QA based on each Rater/RFI like in the example above. Close the lid on site QA for the year right?  Well, 4th Quarter will probably see some raters going over the next 100.  In that case, the provider needs to do some 4th Quarter QA. This is pretty clear cut for some…

What is not clear is how frequently raters should get site QA. An answer lies in the justifications (found in the draft of the standard).

The justification states,

“A primary rationale for the proposal is to assure that QA field reviews are being completed on higher volume Raters within a timeframe that provides greater continuity of QA oversight.”   

This is one area where the standard and the justification do not exactly align and is creating some gray area for providers to fill in.

Our Raters Get 2nd QA Visit Free

EnergyLogic as a provider is considering a new policy that says “a Rater or RFI cannot have more than 2 field QAs per quarter, unless the rater has done more than 200 ratings in a quarter.” Since we are tallying Quarterly by the provider, but still trying to meet the intent of continuity of QA oversight of high volume raters, this policy seems fair and within the intent.  The good news for EnergyLogic’s Premium Rater Partners is that if a rater’s volume warrants a 2nd QA Visit, that rater’s 2nd visit is on us. This is our way of rewarding a successful rater and congratulating them on their efforts.  This is a major benefit to a rating company when time comes to budget their QA costs.

What if you did a bunch of site QA on raters in earlier quarters?  Is this cheating?

Not necessarily, but the intent is continuity of QA of high volume raters throughout the year so you should make an effort to spread things out for those raters. This is why EnergyLogic’s Providership is considering the policy above so that we align with the intent of the standard.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please share them here or email me directly at ratersupport@nrglogic.com.

Pease_ArticlePic

Glenn Pease
Professional Services Program Manager / Instructor
EnergyLogic, Inc.

Eye in the Sky: : Remote Video QA

Happy little pilot flying in retro jet fighter.Access to homes for on-site QA is challenging, costly, and difficult to schedule with low volume raters. EnergyLogic is piloting a quality assurance program using video conferencing. No, no, no, we don’t get to use the quad-copter mini camera drone I got for Christmas last year, darn it…

Limited accessibility requires careful planning and often means there is less room for random selection and “credible discovery” in the QA process. Compounding the issue of accessibility is that low volume raters often don’t have a provider in their area.  In this case, the provider often times has to schedule QA with the rater weeks in advance in order to accommodate travel schedules and access to a home.

While EnergyLogic still performs site QA to meet our RESNET obligation for every rater, we are piloting a quality assurance program using video conferencing. This pilot goes beyond the RESNET minimums and annual on-site QA. It does not replace those requirements. However, we would like to see if random video conferencing of a rater on-site would help strengthen our quality assurance program. We hope it will strengthen the argument that in some circumstances, remote video conferencing may actually be more in-line with RESNET’s intent of random QA selection.

So what’s next? Well, we need a few candidates to help try this out.  Are you interested?  Here’s what we’re looking for.

Pilot Candidates & QA Delegates

Ideally we are looking for a handful of folks in each of the categories below.  All candidates in this initial phase must have 4G cell coverage in their area and access to a smart phone and/or tablet.  However if you fit into either of the circumstances below and are willing to rent a satellite internet setup, we are willing to consider this as an alternative.

  • Mid to high volume (100 + ratings/year ) with blind QA where the rater is willing to redo a rating that was already submitted
  • Low to mid volume (1 to 100 ratings/year) with a friendly competitor in the area who can qualify as a QAD delegate (active with over 25 ratings experience)
    • The delegate could do the site QA and we would use live video conferencing to guide the delegate
  • Low volume (less than 25 ratings) with no delegate candidates in their area

In cases where a QA delegate is on site for the event, EnergyLogic may consider using the delegate’s visit as meeting the annual site QA requirements and will determine this on a case by case basis.  If you meet any of the criteria above and are interesting in volunteering in this pilot, please email ratersupport@nrglogic.com

Help us Create Change and Stay Ahead of the Curve

Sometimes you have to experiment and learn from experience before an idea has earned credibility.  Remote video QA is one of those ideas that has been thrown around, but never earned credibility to be implemented in the RESNET Standard.  Experiences from this pilot will be presented to RESNET Staff and committee members to help earn this credibility.

Contact  ratersupport@nrglogic.com for more info, or call Glenn Pease directly at 970-980-5919.

Top US Rating Companies Combine to Create Industry Collaborative

Print

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

An Independent Resource for Builders, EnergyPro Exchange Launches at NAHB’s International Builders’ Show

Jan. 20, 2015, LAS VEGAS – To help meet the growing demand for energy efficient homes, as well as the renewed growth in new home construction, the country’s top energy raters announced today at the National Association of Home Builders’ 2015 International Builders’ Show  the first-ever industry collaborative to provide builders with a central energy rating resource.

Known as the EnergyPro Exchange (EPX), this new, independent group of home energy rating system (HERS) experts will provide builders a variety of services to support new home construction with greater durability, comfort and safety, and lower operating costs for homeowners. From energy ratings and code compliance to design and consulting services, EPX helps builders meet evolving national and local energy codes that incorporate HERS. It is designed to help builders who are concerned about delivering the highest-quality homes with a high performance-to-cost ratio.

“Many home builders take great care in hiring the best engineers and architects. Working with the best HERS raters is just as important – and building to the highest industry standards in energy efficiency adds immediate and long-term value to the homes they build while mitigating risk and liability,” said Steve Byers, managing director of EPX.

Unfortunately, not all energy efficient homes are created equal, and builders often need help finding a HERS rater who meets the high caliber of service and integrity they expect from a vendor.

“Energy raters represent an underutilized resource among builders. Competent, professional energy raters create added value for builders – while the inverse exposes builders to additional risk,” said Byers.

As the only collaborative of its kind, EPX members are carefully selected to ensure sophisticated guidance and expert HERS knowledge in virtually every major market in the U.S. These experts helped set the industry standard for HERS as a national energy efficiency rating system. Several EPX members are accredited Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) training providers and have participated in the development of national energy efficiency code standards of the International Code Council. They have established long-standing business relationships with the country’s biggest builders and the top 20 Leading Builders of America.

EPX member organizations currently include EnergyLogic, Inc.; American Energy Advisors; Building Energy, Inc.; Clean Efficient Energy Company; DRW; DuctTesters; Earth Advantage; Efficient Home, LLC; Energy Diagnostics; Green Building Consulting; MaGrann Associates; Southern Energy Management; and Sustainable Energy Analytics, LLC. Negotiations are currently underway with several other member organizations.

With the support of its partners, Owens Corning, Huber Engineered Woods and Panasonic, EPX has access to research and development resources, industry training and education, and financial support.

According to research from the National Association of Home Builders, four of the top most desired features in a new home involve saving energy: for instance, 94 percent of home buyers want ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and 91 percent want an ENERGY STAR rating for the whole home. Additionally, the number of homes rated according to HERS grew from 5 percent in 2007 to over 22 percent in 2013. Building permits for new, privately-owned housing units in the U.S. have grown 62 percent since 2010.

About EnergyPro Exchange

EPX is a national collaborative of the country’s top Home Energy Rating System (HERS) providers who work with residential builders to make better purchasing decisions that reduce builder risk and liability and lead to a greater stock of energy efficient homes in America. EPX is also a forum for sharing innovative ideas and best practices about operational performance, energy efficiency and sustainability, and a business incubator dedicated to developing new industry processes and solutions in residential energy efficiency. More information can be found at www.energyprofessionalexchange.com.

 

The Powers That Be

dog wearing crown - english bulldog wearing king's crown sittingEver felt like the Powers That Be are conspiring against you?  Let’s admit it, we’ve all played the victim at one time or another.  And we’ve all blamed a faceless enemy for our problems- The Fed, The Man, The Big Dog, Illuminati… The Knights of Columbus.  Okay, I’ve yet to hear a conspiracy theory on that last one.  In the rater world, we blame the RESNET Gods.  But just who are the power brokers in the RESNET world?

I’m going to give you a peek behind the black curtains at the “dark and mysterious machinations” of the RESNET Powers That Be.  RESNET only actually employs a staff of about 5 people.  The top staff position is the Executive Director.  The Executive Director answers to the Board of Directors.  The Board of Directors sets the policy and the Executive Director and his staff enact that policy.  Collectively, the Board of Directors has the power to remove the Executive Director.

You mean its meThe members of the Board of Directors are also assigned to Chair the various committees.  As Chair, they run the committee meetings, finalize the agenda, and nominate new members to their committee.  The responsibilities and authorities of these committees are outlined in the RESNET Standards.  Most of the work around standard changes and policy recommendations gets done at the committee (and within that sub-committee/working group) level.  Here is the rub: the Board of Directors are elected non-paid positions.  They serve terms and are elected by their fellow RESNET members.  These people generally work in the industry for rating companies, training organizations, builders, non-profits, or various construction trades.  In fact, there is an intentional balance of representation for these facets of our industry among the board and committees.  RESNET is not a government organization- it is a non-profit.  In short, RESNET is the rating industry governing itself.  The Board of Directors is made up of the people that RESNET membership voted for.  While membership is not automatic just because you happen to hold a RESNET certification, any of us can become a member.  Ultimately, the rating industry is governed by its members.

Friends, We Have Met the Enemy, and He Is UsBulldog From The Backside With Mirror

Each of us can be counted among the Powers That Be.  Bad things don’t just happen to us because some faceless foe is out to ruin our rating business.  So, how do we as individuals make our voices heard?  Below I’ve listed the Top 5 Ways each of us can contribute to the creation of an intentional future for the rating industry:

  1. Become a RESNET Member.  If you are not a member, you don’t get a vote in the board elections.  If you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain about the policy set by the Board of Directors.
  2. Participate in the Public Comment Period.  Seriously.  Every. Single. One.  Whenever significant changes are made to the RESNET Standards, the proposed changes go out for public comment.  You don’t even have to be a RESNET Member to comment.  Guess what?  The committee drafting the proposed changes has to review every single public comment that gets submitted.  These are either publicly accepted or rejected.  If they are rejected, the reasoning is written and is published as a matter of public record.  TIP: When submitting a Word Cloud - Blog.epscomment, you must propose a change- even if it is just striking all of the proposed language out.  Otherwise, you are just voicing an opinion and there is nothing to accept or reject.  The committee just makes a note: “Opinion duly noted.  No change proposed.”
  3. Attend the public meetings.  There are not a lot of closed door meetings.  Outside of conference calls and e-mail, nearly all of the meetings among the Board of Directors and Committees are open to the public.  These are held annually at the RESNET Conference and times/dates are posted with the conference schedule.
  4. RESNET Conf Committee MeetingsVolunteer on a RESNET Committee or working group.  Find out who is the chair of the committee or working group that you want to participate in (this is where it helps to attend the public meetings, and is your opportunity to introduce yourself).  Contrary to what I’ve heard from some, this is not a Good ‘ol Boys club.  I managed to get on a committee despite the fact that I had no prior relationship with its chair.  I introduced myself, asked to serve on his committee, and then persisted for 2 years.  There is no guarantee this will work for everyone.  Still, when there was an opening, at least I was among those considered.  After that, it helps to have the resume, experience, and credibility or (better yet) a recommendation that indicates you will be an asset to the committee.  If you have a reputation as a nut-job or as someone who is impossible to work with, that’s pretty much the end of that.
  5. Stay connected.  Read the RESNET blog, sign up for the RESNET newsletter, and pay attention to the threads in the RESNET and RESNET/BPI LinkedIn groups.  RESNET does make an effort to get information out to its membership.  But you have to be willing to sift through the listings of new Energy Smart Contractors (that’s why you have a ‘delete’ key) in order catch the important stuff.

You might be thinking, “I’m too busy running a rating business.  I can’t afford to invest the time to pay attention to any of that.”  I’ve actually been told this by a number of raters.  We’ve just established that YOU can be counted among the Powers That Be, so I reply with another question, “Can you afford not to?”

Scott Doyle Scott Doyle
Director of Energy Professional Services
EnergyLogic and EnergyLogic Academy