I was speaking with a long time home inspector this weekend. He thought that most home energy auditors were inspecting homes without a license. As a BPI Accredited contractor, I view breaches in the building envelope, like missing chimney flashing, or foundation water damage as well within my purview. My Inspector friend thought as an industry, we are overstepping our bounds. Do you think BPI should expand their curriculum so Auditors would also qualify as Home Inspectors, or should we take more classes and also become licensed Home Inspectors?

 

What are your thoughts?

 

 

Tags: Audits, BPI, Energy, Green, Heroes, Home, Inspection

Views: 1081

Replies to This Discussion

I'm with you and I agree with you. 

 

The way the law was written previously, it said that no "contractor" could perform an "inspection" on more than 2 "building components".  Only licensed "Inspectors" could perform "Inspections." 

 

So the key thing for energy auditors is to not claim that their energy audits are "inspections."  One BPI certified contractor got in trouble when he ran radio ads trying to get people to sign up for his "inspections."  He used the wrong magic word in an ad and the CCB came down on him. 

 

As long as you avoid using the word inspection, and you are not claiming your energy audit is as good as or the equivalent of or in place of a home inspection done when a house is for sale, then you are fine.   The state legislature is also clearing up the language in the law to make this more clear that inspections and energy audits can co-exist. 

 

Adam, it was December 10, 1994, Portland's Channel 8, as I recall around 5:00:01 p.m. PST.

 

Likely a snippet of long-gone history except what sticks in the craw

of the guy who found it the reason for writing a law.

 

Then I presented my experience at a Poster Session at Affordable Comfort in Chicago and had a poster of FOOD LABELS falling through an hourglass with the caption "It's time we see what we are BREATHING too!" or something like that. John Tooley had inspired me.

 

Gillian Landfair was the young woman's name, an interior designer.

 

Kate Brown introduced the legislation. The gas co's chief lobbyist held the Chair of the Change Committee at Oregon's Building Codes Division, and in one of our meetings, he said things like "There's no way we can hold old houses to anything like the standards for new houses!" My words, his sentiment. I countered with, "Do you mean to say that old houses are okay to gas folks, but new ones are for the living?" David Brook, from Oregon Energy Extension Service was there for that one.

 

When I met with the ER docs and then the ER Social Work elite, I found even more reason to be concerned. The word I recall from those contacts was that they 'believed' the pulse oximeters readings of 90 something % oxygen, though they knew the oximeters were BLIND to carboxyhemoglobin. Strike one. Strike two came from social worker, Sheryl from Providence St. Vincent: "Joe, we have NEVER done a follow-up by going to the home to determine HOW the carbon monoxide poisonings occurred or what to do about them!"

 

In other words, the problems associated with leaky ducts, CAZ depressurization and living spaces morphing into dying places were ignored. Oregon lost like 25 folks that year. Nationally we lose a few hundred a year. But the deaths are the tip of the iceberg. Thousands get gassed, quit their job, kick the dog, run amok and have no clue what happened. CO poisoning eliminates our higher functions, dashes our creativity, erases our memory and contributes to numerous psychological pathologies.

 

An energy audit is more than an inspection because we have science, reliable instrumentation and an understanding that reflects accurately on health and safety issues in addition to structural and performance situations in someone's home.

 

I'm all for NOT saying it's an inspection and not saying we're doctors, lawyers or chiefs of change committees, but a good energy audit can turn around a house and restore a quality of life, a level of comfort and a measure of affordability that may have been getting goofy from lack of attention.

Do you know what they call the guy that finishes last in his class at medical school?     Doctor.

Here in Delaware, three years ago there were 2 firms in the state that where BPI certified.  Checking this morning on the state website, there are 59 firms.  How much experience does the average BPI auditor have today?  We have enough of a battle keeping standards up to add the whole HI thing.  We have all heard horror stories about an item that was not discovered at an inspection and the buyer was faced with a big bill and the inspector had no liability - cost my sister $32,000 to rebuild a totally rotten, flat roofed addition that was not called out.  If a flat roof isn't a red flag, I don;t know what is.

Just look at the new RESNET/ACCA energy audit standards to see how we will have our hands full if they have their way.

Ed Minch

RSS

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

John Proctor commented on Kurt Shafer's blog post What is your opinion about members promoting products here?
"Kurt: So my question is how does your device work? PSC motors generally do not reduce their…"
2 hours ago
John Proctor commented on Christopher Morin's blog post How do You Test a TXV?
"Correction 32 is the melting point, not the saturation temperature."
2 hours ago
Richard Beyer replied to Mike Kandel's discussion Our Homes Suck – And That's Why Our Kids Have Sinus Problems
""I have no interest in bantering or arguing with you." AGREED! I look at these…"
4 hours ago
tedkidd replied to Mike Kandel's discussion Our Homes Suck – And That's Why Our Kids Have Sinus Problems
"Todd, it appears Richard is more about getting the last word than about learning a new thing.…"
4 hours ago
Todd Collins replied to Mike Kandel's discussion Our Homes Suck – And That's Why Our Kids Have Sinus Problems
"Richard,  I don't believe I am missing any points.  As I mentioned... I have no…"
4 hours ago
Richard Beyer replied to Mike Kandel's discussion Our Homes Suck – And That's Why Our Kids Have Sinus Problems
"Todd, Your missing the point. I can only suggest for you to read all the links attached within that…"
5 hours ago
Tom Conlon replied to Tom Conlon's discussion Whole House Fans - Love 'Em or Not?
"Excellent snapshot, Griffin. You didn't happen to notice the fan manufacturer's name on…"
6 hours ago
Brandon Walton replied to Brandon Walton's discussion 12 Things Every Home Performance Contractor Should Have on Their Work Truck
"Thanks Don! "
7 hours ago
Griffin Hagle replied to Tom Conlon's discussion Whole House Fans - Love 'Em or Not?
"I was aware of but unfamiliar with them until moving to Southern California in 2012. After seeing…"
11 hours ago
tedkidd commented on Scott Mellberg's blog post Lessons from Energy Efficiency Advisors: Getting Homeowners Onboard with Home Performance
"David,  I don't think forcing people to do things works out well for anyone.  Any…"
12 hours ago
David Eakin commented on Scott Mellberg's blog post Lessons from Energy Efficiency Advisors: Getting Homeowners Onboard with Home Performance
""I believe it is our job to educate the consumer, understand the problems, help them…"
12 hours ago
Profile IconGary Fitzgerald, LOUIS ANDERSON and Jeremy Hargreaves joined Home Energy Pros
13 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service