For two years Mark Jabaley worked as an energy rater under the tutelage of the EnergyLogic team, learning the ins-and-outs of expert-level energy rating and what it takes to help builders construct energy-efficient homes. When he left the company to start an energy rating business of his own, EnergyLogic offered guidance on running a business – living up to its own promise to expand and grow the home energy rating industry.
“EnergyLogic gave me the tools I needed to get started – from software tools and templates, to billing and management advice,” says Jabaley, who founded his company, Above and Beyond Energy, in North Carolina in 2007. “They were mentors through the entire process.”
Since then, Jabaley has returned to EnergyLogic for its many resources and services as he has worked to build his business. Through EnergyLogic Academy, which features a combination of e-learning modules and field training, he became a certified BPI proctor and RESNET trainer. He has also sent several employees through the rater training program. “My staff got a lot out of the self-paced modules – they stayed on track and were able to collaborate as teams on the activities. They felt it was very valuable,” he says. He implements the field training himself in North Carolina.
In conjunction with QuickBooks™ and REM/Rate™, Jabaley relies on EnergyLogic’s DASH software to schedule jobs, maintain a database of HERS ratings, manage the required quality assurance and do billing. “DASH is an integral part of the business. It’s a core piece of our operations.”
North Carolina is a hotbed for construction of energy-efficient homes. According to the North Carolina Energy Efficiency Alliance, 32 percent of homes built in the state in 2013 were certified energy efficient homes. That year, 7,490 homes were built to ENERGY STAR standards – the equivalent of eliminating emissions from 3,371 vehicles, saving 13.9 million pounds of coal, planting and growing 411,950 coniferous trees for 10 years, and saving 35.7 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the environment. For North Carolina homeowners, energy efficiency is growing in importance as a key home feature. Certified energy efficient homes include energy-saving features that typically make them 20 to 30 percent more efficient than standard homes, and that can reduce heating, cooling and hot water bills by $300 to $500 per year.
While the North Carolina construction industry is progressive in advancing home energy efficiency, Jabaley says, “We still have a long way to go.” He is doing his part by working with builders to make homes more energy efficient so that homeowners’ costs in the long run will be lower.
One obstacle for ENERGY STAR builders has been the amount of nuance associated with building ENERGY STAR homes – causing many builders to reject the most recent version of the standard. In response, Above and Beyond Energy created its High Performance Home program – helping builders meet the stringent standards of ENERGY STAR while making it easier to do HERS ratings, create better reports and create more effective marketing materials about the value of energy efficiency.
His approach seems to be working. The company attracts builders across the spectrum – from those who are committed to building energy efficiently for environmental or economic reasons, to those who are doing it to be competitive or meet code requirements.Today, Above and Beyond Energy’s database counts over 5,000 energy rating jobs since 2007.
Jabaley credits EnergyLogic with much of his success. “They could be considered a competitor, but not really. They’re a resource for me. EnergyLogic really wants the industry to grow.”
ePro Division Director