In order to answer this, let’s have a short recap on what BPI stands for. The Building Performance Institute, or BPI, is an organism certifying energy efficiency efforts or energy audits in a house. For any individual working in this field, a BPI training and thus certification is a proof that knowledge and competences have been verified by an independent third party. BPI then oversees everything related to residential energy efficiency, home’s energy flow and energy conservation. Read the rest of this entry »
New NREL / BPI Certifications Quiz
Warming Slopes, Shriveled Revenues
Snow can be an entrancing sight or an exhausting burden, but for communities dependent on winter sports, it is one thing above all else: revenue.
In recent years, however, the cold cash that used to fall from the sky, giving an economic boost to 38 states, has become less reliable. Winters are getting warmer, less snow is falling, and snow seasons are starting later and ending earlier.
A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council and the climate-themed industry group Protect Our Winters takes a look at the possible impacts of climate change on the nation’s $12.2 billion snow sports industry and the 211,900 jobs it supports.
Read more at the NYTimes Green Blog
Solar Power Installation Prices Fell 14% in Past Year
The price of installing solar power for homeowners and businesses fell 11-14% in 2011 and in the first six months of 2012, new stats from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory show. In the fist six months of this year, California saw even greater drops in the cost of installing solar panels, an additional 3-7% above the national figures.
The report indicates that the median installed price of PV systems installed in 2011 was $6.10 per watt (W) for residential and small commercial systems smaller than 10 kilowatts (kW) in size and was $4.90/W for larger commercial systems of 100 kW or more in size. Utility-sector PV systems larger than 2,000 kW in size averaged $3.40/W in 2011.
Read more at TreeHugger
Energy auditors diagnose the efficiency of a home or business’ heating and cooling systems, ducts, filters, thermostats, etc. and provide recommendations to help owners save money. As the interest in energy efficiency continues to grow and local and national programs are creating incentives for those who make their homes more efficient. This means that the demand for energy auditors continues to grow, and now’s a great time to enter the field. Here are some tips to help you get started in the business:
Seven Tips for Becoming an Energy Auditor
1) Do Research about the Field: Consider purchasing The Contractor Guide to Home Performance or a similar guide to arm yourself with information. Check out the DSIRE database to get an idea of the rebates and incentives offered to understand what’s available to consumers in your area as well. In other words, know what you’re getting into and what’s involved in the position.
2) Do Research about Training: It’s important to find training that prepares you for a nationally recognized certification as well as research any other designations your local utility might require. Generally, becoming an industry auditor requires some type of national certification such as BPI or RESNET HERS.
3) Get an Energy Audit for Your Own Residence: This will give you an idea of what energy auditors actually do, and you can learn some of the tricks of the trade firsthand. There are also videos online that can give you an idea of what processes are involved before you actually see them in person.
There are many reasons to be interested in an energy audit; the results can help you save money, improve the indoor air quality of your home or business and reduce the environmental impact of your energy use. However, it’s important to keep in mind that energy audits are much the same as any other service; their accuracy depends on the person or company performing them, and there are many different levels of reliability out there.
When searching for a reliable energy auditor, you’ll need to make note of the person or firm’s record, as well as any reviews you’ve discovered online or through word-of-mouth. Asking for sample audits from the past is always a smart choice, as is doing some research about how much previous clients have accrued in savings.
It’s also important to keep in mind that reliability of energy predictions will vary greatly depending on the type of savings that you’re looking for. For example, fixes such as switching to higher efficiency heaters or A/C units or buying new fixtures often have a high predictability on savings, while more complicated changes such as changing HVAC schedules can be much more difficult to predict. This is further complicated by the fact that occupant behavior will also have an effect on energy savings, or lack thereof.
Keep in mind that energy audits provide additional benefits beyond simply saving money. They can improve the comfort of your residence/workplace, as well as pinpoint ways to make your home/workplace a safer place to be because a proper energy audit will measure leaks in ductwork, which can lead to mold and mildew later.
Have you had a positive or negative experience with energy audits? Let us know how reliable your energy audit was by leaving a comment. We look forward to hearing from you!
You did your research, you’ve undergone training, and now you’re ready to enter the world of energy auditing, right? Don’t worry, we understand sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. There are many questions you should ask yourself and many aspects of the business to consider. For example, will you be working alone as a contractor or join an existing energy audit team?
Whichever you choose, keep in mind that more titles doesn’t always mean “better.” However, often it does make sense to earn multiple certifications so that you can show customers you are well-rounded and have the ability to help them in several areas. One of the best pieces of advice we have is to add a specialized certification such as Multi-Family or Shell Professional to your already existing BPI Building Analyst designation. In addition to showing your advanced knowledge in the industry, advanced certifications gives the opportunity of applying your company for BPI Accreditation, which can often be a requirement to offer your customer’s the rebates and incentives given by state and utility programs.
CleanEdison offers several energy auditing training programs, such as heating, envelope, shell, and multi-family, meaning you have the opportunity to become quite a well-rounded energy auditor! And, with some of the best trainers and staff in industry, you can rest-assured that you’ll receive all of the information you require.
Received your BPI Building Analyst certification and have tips on where to go from there? Leave inquiring minds some tips to help them along the way!
Once you’ve decided to enter the field of energy auditing, there are several pieces of equipment that will become an integral part of your everyday work. Three of the most important are a blower door, a thermal infrared camera, and a DuctBlaster.
- Blower Door: This is a machine used to measure how airtight a building’s envelope is. Blower doors can also be used to test the airtightness of ductwork, to measure airflow between building zones, and to aid in physically locating places where air is leaking out into the building envelope. Blower door technology was first invented in the late 1970s and has been a primary way to measure leakage factors since that time. A blower door can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000.
- Thermal Infrared Camera: This camera forms images using infrared radiation instead of visible light like a traditional camera. It operates in wavelengths to measure surface temperatures and discover light that is in the heat spectrum. These cameras assure that insulation has been installed correctly and can be used on interior and exterior energy audit surveys. Often, thermographic inspections work in tandem with blower door tests. A thermal infrared camera costs about $4,000+.
- DuctBlaster: A DuctBlaster (also referred to as a duct leakage tester) is a tool used to measure how airtight a HVAC (air heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning) ductwork system is. It consists of a calibrated fan to test air flow rate and a pressure sensing device to measure fan-flow created pressure. Together, these measurements determine ductwork airtightness, which can aid in one’s knowledge of how to increase energy conservation.
With these tools, an energy auditor has the ability to create a more efficient home or workplace for his/her customers, saving them money in the long run. Are you an energy auditor? Comment and let us know what tools you wouldn’t leave home without!
“Energy Auditing is the Best Small Business to Start”
Nearly one million people are currently employed as energy auditors, and that number is only going up. Thanks to an increased awareness of the importance of efficient energy practices, people at all income levels across the country are seeking services of a qualified energy auditor to help them re-fit their homes and businesses to be more energy efficient. Qualifications include a BPI Certification, which is generally used for existing residential homes, and/or a HERS Rater Certification, which is focused on new construction
The clean energy sector can make the United States competitive in global markets. By advancing domestic production methods, the United States can reduce its dependence on foreign markets for clean technologies. Domestic products of the clean energy sector, such as environmentally benign information technology and renewable fuels, can make the United States a global leader in sustainable economic development. Demand for clean energy, such as hydroelectricity and solar power correlates with demand for a clean energy workforce trained in developing, producing, and advancing clean energy products and services.
When the United States workforce can innovate cost-competitive technologies that are cleaner, safer, healthier, and more durable, it can stir growth in the national job market. Sustainable buildings that use less energy can improve energy independence by reducing national energy consumption. Commercial and industrial facilities can implement solutions to their costly energy consumption problems with the help of sustainable building professionals. Government incentives for commercial facilities can generate demand for commercial energy auditors who are trained in sustainable building performance standards.
Institutions that confer national standards can set guidelines and goals for energy independence and energy efficiency. Take the American National Standards Institute, for example, which recently accredited the Building Performance Institute’s standardization methodologies for building energy efficiency. This accreditation lends BPI more authority and attests to the precision of BPI standards. BPI certification is now more costly to obtain and more strictly monitored with videotaped exams for aspiring building analysts. Together with ANSI, the BPI is raising the bar for members of the sustainable building industry.
Clean energy technologies, such as solar PV cells and wind turbines, pose excellent opportunities for the United States to assert its energy independence. When the national economy supports development in the clean energy field, demand for certified professionals increases along with the value of courses in LEED certification, BPI certification, and lead renovator certification.
The clean energy sector can help rebuild the American workforce. Over time, clean energy technologies can become less expensive and easier to make and export, creating new markets and providing energy solutions for emerging markets around the world.
A friendly reminder from CleanEdison that in order to comply with ANSI Accreditation, the Building Performance Institute is raising exam prices and tightening its administrative procedures. This will go into effect on February 1st, 2012, so now is the perfect time to get trained before the prices go up.
What ANSI Accreditation Means For BPI Certification
Your BPI certification will be recognized by ANSI, which sets national standards in an effort to make the United States economy more competitive globally. When you obtain your BPI certification, you will be recognized by ANSI as a member of a select group of building professionals who are working toward making the sustainable building industry more influential across the world. BPI certification courses will prepare you to take the BPI exam. The sooner you enroll in a BPI training course, the better, because ANSI accreditation will likely up the fees for BPI courses. Enrolling in a BPI training course will keep you up to speed in the standards of sustainable building and sustainable design.
The climate for green building has changed considerably, especially since green building has proven more cost-effective and energy efficient than ever before. Whether you are a seasoned building professional or you have just entered the field, you should make every effort to stay up-to-date with industry standards for building design, safety, and environmental impact. By continuing your professional education, you can make yourself a more attractive candidate for green jobs, which represent an ever-growing sector of the job market.
Now that ANSI has lent its authority to the Building Performance Institute, which administers the BPI exam and various BPI certification levels, students of a BPI course can expect to pay more for training, both online and in the field. If you are still waiting to sign up for a BPI certification course, then think about the potential earnings you could make as a BPI certified professional whose credentials are backed by the American National Standards Institute. ANSI accreditation means BPI certification is more legitimate, so if you are looking for a way to attest to your skills as a green building professional, then register for a BPI training course as soon as you can.