RaterFest! 2013 – A Few Presenters to Ponder

RaterFest! 2013

Don’t miss out on the most entertaining conference in the home performance industry. RaterFest! 2013 will be packed with great sessions, incredible networking, beautiful surroundings, and fun evenings.

Don’t forget to visit our RaterFest! website for event information and to register!

You can also see a list of all of our presenters, along with their companies and topics, here.

Message from Steve Byers

I’d like to share a secret with you. We have an ongoing debate about what to call ourselves. That is, what to call the individuals who make up our community. Some of us are HERS Raters, some of us are BPI certified, some of us are both and some of us are neither. Though it gives us some headaches, we typically settle on Energy Professional. Almost all of us are about energy, and we’re striving to uphold professionalism in our industry. Why do I tell you about this? As an introduction to RaterFest! 2013.

RaterFest! isn’t just for raters. It’s for anyone who cares deeply about our collective industry – which is, loosely, residential energy efficiency. That covers a lot of ground, and yet doesn’t cover everything we all do. That’s part of the point of RaterFest!: to create an intimate, non-conference-like event where we can learn from each other, share experiences and drive our industry ever forward.

This is our 5th RaterFest! and it promises to be the best one ever. We have a great new venue (which has the rustic mountain charm our attendees expect, but which is better able to handle our needs), a great line-up of speakers, and a great team that will ensure it’s the superior event it is every year. I sincerely hope you’ll join us. Space is definitely limited, so jump in soon and make sure you’re here with the most passionate people in any industry!

Register for RaterFest! today



Steve Byers, CEO
EnergyLogic Inc.

RaterFest! 2013 Presenters

Abe Kruger – Kruger Sustainability Group

Abe’s Session: ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise
Energy efficient multifamily buildings from townhomes to high rises are eligible to earn ENERGY STAR certification. This session will discuss which multifamily buildings are eligible for certification through the Homes program and the new Multifamily High Rise (MFHR) program. We will compare the programs and discuss business opportunities for Raters in the MFHR program.

About Abe Kruger: Abe has honed his expertise in sustainable construction over 9 years as a contractor, educator, author, and consultant in the residential construction industry. In 2009 he founded Kruger Sustainability Group to provide green building training, certifications, consulting and curriculum development for colleges, companies, utilities and nonprofits. Read more…

Ari Rapport – IBACOS

Ari’s Session Title: Construction QA/QC for Raters
For those of us who are HERS Raters, we are in builders’ homes every day looking at energy code and program compliance construction details. As a builder, there is an everyday need to maintain high levels of construction quality to attract customers and reduce risk exposure. What opportunities exist for you to utilize your building science knowledge and add value to your services by addressing the builders’ need for construction quality assurance? Where do common risk issues occur? How do you assess construction quality? More importantly: Does the rater belong in the arena of construction quality assurance? Together, we’ll explore the possibilities.

About Ari Rapport: Ari has worked in the home construction industry since 2004, when he began work as a RESNET Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Rater in Wilmington, NC. In 2008, Ari joined IBACOS, where he is Manager of Systems Integration. Read more…

New to RaterFest!: Pecha Kucha Session

We will be including a Pecha Kucha session after dinner one evening…this exciting hour-long session will include 9 brief presentations lasting 6 minutes, 40 seconds each. All attendees are encouraged to apply to present; this is a great chance to briefly introduce a program or initiative to the group! The first 9 attendees to contact us with a viable (short) topic will be added to the agenda. Moderated by Chris Dorsi, this session should make for a fun, interactive evening.

To apply for the Pecha Kucha session, please contact Meagan atmeagan.foster@nrglogic.com

Register Today!

Ventilation Old School Style

Steve Byers and his family are on vacation in Turkey this month. While traveling he is continually reminded of the fact that building science is, to quote the 1980’s British band James, “…like a disease without any cure.” In other words, no matter where you go, building science goes with you.

Direnkuyu is a town in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. In Direnkuyu, there is an underground city, one of some at least forty such troglodyte habitations in the area (so psyched that I am able to use the word “troglodyte” in a post!). These cities were built as refuges for sheltering from attackers across the centuries. To give you a sense of scale, these are not holes in the ground, these are truly cities. The Direnkuyu city could house 20,000 people and their associated livestock. It extended 60 meters underground and had a tunnel connecting it to a nearby city in another village that ran for 8 kilometers. I was fascinated by the entire thing. I banged my noodle about six different times on the ceilings of tunnels out of shear excitement about what lay around the next corner…

In case you think concern about ventilation is a modern development, check this out:  The city had ventilation shafts that ran the entire depth of the structure. The hundreds of family caves were all connected via small tunnels to the main tunnel so that each was ventilated. All cooking was done on the upper level to keep smoke from inhabitants.

One additional function of all these shafts was to enable easy and instant communication around the community. Apparently an even softly spoken, “Help, we’re under attack!” would carry to every level of the complex allowing large circular stone doors to be rolled into place sealing the structure off to invaders. Learning this, we made an immediate connection to our EnergyLogic training center where we have a Duct Music Aire. Never heard of that? Well, the Duct Music Aire was a speaker you installed into your duct system to pipe stereo (quadrophic possibly?) sound around your home. My guess is it worked less well than Direnkuyu’s ventilation shafts.

Which, by the way, don’t leak at all…

Steve Byers
CEO of EnergyLogic, Inc.
RESNET HERS Provider and Trainer – EnergyLogic Academy




EnergyLogic’s ENERGY STAR Stats for 2012!

Always a fan to share our ENERGY STAR stats…

Along with our dedicated Builders, EnergyLogic verified 2,284 ENERGY STAR Certified Homes in 2012!

This achievement helped to

  • Save homeowners $915,884.00 on their utility bills
  • Reduce 10,606,896 pounds of Carbon Dioxide

This is equivalent to the greenhouse gasses:

  • Produced by 1,003 passenger vehicles
  • Emitted from burning 4,118,052 lbs of coal
  • Saved by planting and growing 123,336 coniferous
    trees for 10 years




Partners of the Americas – An EnergyLogic Green Rater in Bolivia

I was recently invited to Bolivia as the keynote speaker for a green building conference at the Cochabamba Institute of Architects. While I was there, I also met with a number of universities, local governments, and environmental NGOs to talk about the potential for developing a residential green rating system for use in Bolivia. My trip was organized and paid for by an organization called Partners of the Americas, with in-kind support from EnergyLogic.

I flew into the La Paz airport, which sits at over 13,000 feet—let’s just say I was thankful for my Colorado roots! My host in La Paz was the president of the Bolivian Institute of Architects, who arranged some brief presentations for the architecture students at three private universities. Within 36 hours, I was back in the air to my main destination, Cochabamba, for just over a week of meetings, conferences, and green home tours.

Originally I planned to talk specifically about energy efficiency, but then I learned that the climate in Cochabamba is so mild that homes don’t use heating or cooling systems! So I switched gears to focus on green building and sustainable development in general. First I took the audience through the basics of sustainable building, the software tools we use to evaluate buildings, and the various programs that are out there to certify green homes. Next we reviewed the details of the LEED for Homes rating system from the US Green Building Council as a case study. Finally, after discovering that some other Latin American countries have modified LEED for Homes to better meet their needs, we decided to go point-by-point through the Brazilian checklist and discuss whether it could be applied locally. The consensus was that yes, with a few minor tweaks, this was a good model for green homes in Bolivia.

I then got the chance to talk with government agencies, environmental groups, and even the local newspaper about the importance of green building and sustainable development. There was a lot of genuine interest, and the timing was perfect as the city is currently developing their first sustainability plan in response to chronic water shortages and infrastructure stresses.  In addition, I visited several green buildings sites, including the home of Cochabamba’s most famous architect, Mario Moscoso, or the father of “organic architecture.” He believes buildings should adapt to their environment, not the other way around. He uses fiber cement walls, passive cooling strategies and a green roof for insulation. In the backyard he is trying to recreate an entire ecosystem, complete with over 3,000 fish, ducks, llamas, horses, and of course, parrots. It was like walking through a dream.

Finally, I flew to Santa Cruz to meet with members of the Green Building Council of Bolivia, who took me on a tour of some green high-rise structures. We were all really energized by the prospect of helping to establish and grow a green building industry in Bolivia. My trip was a win-win-win for Partners of the Americas, EnergyLogic, and the people of Bolivia. I was flattered and impressed by the support I received from all involved, grateful the knowledge I was able to share, and excited for future opportunities to work together.

Darren Legge
EnergyLogic Rater, Auditor, Green Rater, QA