Professional Roles – The Energy Rater

Elizabeth Tomlinson, Attaway, Denise, Kramer, Kathleen  |  2/17/2009 11:27:46 PM

What does an energy rater do, generally?

An energy rater assesses a house to determine the home’s level of energy efficiency. This audit , a "rating," is performed for a fee. The energy efficiency level is determined by energy efficiency performance software. The rater performs a mechanical depressurization test on the home and these results are input into the software. Many other features of the home, such as size of the house, type of windows, insulation and more, are factored into the software as well.

For what specific tasks would you seek the services of someone in this profession?

Having an energy efficient home is both good for the environment and good for your pocketbook in energy cost savings. An energy rater can assess your home, let you know where the deficiencies are, and give you suggestions on how to make your home more energy efficient. This can be done for a newly built home, an existing home, and even house plans. Another benefit is the possibility of being eligible to receive a home energy rebate from the Home Energy Rebate Option (HERO) Program on your existing home if you implement the rater’s suggestions or a tax credit if building a new home to Energy Star criteria.

What licenses and certifications are available in this profession and what requirements are needed to obtain these?

To perform any home energy home ratings in Louisiana, a rater must possess a current certification from the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) or the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). A score of at least 80% on RESNET National Rater Exam is required to obtain certification in Louisiana.

A RESNET certified Energy Rater also can participate in the DNR’s HERO program and receive certification to work in the program by passing an additional test and presenting proof of an acceptable score on the National Rater Exam.

How can a consumer verify that a professional has the certification he/she purports to have?

An energy rater’s certification status is kept by his/her rating provider. A rating provider is an organization that is responsible for the quality assurance of an energy rater. All energy raters must have a rating provider in order to maintain certification under RESNET. The consumer must contact the provider directly to verify the rater’s status. Alternately, information can be obtained by contacting RESNET, but the first option is the most direct. If you cannot obtain this information, do not hire the rater.

What license is required in Louisiana to do what type of work?

To perform any energy home ratings in Louisiana, a rater must possess a current certification from RESNET or DNR. The DNR HERO Program rater only rates existing homes for participation in the HERO program. Any certified home energy rater can rate new construction.

What is the typical pay basis for this profession and what is the typical cost?

Energy Raters typically charge a set fee that is based upon the size and complexity of the home to be rated. Generally, this fee is on average $300 - $400 for a house under 2,200 sqft, depending on the complexity (2009 figures). The fee is market driven. The HERO program requires two audits: one of the current state of your existing home and the second after the energy improvements have been made, however, you only will be charged for one rating.

How does someone become energy rater?

Anyone wishing to become a certified energy rater must first satisfactorily complete energy rater training through a RESNET accredited training provider. A list of accredited training providers can be obtained from the RESNET website (www.natresnet.org). Training consists of a five-day course which includes conducting two observed home energy ratings. Additional observed home energy ratings will usually be required by most Rating Providers.

Following completion of this training, the student must then pass the RESNET National Rater Exam with a score of 80% or better to become certified. To be certified as an HERO rater, the RESNET certified rater is required to pass an additional test. HERO raters must also own their own equipment which can run on average from $3,000 to $6,000, depending on whether the equipment is used or new (2009 figures).

Once you are a certified home energy rater, you must complete 12 RESNET-approved continuing education hours over every three-year period.

How does an energy rater who is licensed or certified for providing service in another state get authorization to provide services in Louisiana?

If certified through RESNET, the energy rater can provide rating services in Louisiana as a RESNET rater. Additional certification would be required if the rater wishes to provide services under the HERO program.
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What are the benefits of paying for an energy rater?

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