Proposal for a new RESNET® Accreditation – Residential Energy Modeling Professional

Attached as a PDF as well…  REMP Proposal

Proposal to RESNET

Creation of new RESNET Acceditation:

Residential Energy Modeling Professional (REMP)

Purpose:

To provide a RESNET accreditation designed to meet the needs of the design community.

 

Rationale:

Over the past several years, we’ve trained a large number of design professionals as HERS Raters in lieu of an accreditation that would more adequately meet their needs.  We estimate that approximately 20 to 30% of our students fall into this category.  These individuals are seeking access to the knowledge base of a HERS Rater (i.e. building science, understanding diagnostic testing, etc.) and/or access to the HERS energy modeling tools.

Who

These individuals are broadly covered by the following groups, though there are often unusual avenues that aren’t described here:

  1. Architects
  2. Engineers
  3. Builders
  4. Trade Sub-contractors
  5. Estimators
  6. Code officials
  7. Consultancy
  8. Advocacy groups

Why

By and large, these individuals have no desire or need to become HERS Raters.  Yet they are compelled to take HERS Rater training in order to access the knowledge base and/or the software.  It is an exercise in frustration for these individuals as they know they are taking training that isn’t going to meet their ultimate objective.  We find that the training itself is appreciated and is largely relevant to the needs of students that are approaching the industry from a design perspective.  However, subsequent requirements of the HERS Rater path are inappropriate for these groups.

How

We propose that a new accreditation be created, the Residential Energy Modeling Professional. The objective is to create a pathway for design professionals to participate with RESNET, HERS Providers and HERS Raters without following the Rater pathway, but their own pathway.  This pathway can be easily adapted from the Rater pathway from both an educational and a Provider/Quality Assurance perspective.  In the short term, we believe that the same training and same test can be used.  However, the subsequent accreditation requirements would be different.  For example, probationary ratings would all be Projected Ratings.  The HERS Providers could provide software access as they currently do without providing Print permissions.  This would allow the design professionals to “design to the index”.  Quality assurance could be just as it is for HERS Raters, but without the requirement for on-site verification.

Benefits

There are manifold benefits for the industry as a whole.

  1. Greater adoption and exposure of the HERS Index.  The ability for design professionals to “design to” the HERS Index should drive even greater exposure to and consequent adoption of the use of the index.  The more parties that use and consider the HERS index as part of their design process the more widespread will be acceptance and understanding of the index.
  2. Greater understanding of building science and related issues.  The ability to train design professionals to an accreditation that is appropriate for them will drive greater penetration of basic building science training across a wide-range of our industry stakeholders.
  3. Additional training opportunities for HERS Training Providers.  This designation will give training organizations an appropriate tool to market to new and formerly reluctant audiences.
  4. Better design processes for parties involved in designing homes.  Currently, design professionals can’t access the HERS index and thus have to engage in a costly and time-consuming iterative process with HERS Raters.  This proposal would demonstrate RESNET’s commitment to stakeholder needs and sensitivity to the cost of conducting energy ratings.  Most design professionals are highly trained and with proper training are more than qualified to perform modeling on their own projects.
  5. An additional revenue stream would be opened for RESNET.  Design professionals and others who currently are not involved or engaged with RESNET would be provided with a path for involvement that makes sense for their industry.

-The EnergyLogic Team

What do you think?  Interested?  Suggestions?  Let us know.  Here or on our LinkedIn group – Residential Energy Professional Training.

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3 Replies to “Proposal for a new RESNET® Accreditation – Residential Energy Modeling Professional”

  1. Great proposal! Nice outline and well laid argument.

    Don’t get me wrong…

    I love this proposal!

    However, the biggest perceived concern/hurdle in the industry of this proposal might be distinction in the market between a “from plans” rating and a “confirmed rating” with on-site verification. This is already a concern in the current standard with some builders never paying for a confirmed rating and marketing the Index of all homes based on one from plans rating. If there were an added piece to this proposed standard to address concerns of not having this visible distinction we might get more traction and buy in.

    I agree that this could save a lot of duplicated efforts and create a whole new branch in the industry that could more effectively impact the design of high performance homes with more collaboration from design and construction professionals. Coupled with giving verifiers more stake and distinction in the market than they might currently have, and I think it could catch on with an everyone wins attitude. New prominent distinction for the verifier, new designation for the design professional, better designed homes for the consumer, and potentially less costly to the builder (assuming the architect spends less time doing takeoffs than a rater might).

    One idea could be to add to this proposed standard with a statement directly in the REMP standard that the Rating Software would be required to offer more visibility of the from plans and confirmed rating distinction with something like a “From Plans” watermark on reports until verified on site

    OR

    For a less distracting measure, have a different title on the certificate stating the type of rating. Visibility would be key in this distinction so the customer knows what they are getting. Currently the rating type is jumbled with a bunch of other information and the consumer may never know their home’s rated features weren’t actually confirmed. However with requiring a similar format in the certificate as outlined below this distinction becomes much more clear and could make current Raters who are verifiers much happier with adopting the proposal:

    Proposed Titles:

    Projected From Plans
    Home Energy Rating Certificate

    AND

    Verified
    Home Energy Rating Certificate

    Cheers to pushing the design envelope (pun intended)!

  2. Good comments, Glenn. I would add this:

    The initial list seems fairly inclusive: estimators, code officials, advocacy groups… but much of the description seems very much aimed at design professionals. I have a hard time envisioning most of the groups listed as ‘design professionals.’ Beyond (custom) builder, engineer, and architect, do the other groups belong here? I agree that we see all of these groups represented in our rater training classes regularly, and mostly they go back to their former jobs rather than changing careers to become an energy rater. If you want this designation to include all of those listed, then you’ll want to be sure the training, description, and skills taught are targeted at those who may alter or be in position to reccomend changes to the design of the home (thus consultants and code officials), not just those doing the initial design.

  3. Better yet, as noted in the article, the REMP cannot print a certificate of any kind. The idea, as I understood the article, is to provide a different training path for those who are mostly interested in using HERS modeling tools. REMP’s should be specifically prohibited from publishing the projected HERS index. Strictly an in-house tool, lest it be improperly used or perceived, as Glenn rightfully suggests. If the engineer, builder, architect, or designer wants recognition of a house plan that is designed for performance, Energy Star offers the “Designed to Earn” program.

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