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.
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:
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:
Pass the Foundation Level exam
Pass Energy Advisor exam
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 & 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 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:
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!