environmental protection
January 17, 2018

Maybe you’ve got some experience in the building industry. Maybe you’ve got lots of it. Maybe you’re super keen about helping people have cost-effective, healthy housing. Maybe you’re searching around for an interesting career that gives you a strong foothold in residential construction and renovation.

 

There are 200,000 to 250,000 new houses built every year in Canada

 

The home renovation industry accounts for more than $70 billion annually.

 

The new construction and renovation industry provides a job for roughly 1 in every 18 workers. It’s one of Canada’s largest employers.

 

New building code requirements, like the BC Energy Step Code, and large-scale initiatives such as Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan, are leaning more to performance paths vs. prescription paths.

 

With the adoption of the Pan-Canadian Strategy for Climate Change, more government funding has been set aside for renovations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 

More jurisdictions are adopting building code requirements that include energy efficiency measures. New home and retrofit programs that are built around reducing energy consumption and/or greenhouse gas emissions in Canada rely on energy evaluations carried out by certified Energy Advisors.

 

And there is a gap to be filled.

 

What Does an Energy Advisor Do?

An Energy Advisor (EA) is a licensed professional who provides technical services like energy evaluations, blower door testing, and third-party verification to a range of programs:

 

  • R-2000®

  • EnerGuide ®

  • ENERGY STAR for New Homes®

  • Net Zero Homes®

  • Built Green Canada®

  • BC Energy Step Code

  • Energy Modeling for Code Compliance

 

As an Energy Advisor you work with home buyers, builders and renovators to:

  • Assess materials to optimize energy efficiency and a healthy indoor environment

  • Ensure good performance of the building envelope and mechanical systems

  • For new home programs, provide a pre-construction energy evaluation of the home and test the home at completion

  • For existing homes, provide suggestions to improve the energy efficiency and indoor air quality.

  • For new and existing homes, provide third party verification and inspection, including a final report and documentation for an EnerGuide rating

 

Who Can Be An Energy Advisor?

You need to know a lot about houses to be a competent EA. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), and the Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) have created a three-step entry program for EA candidates. You must:

  1. Pass the Foundation Level exam

  2. Pass Energy Advisor exam

  3. Be affiliated with a service organization

 

Before you can even be considered for basic EA training, you must pass a Foundation exam. The Energy Advisor exam requires you to have specialized training in the EnerGuide for Houses service. You can find out everything need to know about the process of becoming an Energy Advisor here.

 

NRCan has a partner, Yardstick, who delivers both of the exams. They also offer some practice questions and tutorials on their exam registration site. Register here.

 

The Foundation exam covers the following topics:

  • Construction Technology

  • Construction & Renovation of Low-Rise Housing

  • Building Envelope (New and Existing Homes)

  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (New and Existing Homes)

  • Building Science Principles and the House-as-a-System Concept

  • Construction Math

  • Plans Reading

  • Construction Site Safety

 

This is where your background in residential construction is helpful, but it’s likely to not be enough. You’ll probably have some gaps in your knowledge.

 

The Foundation exam is tough -- so tough that the current failure rate is somewhere around 80%. It costs $150 + HST each time you attempt the exam.


Blue House Energy and the Energy Advisor Foundation Exam

We know what it takes to be an Energy Advisor in Canada. BHE CEO, Shawna Henderson, was an R-2000 evaluator, starting in the early 1990s, and was one of the first Energy Advisors for Existing Houses in the country. Everything we produce for our training is based on CHBA’s educational benchmarks and Shawna’s’ training and experience an Energy Advisor. She sits on two working groups led by Natural Resources Canada, and is a member of CHBA’s Net Zero Energy Renovation Working Group.

 

She’s got this.

 

Which means, Blue House Energy has a solution.

 

Take our online EA Foundation Training Bundle. There are 5 courses in the bundle:

  • Construction Math

  • Plans Reading

  • Construction Safety

  • Construction Technology

  • Improving Building Performance

 

Pass each of them, and you will be able to pass the Foundation Exam.

 

We’re so confident in that statement that we’re offering a guarantee:

 

If you fail, we’ll refund you the cost of your first attempt at the Foundation Exam.

 

Yardstick provides a report that will show you where you ran into problems. Send us that report as proof that you failed (rats!!). You have access to the EAFT Bundle course material for 12 months, so you can go back and review the places where you had trouble. But we’ll also provide you with some outside resources to help you boost your knowledge in weak areas. Then, when you feel confident, tackle that Foundation exam again! (psst, If you fail on attempt #2, you’re on your own.)

 

We’ll have the whole bundle up and ready by mid-March 2018. The cost will be $425 + HST, but if you pre-purchase by February 1, 2018, you can have it for $350 + HST.

 

Our online training is designed for busy people, so it’s available when you are, and you can get through most topics in 10 -15 minute sessions.

 

You can also get face-to-face training for the Foundation exam, if that’s a better fit for you and you’re close to a provider. Here is a partial list of classroom-based trainers: Calgary, GTA and Ottawa, Ontario, Ontario, Ontario, and BC. Most of these are two-day sessions, costing between $500 and $2000. We don’t offer a guarantee on anyone else’s training, though!

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What our customers are saying

  • If you are planning a house build or renovation, understanding Building Science is important to avoid repetitive heating costs and possible water damage later. Shawna and her team know their stuff.

    K.W., General Manager, Halifax, NS
  • Studies over the last 20 years have shown a worrying energy performance gap – where buildings are consistently found to use more heating energy than designers had predicted and Energy Performance Certificates indicate.

    Oliver Drerup, Former Head of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation - International
  • I am pleased to hear that you will be undertaking a new initiative to further trades training in residential energy efficiency. CMHC supports the building of industry awareness and capacity to deliver more sustainable technologies and practices in the housing sector.

    Duncan Hill, P. Eng., Acting Director, Sustainable Housing and Communities Policy and Research Policy, Research and Planning, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
  • Over the last 20+ years I have been speaking to and training thousands of new home builders and renovators across North America.

    Gord Cooke, Air Solutions
  • All I can say is … wow!  You have nailed it! I just watched the 5 minute overview of what all your training videos will attempt to accomplish, and am very impressed.  I am so proud that I know you both, this is incredibly good.

    Gregory A. Pedrick, C.E.M., Project Manager, New York State Energy Efficiency Agency
  • This training is easy use and in a perfect format.

    Dan Drummond, Training Director, Canada Wood China
  • It is very well centred on the learner's experience. Visually-based rather than text-based delivery make the modules straightforward and non-intimidating. I like the way the expected learning outcomes are clearly presented and the information is clearly applicable to practical work.

    Michelle Harding, Professional Builders Institute of BC
  • This is primo education that goes way beyond training.

    Chris Rosemont, BASF