HVAC Breaking News

March 22, 2011: EPA to Develop New Home Performance Requirements

WASHINGTON - The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) reported that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has sent a message to stakeholders in the Home Performance with Energy Star (HPwES) program, clarifying the agency’s original intent regarding contractor certification requirements. Although certain HPwES program sponsors have chosen to require a specific organization’s credentials, the EPA wrote, “At this time, no single credential is required by EPA for all HPwES programs.”

The HPwES team also announced its intent to work with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to establish national criteria for recognizing contractor credentials in order to “ensure more consistent service delivery in all HPwES programs.” Once completed, these criteria will serve as the basis for new requirements for HPwES programs instituted at the state and local level.

The complete text of the EPA’s message follows:

Dear Home Performance with Energy Star Stakeholders,

It has come to our attention that some stakeholders have the perception that the Home Performance with Energy Star (HPwES) program requires participation of certified contractors. Individual program sponsors have discretion to require a credential or use other means to determine that participating contractors have the knowledge, skills and abilities to complete high-quality home energy upgrades. In the past, HPwES program sponsors have referenced credentials from the Building Performance Institute (BPI), the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), or have established their own training requirements. During the past year, additional organizations have started offering training certificates and credentials for energy auditing and weatherization work. At this time, no single credential is required by EPA for all HPwES programs.

In the future, EPA, working in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy, intends to establish national criteria to recognize credentials that identify contractors with the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities to complete comprehensive whole-house energy audits and energy efficient home improvements. We will seek your input as we develop this process. Once completed, we will formally change the requirements of the HPwES program and allow a reasonable time (e.g., up to one year) for programs to meet these new requirements. We believe these steps will help ensure more consistent service delivery in all HPwES programs.

We hope that this helps to clarify EPA’s policy and future plans regarding contractor certification. We look forward to working with you as we develop this process.

Best Regards,
The Home Performance with Energy Star Team

For more information on HPwES, visit www.energystar.gov.

Publication date: 03/21/2011

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