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: 1093

Replies to This Discussion

I am a home inspector and I can assure you that there is a world of difference and you do NOT want to combine the two professions unless you want to become a mere commodity who will work (and for whatever fee) at the whim of real estate salesmen in a depressed industry. 

I charge more for an energy efficiency analysis than a home inspection because it is worth more than a home inspection.

Let us forever resist any effort to diminish a BPI certification with something as readily accessible and benign as a home inspection license.  Instead, let home inspectors seek BPI certification so that they can add value to what they presently do.

As a licensed home inspector, HERS Rater and BPI Building Analyst, I can assure you that becoming a home inspector is a mistake.  I whole heartedly agree with James Bushart.  As a home inspector you become a commodity inspector and the skill level of home inspectors is diminished by the real estate profession's control of the referals.  "Are you a deal killer or a deal maker?" as I was once asked by a real estate lady once says it all.  

 

Energy efficiency analysis should rate as a higher skill than home inspecting and therefore pay more.  I enjoy energy auditing because I am able to use all my skills to best help someone.  If a home inspecting boy is smart, he'll get into this industry.  Auditing and Home Inspecting are not the same!!  Let's not diminish the level of skill required in this industry less it goes the way of home inspecting.   Either we control our own destiny, or, someone will try to control it for us.  Advocating that Auditors become Home Inspectors is a step in the wrong direction for this industry.   

David, Thats an interesting and important topic. We had a similiar discussion recently. Nevada has propsed this regulation for their state.

 A BPI auditor Ive been working with has a home inspector friend saying the same thing "we were overstepping our bounds", I've completed audits on homes where the inspection reports given to new home buyer is vague, says little about insulation , the house was sold with empty walls, Poor attic insy and a boiler under 75% Eff?  ( more then one occasion) Oh yeah, just remebered popping an attic hatch and finding fire damage, Homeowner moved in 2 years ago and had no clue attic slopes were charred....Home inspector didnt catch this, he never went in the attic im guessing.

Maybe home inspectors should be required to have BPI and understand building science, How diffulcult is it to obtain a Home Inspectors License?

Pros and Cons get discussed  about Nevada's proposed regulation's  somehere on this site.

 Another thought I had and dont know much about.... Energy Efficient mortages,what would be the "inspection", "audit" or "energy assesment"  requirement for banks do these types of loans? It cant be left up to the old inspector.

Mike,

Home inspection licensing is different for each state, with some states not requiring any(scary). I can tell you in Oregon to get an home inspector license you first need to pass a general contractors test and get licensed then the use a 20 point system to accumilate points to be able to take another test(you get points for work experience, education, ride along with inspectors and other contractors etc.), once you reach the 20 points you are then allowed to take the 200 question test home inspector test. The test has 5 sections and a candidate must score at least a 75% on each section to pass the test.

Good question David.

I know several home inspectors in my state that are already or soon to be certified as energy auditors.  Sometime in the future I would like to become a certified home inspector as I feel the two industries are very similar. The other interesting wrinkle to this question is some states like mine (Ohio) do not require the home inspectors to be certified.  As a professional, I believe it is in the best interest of my customer that I'm properly certified in any field of work that I’m offering a professional opinion. The more certifications you acheive as a profesional, the better your opinion will be to your customer.

 

Thanks Jim. In the end, I think the disciplines will merge.  I agree about the importance of certification. There are folks in my area of the country that are doing home audits and gutter clean-out without any training what-so-ever. Standards are important, they bolster the image of the industry and help create a market.  Thanks for your reply.

Please invite this guy on to our board so we can have some fun with him. I have been an inspector www.capitaldistricthomeinspectors.com since 1990 A BPI auditor www.nyenergyauditors.com and IR consultant www.nyinfraredscan.com for some time. My first attempt at energy conservation was in 1979 during the Carter era of tax incentives and grants. Regan put a quick end to the Energy Bank and energy conservation/alternative energy programs. All these areas cross over but none are dependent on the other.

Seems some one is insecure by claiming that his area of expertise is elevated above others. You don't want to become a home inspector BUT Energy auditing/rating is a perfect extension for a licensed, experienced home inspector.

Get some training in Infrared; the requirements for RESNET are herre for 2011. BPI is next. Ceck the RESNET site prior to pursuing the training or you may not meet the requirements.

 

Allen, I'm a CIT level 2, any focus you might recommend out side building perf., electrical and moisture?

I appreciate your input.

David; I am sure you have seen a lot of changes lately in IR application. Unfortunately guys like John McKenna and NACHI are selling a basic 'introduction to IR' as an ASNT Level 1. Again, RESNET is setting up some very specif guidlines for IR training for Energy raters/auditors.

I am playing a little with Equine and pet IR. Any animal with short hair can be scanned for soft tissue injuries. No real money in it; some local news face time for the entertainment value. Good for exposure for the energy audit, roof scan business.check out United Infrared for their accredeted courses. I also present at www.infraspection.com annual conference and this year at RESNET in Orlando.The focus will be having all auditor/raters IR trained. NO more 'smokesticks'. I am a level 3 ASNT and on the Infraspection training staff. My next goal is to be more of a consultant and trainer in IR.

I am also setting up some IR courses for local Fire Departments, Energy Auditors, vetinary medicine, roofing companies.  
All this gets my credentials out there for free.

Make some money and have a lot of fun.

You may qualify as a free lance position for the new RESNET RFQ IR standards. to be released shortly. Check the RESNET site. Contact me if you wish more Info.

allen@tannercontractors.com

This is a great question. I am both an Oregon certified home inspector and a BPI building analyst and Envelope professional. These certifications do have a lot of overlap and being a home inspector helped me greatly when studing for BPI. However they have different intents. As a home inspector you are providing a general assessment of a home, a one time 2-3 hour visual inspection of a home. As an energy auditor we are providing an entirely different service, evaluating the energy performance of a home and either rating it or recommending weatherization upgrades to help the occupant. Where there begins be an issue with home inspectors(at least by the Oregon Law) is that the law states that anyone who inspects more then 3 components of a home and supplies the consumer a report is required to be a licensed home inspector. As a licensed home inspector you are not allowed to do work on any home you have inspected for at least 1 year after you inspected it. As you can see this is why some home inspectors are upset that energy auditors are being allowed to do home assessments on more then 3 components and are not required to be licensed home inspectors. I believe the concern is not as much about knowledge or the ability to do a job as it is an issue with the current laws and deciding why one field home inspectors are required to follow them and the auditors are not?

Hi Bill,

 

This is a big issue in Oregon and I think the legislature is going to have to take this up and modify the law, because technically all BPI certified Home Performance contractors that are not also home inspectors are currently breaking the letter of the law.   The CCB actually busted a Home Performance contractor here last year and the Energy Trust intervened on his behalf.  I'm not sure the status of all this at present, but I know the Energy Trust has been talking to the CCB.  The Home Inspector's lobby is basically fighting to protect their turf. 

 

I think it would be a good idea to merge the two professions and modify cirriculums so that if you get a BPI certification you can also qualify as a Home Inspector, and vice versa. 

 

Adam; do you have a link to this case, law interpretation, etc? NY has licensing for home inspectors only at this time. We don't collect sales tax for home inspection; energy audits are subject to sales tax.  BPI, (which has its' roots in ZERO Draft), has no state over site. NYSERDA is in bed with BPI. So the only way to make money doing energy audits in NY is to offer the retrofits-insulation-window replacement. Then NYSERDA gives up to 30% grant for the work. I don't sell my audits as bundled with a service to perform work. RESNET operates as more independent 'rater' with out the sell the work criteria. I think it is a huge conflict of interest to do a 'free' audit and charge $10,000 for windlow replacement.

A lot of hype has been sold in NY to get BPI Energy Auditor certified only to find that all available work is through the major contractors. There are as many BPI auditors leaving as are being newly trained.

I now offer an energy audit with BPI certification to all the customers who have a home inspection done.We just don't get involved with NYSERDA.

The energy audit business for an independent auditor in NY is nearly dead because of all the interference and special interest. I hate to see 1980 repeat its ugly head and kill the energy savings business as happened back then. We are fighting the oil companies all the way still.

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