Building Performance Institute Inc. (BPI) announced the launch of a national rating program to provide customers with an accessible, easy-to-understand rating of their home that can be combined with a comprehensive home energy audit. The BPI Rating Program is now available in Florida, which, in July 2013, recognized BPI as one of a select group of organizations authorized to provide a Building Energy-Efficiency Rating System (BERS) in the state. BPI’s program begins in Florida and is expected to be fully operational nationwide by mid-2014.

BPI was accepted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as a Home Energy Score Partner, and will use the Home Energy Score as a rating tool. DOE developed the Home Energy Score to help improve the assessment of existing homes.
DOE’s program requires all Home Energy Score Qualified Assessors, or raters, to perform assessments and generate a score through a partner program, with quality assurance provided by the partner.

“There is increasing demand in the marketplace not just for a score of the home, but for a low-cost, easily understood rating that, when added to a routine energy audit, increases the likelihood that the customer will go ahead with the proposed improvements,” said Larry Zarker, CEO, BPI.

“Like Florida, now is the right time for other states and programs to open up the ratings market to competition. BPI-certified professionals are highly qualified building analysts who are already performing energy audits in customers’ homes throughout the country. Customers deserve the benefit of a BPI-certified professional’s expertise when getting their homes rated.”

DOE’s Home Energy Score is comparable to a vehicle’s mile per gallon rating, only for homes. This federally recognized asset score allows homeowners to compare the energy performance of their homes to other homes nationwide. The system is simple, using a scale of 1-10, with a 10 representing excellent energy performance and 1 recognizing that the home needs serious energy improvements. Unlike other rating systems, which are typically tied to a specific building code, the Home Energy Score evaluates homes based on the structure’s expected performance, even if the home was built before building codes existed. The rating system shows how homeowners can improve their score with prioritized energy conservation measures.

The Home Energy Score can also be used to support appraisals and real estate listings. The data translates easily to appraisal information, including the green addendum, and can easily be transported to the multiple listing service (MLS) to support energy efficiency in real estate valuation. It will help customers have a consistent frame of reference as they move between states.

To become a BPI Rater, candidates may fill out an application at Candidates must be BPI-certified as a Building Analyst, Envelope Professional, Home Evergy Professional (HEP) Energy Auditor, or HEP Quality Control Inspector, or hold a Home Energy Rater System (HERS) certification during their first year in the program. After their first year, BPI Raters will be required to hold BPI certification.

Candidates must also pass DOE’s Home Energy Score Qualified Assessor exam. This is a one-time online exam that may be taken at participating BPI test centers.

Information provided courtesy of Building Performance Institute Inc.

Publication date: 3/31/2014 

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