ALBANY, NY — The Building Performance Contractors Association (BPCA) is offering certification training for Home Energy Rating System (HERS) raters in New York. Those who pass the HERS exam at the end of the training are qualified as a “Home Energy Rater,” allowing them to inspect homes for approval into the Energy Star program.

According to BPCA’s Lloyd Hamilton, this marks an excellent opportunity for New York hvacr contractors to add another service to their business. Previously, “We had fewer than 20 Energy Star homes in New York, and this year we should have over 500,” he said. “This is not well-publicized and we are tasked to get more contractors involved.”

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is also cosponsoring the certification training.

According to the BPCA, rating Energy Star homes can benefit contractors if they want to:

  • Provide third-party verification of energy efficiency, which helps to sell contractor services to the increasing number of Energy Star-labeled home builders across New York and in neighboring states; and
  • Provide ratings for homes you are already working on, to add value and strengthen relationships with builders.
  • “Being a rater is providing a service in which you can charge regular service rates during the ratings,” added Hamilton. “This can also be used as a sales tool for contractors to sell services to builders.”

    Hamilton added that New York is on a course to put energy, fire, and building codes under the auspices of the Secretary of State. With this change, New York would “vault into the forefront” of states requiring tougher, new energy codes, he noted. The HERS rating will be used to certify homes under the new energy code.

    “The main benefit is to sell higher-performance systems in new construction,” said Hamilton. “The raters will be able to justify their services to the builders who want to sell Energy Star homes.”

    The certification training teaches:

  • The responsibilities of a HERS rater;
  • How to successfully sell services to builders, homeowners, real estate agents, and bankers;
  • Energy-efficient mortgages;
  • How to use REM/Rate software;
  • How to perform a HERS rating; and
  • The program requirements for New York Energy Star-labeled homes.
  • For more information, e-mail Lloyd Hamilton at or visit the BPCA website,

    Publication date: 07/30/2001