Here's an article sent by my friend Ron Clark of Energywise that deserves a read by everyone in the business. I especially encourage some time spent reviewing the comments that follow.:
Adam Zielinski said:
The way you get comprehensive audits to be free of charge, is that you have your program that pays incentives for weatherizaton require them - both test ins and test outs - in order for customers to receive any incentives.
This way, contractors who are BPI or RESNET certified can offer the audit for free, and recoup the cost of the test in and out in the price of implementing the recommended measures.
As long as programs don't pay incentives for installing measures without this testing, contractors can make it work.
What kills it is when BPI certified contractors have to keep the cost of the recommended measures down low enough in order to compete against non BPI certified contractors who will install measures without testing, and charge less, and still get their customers the same incentives from the program.