It is clear that President Biden is focusing on upgrading the energy efficiency of existing homes while also planning to build 1.5 million sustainable affordable homes. What remains unclear is that most people do not know the difference between a residential energy auditor and a certified home energy HERS* rater. This is very unfortunate and here are the reasons why:
If you are interested in getting federal residential tax credits for energy efficiency improvements or clean (renewable) energy installations you must use a HERS rater, not an energy auditor. HERS raters are recognized by the IRS as being qualified to analyze and offer residential tax credits, primarily because they are subject to several layers of quality assurance or QA for their work and reports.
If you are interested in getting the best financing available for improving the energy efficiency or adding clean energy systems to your existing or new home, you will likely want to use an energy mortgage. HERS raters can facilitate beneficial financing from private lenders and investors whereas an energy auditor cannot.
Perhaps you are interested in getting recognition for your energy efficient or green (sustainable) home. The programs listed below require the involvement of a certified HERS rater, and not an energy auditor, to perform testing and certification services:
- ENERGY STAR® Certified Homes
- LEED® for Homes Green Certifications by the US Green Building Council
- Energy Mortgages that Improve the Market Value of Your Home
- Energy Index Scores for Energy Code Compliance
Bottom Line: If you want to gain the most benefit from the dollars you spend on energy efficiency improvements and on clean energy system installations you want to enlist the services of a certified home energy HERS rater. Otherwise you might find that you are not able to get all the financing required for your project or obtain the desired benefits that include increased market value of your home after completion of your energy upgrades.
If you want to learn more about the programs that require the involvement of a certified HERS rater the author has included links for your use below. Just click on the link(s) of interest to you.
*HERS: Home Energy Rating Systems — More information about HERS at: https://www.hersindex.com/hers-index/