RESNET Home Energy Rating Background and Information
Detailed information on Home Energy Ratings and the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) can be found at the RESNET website www.resnet.us.
Financial opportunities for RESNET Raters
- Home Energy Ratings – Ratings are required for HERO, EPA Energy Star certifications and the federal new home tax credit. Additionally, energy ratings are a major component in green building certification (LEED and NAHB).
- Documenting compliance with energy efficiency provisions of state building code – The Louisiana Code Council is in the final stages of adopting rules that allows builders to utilize a Home Energy Rating to document compliance with the energy code. This is important for two reasons, 1) the rating whole house performance method of documenting code compliance can reduce costs for builders and, 2) the rating whole house performance method is often the only effective way to document code compliance for homes with spray foam insulation.
- Commercial energy audits for HERO commercial building energy efficiency program.
- Energy Mortgages – These are special mortgages that allow enhanced qualifying ratios for energy efficient new homes, improving the energy efficiency level of existing homes and increasing appraisals to reflect the energy efficiency features of new and improved homes. All require a RESNET certified Home Energy Rating.
NOTE: Rates for Home Energy Ratings and commercial audits are not dictated by RESNET or the state HERO program. Certified RESNET raters set their own rates. The average cost of a residential Home Energy Rating is $400 to $500. The estimated cost of the commercial audit necessary to qualify for the expanded DNR commercial incentive program is in the range of $750 to $1,000.
Requirements to become RESNET Certified Home Energy Rater
- Complete training – 39-hour class conducted in five consecutive days with an examination after the final day of training on day six.
- Pass RESNET National Rater Exam – The exam is open book with 50 questions and a two-hour time limit. A passing grade is 80 percent or above. The exam is not an easy exam to pass with a national passage rate below 50%. To date, the passage rate for the Louisiana classes has been in the 70% range. The test is a computer-administered exam and there is a fee of $50 that must be paid to RESNET to take the exam. It can be taken as many times as needed. There will be two opportunities during the class to take the exam.
- Complete five supervised home energy ratings. Two of the ratings are conducted as part of the class. After passing the National Rater Exam participants will have the opportunity to complete the additional three supervised ratings at the same time.
Requirements to receive certification from DNR to conduct HERO ratings
- Complete RESNET rater training, pass exam and complete the five supervised ratings.
- Participate in HERO training conducted on day six of the class (examination date).
- Complete HERO paperwork on the three supervised ratings conducted in number three above.
- Successfully complete HERO examination (conducted by DNR).
Keys to successfully completing RESNET certification.
- Have some background in residential construction.
- Read classroom text (Residential Energy by John Krigger) before coming to class. The text can be ordered and received from www.Amazon.com in several days.
- Brush up on basic geometry and algebra skills. Formulas are in appendix to Krieger text. It is all basic math, nothing complex.
- Be prepared to spend the entire week in study, i.e. complete practice tests and review classroom discussions in the afternoon.
NOTE: There is nothing in the class that is rocket science. However, there is a lot of material in a short time. To be successful requires a degree of discipline and study.
Equipment required to conduct Home Energy Ratings
- Blower Door – Estimated cost $2,500 to $3,000 (including digital meters).
- Duct Leakage Tester -- Estimated cost $2,500 to $3,000 (including digital meters).
The above is the only required equipment. Other useful equipment includes a thermal camera ($4,000 to $7,000), a carbon monoxide meter ($500 to $1,000) and a light transmittance meter ($150 to $200). Note that DNR is offering rebates of 50% of these costs up to $5,000 for the first 100 raters obtaining RESNET certification from a fully accredited course.