If you’ve had the pleasure of being in or around the Energy Rating Industry for any period of time, you have undoubtedly encountered some misinformation.

Some of it is driven by frequently changing proprietary standards in days past, with it being poorly communicated to the furthest reaches of the industry. I can’t fault people for saying, “You don’t tape to the drywall,” when the provider responsible for informing a Rater of standards updates doesn’t talk to the Rater without being paid in 15 minute increments.

Unfortunately, others are common marketing refrains, like “effective R-value”. In other words – purposeful misinformation. I won’t speak to the intent behind them, whether from ignorance or malice – I don’t know what goes on in other peoples’ heads.

But today we’re going to cut one of these misinformation weeds down (and hopefully pull the roots out – if you help share this).

This is the misinformation we’re slaying today:

“A HERS™ Index [or ERI] of 100 is a code new home, while a 130 is an existing home.”

– Some marketing person

No doubt you’ve seen this repeated somewhere. I’ve come across it more and more as the Energy Rating Industry expands. Sometimes it’s just “100 is new construction”, other times it’s “a standard new house is a 100”.

But this statement is completely false.

Unfortunately, this is a two part statement and I’ll be focused on the first half. Just keep in mind…the second half also has issues.

What’s in a hundred anyways?

It’s worth taking a second to remind ourselves exactly what an ERI (or proprietary calculations like the HERS™ Index) is based on. The short of it – it is a normalized modified end-use load (nMEUL) based calculation. The details are not critical, but in short this dumbs the efficiency of gas appliances down to more easily compare electric and natural gas appliances.

The roots of this were in the “fuel wars” – the architect and organization that promoted this calculation didn’t want to upset either the electric or the oil & gas industries. In the process, everyone lost (Footnote 1).

Part of this calculation meant there had to be a benchmark or reference home to compare the as-built structure against. After all, if you didn’t have a generic home to compare against, you would encounter some significant issues just comparing nMEULs to nMEULs from different rated homes. They can get big, unwieldy, and, frankly, unless you’re a research scientist, a person on the side walk isn’t going to understand what you’re talking about.

Also, you might find that those massive mansions actually use a lot of energy, even after they’ve switched from incandescent to LEDs.

So they had to craft a reference home that would allow homes to be fairly benchmarked against.

Oh – I should also probably mention this was all happening in the lead up to 2006. That’s important.

What does 2006 have to do with anything?

Well, that was when the 2006 IECC was created – which helped usher in a more uniform energy code for authority having jurisdictions (AHJs) to adopt and implement.

It helped even everything out, and create a common language.

Functionally, what the author(s) of the HERS™ Index did was craft a calculation so the Reference Home, based on the 2006 IECC (with modifications from updates to the code), equals a HERS™ Index of 100.

The proof is in the pudding, as the saying goes. And I want to focus on a U-factor table – specifically Table 402.1.1 in the 2006 IECC (Footnote 2).

Look at this table – Climate Zone (CZ) 1 has a maximum allowed u-factor of 1.20. CZ 2 has 0.75. CZ 3 has 0.65. CZ 4 (except marine) has 0.40. CZ 5 (and Marine 4), CZ 6, 7, and 8 has a maximum allowed 0.35.

This table lays the reference home values for the prescriptive and Total U-alternative paths. It also (conveniently) plays a role in a HERS™ Index calculation.

You see – why reinvent the wheel? There’s a table of reference home values that every code official certified by the ICC would recognize, let’s just use that.

Now go to ANSI 301, the baseline calculation for the ERI, which the HERS™ Index is a derivative of.

Specifically, Table 4.2.2(2) Component Heat Transfer Characteristics for Energy Rating Reference Home (Footnote 3).

What’s this?!

CZ 1: U-1.20, CZ 2: U-0.75, CZ 3: U-0.65, CZ 4 (except marine): U-0.40, CZ 5, Marine 4, 6, 7, and 8: U-0.35.

It has been that way since the HERS™ Index was created, and the reference home has not significantly changed since then. That is because when you use a calculation like this, supposedly so you can calculate when you get to “Net Zero”, if you change the reference home to, say, the 2021 U-Factor references, you actually change the goal posts completely. That extends the field beyond reasonability, and makes it a useless metric.

I’ve been living a lie!

While I could sit here and tell you to look through the rest of the tables, comparing the two – I think you understand.

A HERS™ Index 100 is not “new construction”.

A HERS™ Index 100 is actually a 2006 IECC code home.

What should you do with this newfound knowledge?

Stop spreading misinformation!

When you say a “100 is a code new home”, you’re perpetuating a falsehood that demeans that actual levels of construction we see, of the progress we’ve made in the last 15 years. You’re also completely misunderstanding how the HERS™ Index is actually calculated.

Above all – you’re participating in false advertising. It is patently false that a HERS™ 100 is a “new construction” home.

What about the other half of the statement?

Well, you should probably stop saying that, too. While it’s a separate issue for another day, I’ll leave you with this:

There has been no study of homes built prior to 2006 to appropriately estimate the average Index of a pre-2006 built home. 

Not one person can actually point to a rigorous study on it.

Anecdotally – my house, built in 1998 clocks in at a HERS™ 104 (ERI 91) (Footnote 4). Other existing homes I’ve rated, like another 1998 built home, came in at the mid-70s.

I know it’s anecdotal and I’m lucky to live in a home built near or better-than the 2006 levels, but it should indicate there are some issues.

How do you actually calculate an Index, anyway?

So what happens now that you have nMEULs for the as-built and the reference home? Easy peasy – you do Equation 4.1-2 from ANSI 301… Which states:

Energy Rating Index = PEfrac * (TnML / (TRL* IAFRH)) * 100 

Now, in plain English:

The Energy Rating Index equals the:

  1. Reference Home end use loads multiplied by the index adjustment factor of the rated home
    1. (TRL* IAFRH)
  2. Divide the Rated Home’s nMEULs by the number from Step 1 (circle this number – we’ll come back to it later)
    1. (TnML / (TRL* IAFRH))
  3. Subtract the on-site power production from the total energy use of the rated home
  4. Divide Step 3 by the total energy use of the rated home
    1. PEfrac – encompasses Step 3 and Step 4
  5. Multiply the circled number from Step 2 by the number you got in Step 4
  6. Multiple Step 5 by 100

You’ve now calculated an Energy Rating Index!

Footnotes

  1. Of course, times have changed – they recently added more calculations to create a CO2e Index, which measures the carbon use of the fuel at the home (with some source energy modifications). This, as you imagine, weighs heavily in favor of an electrified future. Guess they’ve finally picked a winner, eh?
  2. Page 19: https://codes.iccsafe.org/content/IECC2006/chapter-4-residential-energy-efficiency
  3. Table 4.2.2(1): https://codes.iccsafe.org/content/RESNET3012019P1/4-energy-rating-calculation-procedures-
  4. If you’re curious about why the ERI value is different from the HERS™ Index value, you should also wonder why the standards development organization in charge of the 301 calculation modifies the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) Standard and passes it off as the “gold standard” through their proprietary standards. In other words, my suggestion is you should be requesting an ERI calculated in accordance with the ANSI Standard, rather than a proprietary calculation. And any program referencing a proprietary calculation should step back and clarify exactly why they aren’t basing the program on the ANSI Standard.

What is the difference between

Energy Ratings and ENERGY STAR®?

Your guide to understanding Energy Ratings and ENERGY STAR

With more interest in the EPA’s ENERGY STAR New Homes and Apartments program than ever before, it is critical to discuss the differences between an “energy rating” and the ENERGY STAR certification.

The primary distinctions between the two are:

  1. Purpose
  2. Scope
  3. Recognition

Below you will find a breakdown of both energy ratings, ENERGY STAR certification, and the compare/contrast along the above three distinctions.

What is an Energy Rating?

Or, why is someone “rating” my house?

Energy Ratings, commonly referred to as “HERS™ Ratings” after a proprietary rating system, are a process by which an inspector collects data on a dwelling unit, inputs the collected data into a software tool, and generates an Energy Rating Index (ERI).

What data is being collected?

Typically in an Energy Rating, the inspectors collect data on what is called “minimum rated features”. These range from the model number, manufacturer, and location of HVAC equipment – to the R-value of insulation installed in the ceiling or walls. A full list of minimum rated features can be found in ANSI 301, Appendix B (the full standard can be found online here).

These inspectors will also perform tests on the “thermal envelope” (a fancy way of saying where insulation is installed) and HVAC system. The tests are commonly called the blower door and duct leakage tests.

The blower door test

The blower door test measures the infiltration rate of the thermal envelope. That’s somewhat of a misnomer – air both leaves and enters the thermal envelope over the course of a year, but the test typically measures one or the other. Why does this matters?

If you have a house with a high infiltration rate, that means more outside air enters and the conditioned air leaves your house over the course of the year. Just think about this – it just rained (spring showers bring May flowers, right?) and it’s muggy outside. The humidity levels are high…and your house has a poor infiltration rate.

All that muggy, humid air? It more easily finds a way inside, causing discomfort and potential contribution to the failure of your building (in combination with other factors). That means mold growth, rot of materials, and more. A bad example of this: stepping onto a floor and getting split by the floor beam because the floor rotted out from the high humidity.

Important to note – there are several different testing standards used, and different protocols, to perform the blower door test. ANSI 380 and ASTM E779 are both recognized by the International Code Council’s (ICC) International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Different above code programs, like the passive house standard, require testing both depressurization and pressurization rates at multiple test points. While they aren’t all the same, and they have different purposes and goals, each of these testing protocols are useful in their own contexts.

The duct leakage test(s)

Whelp, I hate to break it to you but there are actually two different duct leakage tests: the “total” duct leakage and the leakage to outside tests.

The total duct leakage test is often used to meet the IECC threshold. A higher-than allowed test result equals a failure, meaning the system must be tightened before occupancy (in an ideal world). An equal-to or less-than result means the dwelling unit can be occupied.

This test uses a duct blower (typically called a “duct blaster™”) to estimate how much air escapes the duct system at a specified test pressure. This matters because you aren’t paying just for how much air you cool or heat your house with – you’re also paying for all the air that doesn’t get delivered to your rooms, but is still run through the system. That means your delivered cost (i.e. how much you pay for energy to get a cooler house in the summer and a warmer house in the winter) may actually be higher if your system is really leaky.

The second test, the leakage to outside, pairs a blower door set at a specific test pressure with a duct blower creating a neutral pressure at the termination of the duct system. The leaks measured with this test are all the leaks leaving the thermal envelope completely – not being reintroduced into the house.

Of the two, technically the leakage to outside is a more valuable test (in the author’s humble opinion) – since it’s actually measuring the conditioned air you pay for but don’t get to use…but it doesn’t matter because the energy code references total leakage.

This is actually where you start to see a divergence from energy code and energy ratings. Energy code compliance does not require a leakage to outside test – whereas an energy rating does require a leakage to outside test (barring the dwelling unit meeting one of the exemption paths in a given standard).

Why should I get an energy rating?

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, an energy rating means your house typically undergoes a higher-than-code inspection process. That includes additional tests (like the leakage to outside test), as well as the inspectors receiving quality oversight from an organization such as Building Science Institute.

Most builders have found that receiving an energy rating reduces callbacks, as the inspectors find issues before a home is complete. The real trick, of course, is getting those issues fixed by the relevant trade contractor…and frankly, having an inspection company willing to call out these issues.

What’s an “ENERGY STAR”?

Or, why you should participate in the program…

The ENERGY STAR New Homes and Apartments Program is divided between the Single-Family New Construction (SFNC) and the Multifamily New Construction (MFNC) programs. This program has a stringent certification process, but the benefits? Oh boy, are there benefits…

What does the program require?

Three parties in the construction process must receive partnership status: Verification companies (also known as Rating companies), builders, and HVAC contractors (a caveat will arrive shortly).

Verification companies must have employees trained in the program requirements and pass the ENERGY STAR Exam prior to completing a partnership agreement. This partnership agreement ties the company to one of the ENERGY STAR Home Certification Organizations (HCOs), like Building Science Institute. It also means the companies receive additional oversight from their specified HCO on projects that are going through the certification process.

The builders should attend a builder training seminar prior to signing a partnership agreement. Their agreement indicates that they will meet the Partnership Agreement Terms and Commitment. An example of this: a single-family builder must have at least one home certified as ENERGY STAR in the previous 12 months to maintain the partnership status.

The HVAC Contractor will also need to sign a partnership agreement – but like the verification companies, the HVAC contractor will receive oversight from an “HQUITO”. Examples of this include ACCA and Advanced Energy. If your HVAC contractor is NOT listed on either of those companies’s website, they are NOT an ENERGY STAR HVAC contractor.

The caveat I mentioned? Well, some of the HVAC commissioning activities can be completed by the verification company, if they have been certified for the ANSI 310 HVAC grading standard.

What’s this about checklists?

Probably the thing many folks think about are the checklists. In addition to the National Program Requirements, different parties (typically the verification company, HVAC designer, and HVAC contractor) are mandated to complete checklists based on the home as it is built.

There are some high risks to playing in the ENERGY STAR Program, and this is where the rubber meets the road. You see – if an inspector goes out to a project and sees one thing that does not comply with the program requirements and isn’t fixed…

It can’t be certified under the ENERGY STAR Program.

That is why it is so important to make sure everyone understands exactly what is expected of them prior to the project getting started. Some examples I’ve seen over the years of where a home fails to meet ENERGY STAR certification:

  1. The HVAC contractor they used for the design and commissioning of the system wasn’t an ENERGY STAR Partner with quality oversight from ACCA or Advanced Energy.
  2. The Verification Company that did their inspections wasn’t an ENERGY STAR Partner and didn’t have staff certified to inspect ENERGY STAR Homes.
  3. The framing contractor refused to use “less wood” in the practice of “when in doubt, build it stout” – failing to meet the agreed upon advanced framing standard.
  4. The builder started the partnership agreement…but didn’t finish it before the project was started.
  5. The insulator claimed the 4″ of spray foam installed at the roof deck was equivalent to R-50 blown-in insulation, and when it was properly modeled, failed to meet the ENERGY STAR Index threshold.

If you can’t tell – there are a lot of moving parts to the ENERGY STAR certification. “One wrong move”, so to speak, and it’s all going down the wrong path.

The Good News

I know you might be saying something like, “That sounds like a lot of work,” or, “I’m scared.” Trust me, I’ve been in the same place.

The good news? There are some incredible benefits from undergoing such a stringent process.

First – there are multiple incentives from utility providers up to the federal level for achieving ENERGY STAR. The well-liked 45L Tax Credit, starting in 2023, will be tied to ENERGY STAR certification. Utility providers typically offer additional rebates, per dwelling unit, on top of other rebates.

Second – some jurisdictions, like Texas, allow ENERGY STAR certified homes to automatically meet the state energy code. They recognize that the ENERGY STAR Program offers such a high-level of quality, any home certified as ENERGY STAR is automatically recognized as “code compliant”.

Third – most importantly: the homeowner benefits. I don’t know about you, but in my mind, the person living in the house at the end of the build cycle should be considered. They get a house that is more comfortable. They get a house that saves them money, on average, compared to a standard code home. They get a house that will see fewer building failures because it has been designed, tested, and built to be more efficient and comfortable.

Frankly – as my grandpa used to tell my dad: “Son, build a house that you’d be proud for your mom to live in.”

If you can’t say that about the end result…maybe you should find another industry to work in.

The Three Distinctions

Which is not quite the same as the story of the three little piggies…

If you remember, up at the very top I mentioned there were three distinctions between Energy Ratings and the ENERGY STAR certification: Purpose, Scope, and Recognition.

Purpose

An energy rating may be used to show compliance with energy code. It is also sometimes used to generate an Energy Rating Index (ERI), which many sales people use as an energy efficiency metric.

An ENERGY STAR certification indicates the design, construction, and performance meet a stringent process that produces a better performing and more comfortable home for the end user.

Scope

An energy rating requires inspectors to test and inspect the minimum rated features of a dwelling unit. That said, homes can meet different exemptions (for instance, a house with a conditioned attic can skip the leakage to outside test should it meet certain prerequisites) where minimum rated features would necessarily be reviewed.

An ENERGY STAR certification requires additional features, beyond the minimum rated features, to be reviewed. This includes the HVAC design, the HVAC commissioning, water management guidelines, and more. That means not only are the minimum rated features being inspected – so are many aspects beyond the initial scope of the energy rating.

Recognition

Near the beginning, I mentioned Energy Ratings are oftentimes called HERS™ Ratings, after a proprietary system. While that proprietary system has been around for nearly three decades, it pales in comparison to the brand recognition of ENERGY STAR.

A market study found that 80+% of the survey respondents recognized ENERGY STAR…while only 20% recognized “HERS™ Ratings”.

Think about it yourself – the last time you went to Lowe’s or Home Depot (virtually or in-person) to look at all the appliances? ENERGY STAR, ENERGY STAR, ENERGY STAR. You go to Best Buy and look at TVs? ENERGY STAR, ENERGY STAR, ENERGY STAR.

Everyone sees ENERGY STAR when they go to the store – and they know it means the product has been certified in a system to mean “better”.

On top of that, many other programs base their initial certification requirements on ENERGY STAR – Zero Energy Ready Home, for instance.

If you want a recognizable brand associated with your house, or to get your foot in the door for other programs, ENERGY STAR is the way to go.

Why wait – find a Verification Company that can help you today.

Frequently Asked Questions

And some definitions thrown in here as well…

What’s the difference between an “Energy Rating” and a “HERS™ Rating”?

Functionally, nothing. HERS™ Rating is a term typically referring to RESNET®’s proprietary system, but has become a generic reference like Sheetrock™ or Kleenex™.

What is an Energy Rating Index (ERI)?

The ERI is the output of a calculation based on normalized modified end-use loads. There are multiple variants, but most use the ANSI 301 calculation as the baseline. The 2015 IECC ERI is based on ANSI 301-2014. The 2018 IECC ERI is based on ANSI 301-2014 (second published edition). The 2021 IECC ERI is based on ANSI 301-2019. Each version of code makes modifications to the mechanical ventilation, which means each ERI will be different. The HERS™ Index, also based on ANSI 301, goes further, and has an entirely separate standard of modifications made to it by RESNET®. What this does is create an output typically lower than the “true” ANSI 301 calculated ERI, even though there are no significant differences in the model.

What is a “RESNET®”?

Most often autocorrected to “resent” after the feelings many of their members feel after having the rug pulled from under their feet (again, and again, and again…), Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET®) is a 501c3 membership organization that is also recognized by the EPA as an ENERGY STAR Home Certification Organization.

Wait, I thought RESNET® was the standards development organization for ANSI 301, too?

Yes – they have stated they update the HERS™ Index through their proprietary MINHERS Standards so “The HERS Index must remain nimble and responsive to change in the face of evolving competition…”

We can only speculate who they were referring to

Take the time to listen to this #edificecomplexpodcast episode, featuring our GM, Brett Dillon. You’ll hear it cover things from energy efficiency metrics, ASHRAE, and more.

Watch on YouTube or listen to it on your preferred podcast platform:

Complete this application to discover how we can help you build a better energy rating business!

The 4 Things You Need to Do

After several years of research on over 100,000 employees around the world, the researchers came to a startling conclusion.

One based on evidence, not instinct.

There are only 4 things that can reliably predict whether an employee is engaged at work.

Whether they are likely to stay or start looking for something else.

Just 4.

1. Use Your Strengths Every Day

Contrary to popular opinion, your strengths aren’t those those things you are really good at.

Your strengths are those tasks that you enjoy doing.

While you do them, you get into a state of flow and time seems to disappear.

After you’re done doing them, you can’t wait to do them again.

And you only need to do these tasks 20% of your daily time.

Naturally, if you’re rubbish at doing them…

No one will pay you for doing them.

So you have to get good, scrub!

The other 80% of your time is spent doing the work that must get done.

2. Know What’s Expected of You at Work

When you know what is expected of you, the contribution you are expected to make, you become engaged with your work.

You begin to work toward the goals you set to accomplish your mission.

It turns out that goals are best set by the people who have to do the work. Not by the people who manage them.

Or lead them.

Leaders cascade meaning down through the organization. What the intended outcome should be. What the purpose is.

Managers create the framework for action, following the leader’s intent.

This framework sets the expectations for your actions.

You set your own goals to make all that happen.

Their job is to supply you the resources you need to get the job done. And make sure you keep the reason for doing what you do in front of you. The company’s reason and…

Your reason.

A good manager will get those aligned.

3. Have Someone at Work Who Cares About You

You need someone at work who cares about you as a whole person.

You aren’t a cog in a machine.

You are a human becoming better.

You have a life, one that includes work, family, friends, recreation, health…

There’s more to you than just what you do for a life.

A good leader incorporates this into the strategy.

A good manager coaches this at least once a week.

A battle buddy supports you in the daily grind.

You’ve got this because they’ve got your 6.

4. You Are Unique

A good team isn’t made up of people who are all the same.

It’s made up of people who are unique.

Who bring their unique strengths and spikiness to the effort.

A good leader understands this.

A good manager helps shape the team, not by pruning out the things that make you unique.

By recruiting team members who bring their own unique spikes to the team to have all the capabilities demanded by the mission.

When you are recognized for becoming you, you become part of the tribe.

Everyone has a role to play.

Everyone contributes their unique capabilities to the cause.

That’s how high-performing teams are built.

That’s why talented people stay.

What Does This Have to Do With Quality Management?

Everything.

The purpose of quality management is to create quality improvements.

The purpose of quality improvements is to build a better business.

As quality professionals, BSI understands this.

Deeply.

Our expertise goes beyond the technical standards.

Beyond building science.

Beyond teaching and training people how to do the work.

Over the past couple of years, our clients have gained the benefit of our full expertise.

  • Like the 3 business models they can choose…
  • The 4 components of business discipline…
  • The huge problem with outcome-based goals and what to do instead…
  • How to craft your value propositions…
  • How to use a 2×2 grid to determine buyer involvement and how to capitalize on that…
  • The 3 goals of value communications and the 2 things you need to execute…
  • The 7 non-economic factors and 7 emotions that you can use to make more profit…
  • How to discover your purpose in life…and business…
  • How to become distinct in the marketplace and build better client relationships…
  • The 2 psychological levers to pull to overcome price sensitivity of clients…
  • When to strategically use “FREE”…
  • How to raise prices in an economic downturn AND keep clients…
  • How to determine when to quit doing something…
  • How to fire clients…
  • How to prepare for the death of a loved one…
  • How to develop a business continuity plan, with templates…
  • How to identify your market…
  • What to do instead of annual performance reviews…
  • And much, much more.

That’s what our clients experience.

And after working with us, they have better businesses.

That’s the BSI advantage.

And all you have to do to discover what we can do for your energy rating business is complete this application.

Our clients trust us to help them build better energy rating businesses.

Trust we’ve built together, brick by brick.

The bricks of experience and expertise.

We do what we must, even if it eventually costs a leg…flying across country to do field QA with a broken foot because that’s what the rules required at the time…

We’ve proven time and again we deliver.

That’s how we earn trust.

From training & certification to quality management, we help our clients build businesses that are more productive, profitable, and based on common sense.

And internationally-recognized standards…

And software that makes their work better and their lives easier.

They trust us…

And you can too.

Click here to discover how!

When we re-imagined the energy rating industry and built an innovative business model, we realized the concept of Providers needed to go away.

That delivery model has proven to create more problems than it solved…

Multiple software tools that deliver different answers…

Multiple training companies that deliver wildly different levels of competence…

Multiple “quality assurance” companies that deliver huge variations of “quality” to the industry, often within the same company…

You don’t have to look far to see that model isn’t just broken…

It’s shattered.

All of that has a direct impact on the credibility of the industry.

Your credibility.

And your credibility drives customer loyalty.

What if you used a proven, common-sense approach?

One that is based on international standards developed by quality professionals?

One that can free up to 60% of the time wasted on useless activities by your internal quality team?

Time they can invest in improving your business.

Improvements that matter.

That’s what our Quality Management System does.

Our Quality Management System is based on ISO 19011 and ISO 17020.

Those numbers might not mean anything to you, but if you take a look at how our system works

You’ll see the difference.

The difference between well-meaning amateurs and professionals.

Go ahead…

Fill out this form to discover how you can become a client of ours.

Does your energy rating company want higher productivity and profitability?

How much time is wasted on the job site or in the office writing reports?

How much time is wasted complying with “regulations” that don’t make sense?

Or trying to figure out which software tool is going to give the best answer for this home?

Or dealing with “Providers” who tell you conflicting information?

BSI re-imagined the energy rating industry.

One without RESNET’s® structure of software providers.

And rating providers.

An energy rating industry business model based on common sense and proven international standards.

I know how their system works.

I chaired the old Technical Committee and SDC 300, the technical committee responsible for the first 2 editions of 301 and the first edition of 380.

I served on their Board of Directors, even on their Executive Committee.

I served on their Standards Management Board.

Before any of that, I served on the Training & Education Committee.

I’ve been a working Rater, managed and owned energy rating businesses, and worked as a QAD and a Trainer, both internally and as a contractor.

The whole time, I kept asking, “How can we make this system better?”

I interviewed industry folks.

I looked at other industries.

I wrote papers on our ideas, published them and distributed them widely.

I argued for better governance.

I fought for common sense.

At the end of my last term as a Board member, I knew I had to stop. The organizational resistance inside was too high.

I didn’t run for re-election.

I tried to get out of the industry.

But I couldn’t abandon my friends and clients.

After 3 1/2 years, we decided to build the system that delivers common sense quality management.

It took us 8 months to get it recognized by the EPA as an ENERGY STAR Home Certification Organization.

Our system of Quality Management is designed to generate improvements to your energy rating business.

That is the purpose of Quality Management.

Our clients grant us the authority to do what we do through our contracts. Contracts that explicitly state what our obligations are, what their obligations are, and what our joint obligations are.

Our Quality Management System is based on ISO standards.

As members of the American Society for Quality, the ANSI partner for Quality standards, we are the professional Quality Management Organization.

Our policies guide our processes which are based on our procedures.

This nested system eliminates waste and conflicting requirements.

We use probability statistics to determine how many projects get reviewed. This allows your business to scale. The more you do, the lower your costs.

We help you build a better business.

One that is more productive, one with higher profitability.

One that brings clarity out of the confusion.

Clarity for builders through the use of a single calculation engine, EnergyPlus developed and maintained by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

That calculation engine faithfully implements the actual equations in Std 301.

The outputs meet the tighter acceptance criteria proposed by RESNET® for their software tools. Criteria they haven’t been able to implement yet…

A calculation engine that gets updated twice a year.

No more random updates that cause swings in the Index.

No more trying to explain to builders why.

No more trying to figure out which software tool to use on this house.

Our Quality Management System is designed to prevent people from making mistakes.

With advanced AI that performs over 300 data validation checks in real-time, and structured (and customizable) workflows, our system helps raters do a better job.

And do it faster.

Most of our clients experience up to 30 minutes saved because of this.

Our software lets them know if they’ve forgotten something.

It auto generates customizable reports for the builder and code officials.

It modifies the projected rating in real time based on field verifications.

No more wasted time shifting data from field inspections to rating.

No more opportunities for data to be “mishandled” accidentally.

These time savings alone are significant.

You may wonder, “But where does RESNET® fit in?”

In our system, they publish the ANSI standards for the energy rating industry. Standards that cover how the Energy Rating Index is calculated, and how certain tests are performed.

Outside of that, they don’t fit in our system.

They aren’t the regulatory body for the industry.

They appointed themselves to that role.

But that’s not how it works in the real world.

We don’t mind if you play in both systems.

It is our mission to help you build a better business.

Our one priority.

You are the hero in our world. Not us. We’re just here to help.

Click here to find out how you can improve your business.

Or you can fill out this form to get more information.

For the first time in almost 30 years, you have a choice.

What if your energy rating organization had flexibility to respond to changing conditions in the market?

BSI re-imagined the energy rating industry and built an innovative business model.

One that provides you the structure you need to act with insight.

One that provides you the freedom to innovate.

One that provides your internal quality team the tools they need to focus on improving your business.

You know enforcing more rules won’t stop rule breakers.

It will stop innovation and creativity.

It creates a climate of fear.

First, drive out all fear.

W. Edwards Deming

You need flexibility to adapt to changing markets, and structure to reinforce and improve processes.

That’s why we designed our business model to focus on the one thing Quality Management was created for:

Quality improvements to the process.

Improvements that help you build a better business.

A business that delivers quality to your life.

Click here for more information.

Our energy rater clients get the help they need to build better businesses. 

BSI re-imagined the energy rating industry and built a new model.

One without Providers.

We provide consistent training for your new hires for free.

To find out how we can help you, fill out this form.

Our hybrid approach is proven to work.

When you need to know if someone can do the job, you put them up against the job the’ve been trained to do and see what happens.

That’s why field training and mentoring is critical.

Not computer games.

Unless the job is playing computer games…

In which case, you shouldn’t be here.

We know lifelong learners outperform their peers in the quality of work they do. It turns out, what they learn isn’t nearly as important as the fact they learn.

We celebrate that.

You can get your CEUs from us for free…

Or from someone else.

We just want to know you invest in yourself with the time and effort to learn something.

We know you need to attract and keep the best talent you can afford to hire.

We make it easier for you to do that.

And less expensive.

And all you have to do is fill out this form to discover how we can help you build a better business.

After all, we are the professional Quality Management Organization for the energy rating industry!

Fill out this form to discover how the professional Quality Management Organization for the energy rating industry can help you!

We re-imagined the energy rating industry and built an innovative business model.

We eliminated the concept of “Providers” because that business model structure creates inconsistency.

Our Quality Management System reduces the requirements on your internal team of quality professionals, if you have them. If you don’t, we’ll provide those services directly to you. No more middle-men…

We use probability statistics and advanced AI so you can scale your business cost-effectively. The only sustainable source of profit is to lower your costs.

Our Quality Management System is based on international standards proven to work around the world since 1998. Although we use the latest versions…after all, who wants to be stuck in the past?

We know you need to attract and keep talent. That’s why our system delivers free training and competency-based certification to our clients. If you aren’t part of our tribe, you’ll have to pay for it…

Our Quality Management System saves up to 60% of the time spent on quality management activities. That’s because, weirdly enough, professionals know you don’t treat everyone the same.

Our Quality Management System allows you to focus where you need to. In fact, we’ll help you identify those areas (as well as those areas where you are awesome!

Our priority is to help you build a better energy rating business.

A business that gives you a quality life.

Fill out this form to find out how we can help you!

The Building Science Institute, Ltd. Co., the professional Quality Management Organization for the energy rating industry.