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How can you become an Energy Auditor?

Degree Bachelor’s Degree or High School Diploma
Field of Study Construction
Certification BPI certification
Experience 1-7 years of experience in energy conservation, construction, site auditing, engineering
Key Skill Set Knowledge of Light and Control Systems, building performance, HVAC, construction methods, site survey, familiarity with software programs prerequisite for auditing, ability to conduct Energy Star Tests using duct blasters, using infrared cameras, blower door equipment, basic power, and hand tools, can handle lead-based paint
Salary (2015) $45,742 yearly

Source: U.S Bureau of Labour Statistics

Procedure

  • Complete a Training Program – An aspiring energy auditor must have proper training and development skills before he can start hands-on work on the field. These topics often cover training in fields of construction, auditing programs and energy conservation strategies. It is also advisable to do a BPI certification after completing graduation.
  • Take BPI Test – BPI (Building Performance Institute) is the basic level of certification for aspiring energy auditors. After a candidate clears this test, he/she is adept in performing comprehensive home energy audits and determining ways of energy conservation. This exam includes 100 questions and a field test. The certification has to be renewed in every three years.
  • Earn a Degree – Candidates who are untrained in field work may also opt for a degree that encompasses the comprehensive field study through Bachelor programs. An Associate’s degree in building science and construction technology stretches over a span of two years. Bachelor’s degree programs are typically a four-year-long study, which includes classes in commercial construction technology and building equipment, etc.

It is very important for us to keep a check on the total amount of energy that we consume every day in our houses. Well if you want to find out how much energy you are using at your home, then you need an energy auditor to get an energy audit done.

What is an Energy Audit?

You consume electricity and use energy on a daily basis. But do you know how much of the energy are you using up and whether or not there are effective means to control it? Well in order to figure that out you need to have a detailed inventory of the total energy that you are consuming and your home. This is what an energy audit will give you information on. An energy auditor will come to your house and evaluate how much energy you have been consuming. They will also suggest ways in which you can curtail your energy consumption if you are using more energy than you ideally should be.

How does an energy audit work?

First and foremost you need to get in touch with a company which performs energy audits and asks them to send energy auditors over to your place to get the necessary readings taken. They will take a look at various things like the ventilation of your home, how much hot water is being produced, how the heating system of your home works, check the insulation etc. The energy auditor will have a developed software with him/her which will help to track and record the amount of energy that has been consumed in the home. After they the audit is complete, a proper assessment will be provided to you. There are actually three stages when it comes to getting ready for an energy audit done of your home. Let us take a look them:

  • There is a basic preparatory phase before you can ask the energy audit to be done for your home. Do you know the year in which your house was constructed? Do you have the plans for the home? Do you know the heating and cooling system of the house? Well, these are all the types of information that you will have to be aware of before the energy auditor comes to your home. You can call the company and ask them too what data they require for the audit.
  • Once the audit begins, the data which has been provided by you in properly analyzed and looked into. Then the audit is conducted where various factors are checked. To perform an energy audit of your house, the heating system will be looked into, how various types of equipment are used will also be analyzed like thermostats and the amount of insulation of the external walls. They will also check whether or not all heating and cooling systems are functioning properly.
  • Finally, after the audit part is complete, the energy auditor will provide you with a report. This report will, of course, include the analysis of the home and its energy consumption. If there are any recommendations, then it will be suggested by the auditor in the report itself.

Types of Energy Audits

There are different types of energy audit these days. However, there are three basic ones which are most commonly conducted. Let us take a look at these three types of energy audits that are conducted:

  1. Investment Grade Audit or IGA: This audit ensures that a detailed qualitative and quantitative analysis of the energy consumption of your home is done. The report that will be handed over to you will contain in detail the various areas of consumption and how much is being consumed where. Proper devices and calculation techniques are used in order to reach such an analysis. The report given by the energy auditor will also provide cost-effective ways through which the general energy consumption of the household can be reduced and which devices are causing the maximum amount of energy being used up. At the end of this audit, you will have a properly chalked out energy plan which will be financially feasible for your home.
  1. Energy diagnosis: This is a form of energy audit whose report will break down the energy consumption of the household and you will be able to figure out where the maximum amount of energy is being consumed. There will be measures for cutting down your energy as well which will be suggested in the report. In order to perform such an energy audit, metering devices might be used in order make distinction calculations of the amount of energy that is being consumed. A financial analysis also comes with the report of the energy auditor and hence you will be able to figure out what are the various implementations that you need to make and how much will that cost you.
  1. Walk-Through Audit or WTA: This is standard energy audit procedure, where the auditor will walk through the premises that you want to be checked and they will suggest measures through which you can consume less amount of energy. This audit will help you to locate where the issues are and the report will also come with a list of measures that you can implement to make sure that excessive energy consumption is in check. It will also help in pointing out the areas that need to be looked into further in order to check the energy consumption of the place.

Difference between energy audit, heating audit & energy performance of buildings

Getting a heating audit done for your home is not the same as getting a proper energy audit done by an energy auditor. If you have a boiler which is older than fifteen years, then this is the audit that needs to be conducted. This is not something that is compulsory in case of energy audits. Also when it comes to getting an EPB certificate or an energy performance of building certificate, it is absolutely necessary when you are planning on selling or renting the place in question.

Energy audits help to keep the energy consumption level of your household within limits and hence are necessary for all. Energy auditors working in energy companies, recce households to determine methods in which energy could be used more efficiently by people. The job involves extensive fieldwork and good people-skills to make sure consumers abide by their suggestions.

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