Home Energy Scoring
If you are considering a career in the field of energy conservation, you should keep track of this. Home Energy Score could mean thousands of new jobs for people all across the nation. The main thing to note is that in order to become involved with this program, you will need to be certified by BPI, ResNET, or possibly HES. In addition to your certification, you will need to take a short training in order to use the “Home Energy Scoring Tool”. Once you pass the test, you will receive the “Qualified Assessor” status.
Home Energy Scoring was designed to address consumer information issues around the topic of energy use and energy conservation. Essentially it is an energy use scoring system. It will show consumers how well their house performs and how they can save money by implementing improvements. A Qualified Assessor will visit each home and collect about 45 elements of data relating to the home and its energy use. This will be fed into the Home Energy Scoring Tool. The consumer will then receive feedback and a score related to their energy use. They will also be given recommendations for what measures they can take to improve their Home Energy Score.
From January to June of this year, Home Energy Score is in a pilot phase. If you live in, or are willing to move to one of the 10 pilot project locations, you might be eligible for employment during this time. In the Fall of 2011, this program should be up and running nation-wide.
The hope is that consumers will become more cognizant of their home’s performance - especially with regards to energy use. As homes are one of the greatest consumers of energy in this country, it could result in major reductions in how much energy we consume as a nation.
You can learn all about Home Energy Score and track it’s progress at the Department of Energy's website.
PowerSaver Low Interest Loans
If you want to perform energy efficient retrofits on your home but don't know how to pay for them, PowerSaver Low Interest Loans could be just what you need. If this program eventually goes into effect, it will mean that many more homeowners will have access to low interest loans for retrofits. Early this year HUD, in partnership with FHA, will be testing this program. It is part of the Recovery through Retrofit initiative that was launched in 2009. Through the PowerSaver Program homeowners with good credit can borrow up to $25,000 for energy efficient improvements. The improvements can include the installation of insulation, duct sealing, doors and windows, HVAC systems, water heaters, solar panels, and geothermal systems.
If the PowerSaver pilot project proves successful it will mean many more jobs for contractors, installers, and energy auditors all across the country.
Currently we are patiently waiting to see the list of lenders that will be participating in the pilot as well as the locations that will be participating.
Read more this and track its progress at the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's website.
Workforce Guidelines for Home Energy Upgrades
The Workforce Guidelines are another thing coming out of the Department of Energy through the Recovery through Retrofit Initiative. Simply put, the Workforce Guidelines will be put in place to assure that home energy upgrade work performed through the PowerSaver loan program and Home Energy Scoring meets certain standards.
The Workforce Guidelines are still in the development phase. The Public Comment phase ended on January 7th and sometime in the near future we should see the outcome. This could be very interesting to Energy Auditors and Contractors. It is yet another reason to be certified as an Energy Auditor or Building Performance Specialist.
Voluntary Healthy Indoor Environment Protocols for Home Energy Upgrades
EPA is developing voluntary Healthy Indoor Environment Protocols for Home Energy Upgrades, in conjunction with the Department of Energy (DOE) Workforce Guidelines for Home Energy Upgrades. The EPA protocols and DOE guidelines are intended for voluntary adoption by weatherization assistance programs, federally funded housing programs, private sector home performance contracting organizations, and others working on residential retrofit or remodeling efforts. Together, the complementary documents will: provide a robust and practical set of resources for retrofit contractors, trainers, and program administrators; help improve the quality of the work performed in this expanding industry; promote occupant health and safety; and drive consumer demand for energy efficiency retrofit services.
EVENT: Intelligence Squared Debate
Put this on your calendar - March 8th, it should be an interesting debate. For the motion will be Dan Reicher, the executive director of Stanford's Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance and Bill Ritter, a former Governor of Colorado who established his State as an international leader in renewable energy.
Against the motion will be Robert Bryce, author of several books including "Power Hungry: The Myths of 'Green' Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future and Steven Hayward, author who most recently wrote "Mere Environmentalism, an examination of the philosophical presuppositions underlying the environmental movement"
You can listen to it live or catch it later in the archives of Intelligence Squared.