How to Become an Energy Auditor

How to Become an Energy AuditorBefore knowing how to become an energy auditor, it’s important to understand the energy auditor’s role and responsibilities. An energy auditor’s function is to examine and assesses levels of energy efficiency in a house or a commercial building. He measures consumption of energy, tracks losses on cooling and heating and verifies the function and effectiveness of HVAC systems. After performing these various checks of which an energy audit consists, he reports his findings to the owner of the building, highlighting areas for improvement and identifying possible upgrades and solutions to inefficiencies in the existing energy infrastructure.

In conducting a proper energy audit, the person in charge must have relevant experience in home improvement or construction. He must be skilled in energy efficiency procedures, green building policies and HVAC inspections and installations. Aside from these technical skills, he should know how to talk about such systems with building or home owners using simple terms that they can understand. He must be aware of the basic energy-related enhancement costs and the effect of such enhancements on utility bills and underlying property values.

If you’re thinking of becoming an energy auditor, the first step is to do some local research. Find out what companies are in the market already and what resources and energy programs are currently available. If you want to become a contractor for an existing energy audit business in the area, you need to find out what qualifications and training are required for acceptance by the relevant program.

The next step to become an energy auditor is witnessing preferably first – hand how an energy audit is done. Employ the services of a local energy auditor yourself and personally observe how energy auditing is done from a professional and a technical perspective. If possible it is recommended to attend more than one energy audit so you can gain a better understanding of how the processes and tests are carried out. It’s also important to note how the auditor communicates the process and his findings with the client.

If at this point you decide that it’s a career that you want to proceed with, proper training and certification is essential to prove your expertise in the marketplace. A recognized qualification from an accredited body like the Building Performance Institute (BPI) is recommended. The BPI is the leading body in energy auditing certification and accreditation.

After getting trained and certified, the right technical equipment to start your career in energy auditing is required. This consists of a blower door, gas leak detector, combustion analyzer, an ambient carbon monoxide monitor and an infrared / FLIR camera
. The total cost of the equipment is likely in the region of $8,000 – $10,000.

At this point, make a business plan to decide what services you will be marketing going forward and how these will be priced. Be clear on your business vision and your areas of expertise. What is your unique selling point or service that you offer that other providers can’t?

Finally, hone your energy auditing skills with as much practice as possible. Offer to carry out energy audits for your relatives, friends and neighbors and ask for feedback that you both learn from and can use as testimonials. Network with environment groups in your locality, make presentations and offer demonstrations to different organizations. Learning how to become an energy auditor is not just about technical skills. To be successful you also need to market and develop your business at every opportunity.

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