Doug, I agree that the HVAC industry has not been hurt by HD selling product also. I hope you are right about your outlook with regards to home energy assessments.
I do find a difference between the knowledge-based information and professional services that an energy professional offers vs. a HVAC company that is selling product. Does the HVAC company that doesn't sell insulation, air sealing, etc...go into a house and look for ways to sell other peoples product and services first? Maybe some, but not many. If HD was marketing they could do air sealing, duct sealing, or handle the retrofit from an outside audit, then I would say okay, but they are going to use HESP's to sell product and people won't know the real difference between the audit they get and the one that is data and whole-house based. It could do damage to small business. I could hurt or it could help, I don't know.
RESNET has not sent me my HESP certification yet. Do I get one since I am HERS certified already? Or do I have to take another course and pay more money and have a different provider?
Discounting what we do by inferring a walk-thru will suffice is where I begin to wonder what the outcome of this will be. I hope that we are thought about, but I just don't feel confident about the path.