This article was originally published in the Better Buildings Beat Blog on December 19, 2017.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Home Energy Score program (the Score) is celebrating a milestone this month: Since the program launch in 2012, over 500 individuals are qualified to offer the Score, a miles-per-gallon energy rating system for homes.
These individuals – known as Home Energy Score Assessors (Assessors) – spend about an hour walking through a house collecting information and entering it into the Scoring Tool, a standardized energy estimation tool. The Assessors then provide a Home Energy Score Report to the home’s occupants. The Score rates the home on a 10-point scale, where 10 represents a highly efficient home; provides an estimate of annual energy costs assuming average occupant behavior; and includes customized recommendations to homeowners, renters, or potential home buyers for how to make the home more energy efficient. Score recipients then have the option to pursue these recommendations on their own terms, and potentially help themselves save on future housing costs along the way.
To become a qualified Assessor, candidates must complete DOE’s free online training and pass a test. Several professions, including home inspectors, realtors, and energy auditors, are all eligible for this training. The training and test, along with mentoring and quality assurance requirements, ensure that Assessors consistently collect data and generate accurate Scores.
A few Home Energy Score Partners are leading the way in recruiting, training, and managing Assessors. The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund has over 100 Assessors in Connecticut that deliver the Score in conjunction with the state’s direct install program. Focus on Energy (Wisconsin), InterNACHI (nationwide), City of Portland (Oregon), and StopWaste/City of Berkeley (California) each have about 50 Assessors currently offering Scores.
As of this month, the Home Energy Score Assessor squad has created more than 75,000 Scores in homes across the United States. The program continues to grow because of the hard work the Home Energy Score Partners and Assessors put in to promoting the Score in each of their markets. To assist with marketing, DOE provides Assessors and Partners access to Home Energy Score logos, as well as brochures, leave-behind flyers, fact sheets, and more. These resources help convey the value of getting a Score and help differentiate Assessors from other professionals in their market that provide similar services. Partners and Assessors particularly appreciate the fact that the DOE logo on the Score report provides additional credibility.
The Home Energy Score program is always looking to grow and hopes to hear from more individuals who are interested in offering the Score. For more information on providing the Score, check out the Become an Assessor webpage or email the program directly at email@example.com.