New Training Tool Broadens Pool of Home Energy Score Assessors

Today, the DOE announced the release of the Home Energy Score Simulation Training, a new online simulation tool that provides free, targeted training and testing to individuals interested in providing the Home Energy Score – a standard energy efficiency assessment and score generated only by qualifying professionals. The Home Energy Score Simulation Training (the Sim), developed by Interplay Learning, lets candidates walk through different virtual homes (colonial, ranch, and townhome) with numerous combinations of energy-related characteristics (e.g., heating, cooling, hot water equipment; wall construction; insulation levels; footprints).

The Home Energy Score team will host a webinar on March 4th from 2-3pm ET for anyone interested in learning more about the Home Energy Score, the Sim, and new credential requirements. Register for the webinar now.

The Home Energy Score is particularly well suited for 3-D simulation training and testing given that the nature of the work is diagnostic and procedural, the content is cognitive, variability is prevalent, and live training or testing would be expensive and impractical. The Sim trains candidates on skills specifically required to score homes, lets them learn at their own pace, and allows them to encounter a wide range of situations that reflect the variability of conditions in our nation’s homes. Self-evaluation features in the Sim help candidates identify areas where they need to focus more attention. Once confident that they know how to collect required information accurately, candidates can proceed to the testing mode in the same 3-D simulation environment.

With this enhanced training and testing available, the program will now recognize a wide range of credentials, including those held by home inspectors, HVAC contractors, and other professionals in building-related fields. The table below lists the minimum credentials now accepted by DOE.

Organization Minimum Accepted Credential
American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) ASHI Inspector or Certified Inspector
Building Performance Institute (BPI) Building Science Principles Certificate of Knowledge
International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) Home Energy Inspector
National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Green Certified Professional, Certified Remodeler, or Master Certified Remodeler
North American Technician Excellence (NATE) Air Conditioning/Heat Pumps, Gas/Oil Heating, or Gas/Oil Hydronics
Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) HERS Rater

All candidates still must pass both a multiple choice and practical exam; however, the multiple choice test no longer includes building science questions and the practical exam is offered within the 3-D simulation environment. Findings from research, analysis, and pilot testing conducted with Assessor candidates across the nation support the new qualifications for Assessors.

Existing Assessors who have qualified within the last four months or have kept their status active by scoring houses within the last four months will not need to requalify. Those who have not stayed active will need to work through their Partner to take a brief online Assessor refresher course and test.

In terms of quality assurance, Home Energy Score Partners are still required to rescore five percent of homes scored by their Assessors. In addition, DOE will now require that a highly experienced professional (termed “mentor”) accompany new Assessors on their first walk through of a home being scored, with this visit credited to the five percent rescoring requirement.

Register for the March 4th webinar to learn more.

More details can be found at www.homeenergyscore.gov.

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