Energy Advisors, Auditors, Raters & Evaluators: they all play the same kind of role in analysing and testing the energy performance of a house.
January 30, 2018

In Canada, we have Energy Advisors. In the US, we have Energy Auditors, Energy Evaluators, HERS Raters, and BPI Analysts. While there are some very clear differences between the duties that each of these titles carries out when they evaluate a house, the fundamentals are the same.

  1. A site visit that includes:

    1. A blower door test to determine the air leakage rate

    2. An inspection of air leakage locations

    3. Tests for occupant health and safety around combustion appliances

    4. Measurements and notes on the house characteristics for the energy model/evaluation

    5. Discussion with the homeowner about potential improvements

  2. An energy evaluation that includes:

    1. As-is house characteristics are put into computer model

    2. Computer model with potential improvements

  3. A report that includes:

    1. A run-down of the house characteristics (as built)

    2. Recommendations for improvement (for existing houses)

    3. Recommendations for code/program compliance (for new houses)

 

This is the order the evaluation takes for existing houses. For new houses, the computer model is created from the plans, the builder is informed of ways to comply with the building code performance path, or the high-performance energy target, and then, once the house is built, the site visit takes place.

My experience, of course, has been as an Energy Advisor in Canada (although I did get certified as a BPI Analyst back in 2008 or so). In Canada, Energy Advisors also carry out depressurization tests to ensure houses with ‘susceptible combustion appliances’ are not putting occupant health in danger. In the US, some programs require a Combustion Appliance Zone (CAZ) test, and there are requirements to use gas ‘sniffers’ and other test equipment for indoor air quality.

In Canada, Energy Advisors are registered by Natural Resources Canada to deliver the EnerGuide Rating System for new or existing homes, using the Hot2000 energy modelling software. There is a three-step process to getting registered as an Energy Advisor (EA). The first step is to pass the Foundation Exam. The second step is to take the training and pass the EA exam. Successful field testing is the final step. All active and registered EAs have to be associated with a Licensed Service Organization.

The Foundation Level exam and the Energy Advisor exam are taken at proctored testing centres across Canada. A Candidate Exam Handbook is available that contains information on:

  • the exam development process,

  • how to prepare for the exams,

  • how to register for and pay fees to take an exam,

  • the process on exam day, and

  • the Candidate Statement of Understanding.

The exam registration site also includes a list of exam centre locations and the Candidate Exam Handbook.

Energy advisor candidates can:

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