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As IR Prices Come Down Energy Audits See Uptick


hausdok
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2008925114853_BCamSD.jpgFuel costs more these days; consequently, more and more consumers are looking for ways to save on fuel costs. That's why energy auditors are seeing an uptick in business. The new cheaper infrared cameras that are priced around $3000 are making it easier for home inspectors to add energy audits as an additional revenue stream.

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Geez Scott,

Must we always go there? Energy audits are going to be part of this new "green" thing and another way that home inspectors can make some additional revenue.

I don't know anything about the training over there; if it's sh*t, then the folks getting trained will do sh*t work and eventually find themselves weeded out of the market, if it's good training, they'll obviously have a leg up over the guy who goes out and blows a wad to get trained on energy audits. His training is all put together by unpaid volunteers, no? Well, every one of the associations has the ability to emulate that for their own members using their own volunteers. If they're not doing that, shame on them.

It seems to me that, instead of constantly carping about what he's doling out over there on the soap opera, if the associations really want to counteract what he's doing over there they need to get off their duffs and start emulating what he does - only do it better and for less; otherwise, stop complaining.

Or, I suppose folks can continue to stand around telling themselves that they are superior and that the soap opera doesn't matter while continuing to watch their memberships dwindle.

If you want to compete in a free market economy you have to actually compete - carping isn't competing. Why is it that folks just don't seem to get that?

This is one of the reasons why I'm no longer a member of any association. I really got tired of the constant irrelevant drama.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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That's why energy auditors are seeing an uptick in business.

I recently dove into this doing my own research with the question: "Can a decent HI give a client a rough estimate of potential savings without doing a full bore blower door test etc.?"

My conclusion, mind you I have never performed any energy audit work, is that you could.

So, what is a client really going to get from paying for a full comprehensive energy audit that an HI couldn't ball park for them?

Also, I figured you could build your own blower door or duct blaster for about $500 for small residences.

Chris, Oregon

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Also, I figured you could build your own blower door or duct blaster for about $500 for small residences.

Chris, Oregon

But what will that get you without the software? (serious question)

On a related note, is anyone familiar with BPI, Building Performance Institute? Seems like a lot of hoops to jump through, and crazy expensive.

Tom

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But what will that get you without the software? (serious question)

Software?

You'll need a Dwyer 2000 60pa magnehelic differential pressure gauge (Under $100), a Testo 405 air stick (Under $180) and a big fan(?) on a variac ($100).

You can download the Minneapolis blower door & duct baster manuals for information also read what Dwyer has on making air velocity measurements.

You don't have to depressurize to 50 pa. You can take measurements at say 10 pa, 20 pa, 30 pa and extrapolate up to 50 pa; there's a formula.

You can do the whole house, rooms, ducts, whatever.

Sure it's not as nifty as the real thing, but it's enough to get educated and use in a pinch.

Chris, Oregon

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Interesting and cool. I continue to be amazed at the folks that complicate this stuff. They're only houses. Most folks aren't going to go for all the recommended improvements anyway. They stick in new heating equipment, blow in some attic insulation, and that's usually it.

I've never actually had anyone go for all new windows or major insulation retrofitting as part of a cost savings measure. It's always been part of a cost blowing measure, as in, rich people renovating properties, and they don't need to save the money anyway. It's only the affluent that can afford something like a blower door test and energy audit.

What's a "real" blower cost, retail?

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I subscribe to Gary Orloves newsletter and this month he had a link to a youtube video of a blower door/infrared energy audit; there's actually a bunch of them on youtube.

There were some other articles that I clicked on and they were talking about doing these blower door/infrared energy audits for $100.

$100? What? The cheapest I can imagine doing one around here would be for at least $200 for it to mean anything.

Chris, Oregon

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Hi Chris,

I agree. I guess it's a local cost of living issue but maybe the folks charging these fees just don't have any idea what they need to be charging to make a profit and are winging it. I won't even get in my truck to do a 1-item inspection within a mile from home for less than $150 anymore - it just isn't worth it.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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It seems to me that an energy audit and a home inspection are pretty similar animals with respect to the investment in equipment and training, marketing, travel costs, time spent on site, and the fact that both clients are expecting a report afterwards. Why then wouldn't you price them similarly? What is the value of your service if it has a commodity price? Eggs, milk and toilet paper are commodities, a professional service is not and should never be.

Tom

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I was conducting a home inspection several weeks ago and these 2 guys showed up in an unmarked truck wearing unmarked tee shirts and carrying a clipboard. Turns out they were there to conduct an energy audit.

Mid 70's 1700sf concrete block ranch with new single hung thermals and a new 13 SEER heat pump.

They walked around, took some measurements, wrote down the size of the heat pump, and peeked in the attic. They had no equipment other than the clipboard. As I was exiting the attic the one guy asked if I had gone through the entire attic and how did it look. I told him it looked like most attics of this age and construction look. He commented on my ladder (they didn't have one) and went in another room.

End result was to install new gas filled, low E windows, blow in some insulation to increase from R-13 to R-38, and replace the heat pump with a higher SEER unit and replace all the ductwork. Of course they would be including a quote for them to make all these improvements.

I could have put on a better show just with my thermal camera.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

I have just started doing home energy audits with Energy Star I charge $250.00 to $500.00. I am in the home at least 4 hours and do a follow up test after work has been done. IR camera is recommended $3,000.00 to $12,000.00. Blower Door kit, gas and Co analyser, software, and other things about $4,300.00. BPI training and certification is $1,200.00 last I looked, and a week out of town for classes. The test/certification is harder than I though it would be. That comes to over $10,000.00 no mater how you cut it.

I don’t think you can do an energy audit with a large fan a smoke stick and stand behind it, although I may have thought that at first too. I give the client a est. on heating and cooling energy savings over a year, if they do the recommended work. We also give help with energy tax credit and rebates.

A lot of new tax credit coming up in 2009 from Feds. https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c= ... credits#s2

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Quite a few of the builders around here are getting on the green wagon seeking the tax credits.

I recently started taking a class (16 weeks on Tuesday nights) thru the University on energy essentials. Hey, it was FREE (grant funded) Education never hurts. Only bad thing is they've got some of that funky stuff called "algebra" in the course. I HATE ALGEBRA!!

Some of the local utility cooperatives have a bunch of guys in the class. The electric cooperative does it free for their members.

Some builders are also there along with renovators. They are hunting the tax credits and want to learn how to get them.

A little bit more involved than I thought it would be. I guess you "could" do it on the cheap. Heck, I know several home inspectors doing it on the cheap. Why should energy audits be any different? Kind of a "get what you pay for" scenario.

-

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I have just started doing home energy audits.

IR camera is recommended $3,000.00 to $12,000.00.

Blower Door kit, gas and CO analyser, software, and other things about $4,300.00

BPI. Training and certification is $1,200.00 last I looked, and a week out of town for classes/certification.

That comes to over $10,000.00 no mater how you cut it.

A lot of new tax credit coming up for home owner in 2009 from Feds. https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c= ... credits#s2

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  • 2 months later...
Originally posted by J Howland

I have just started doing home energy audits.

IR camera is recommended $3,000.00 to $12,000.00.

Blower Door kit, gas and CO analyser, software, and other things about $4,300.00

BPI. Training and certification is $1,200.00 last I looked, and a week out of town for classes/certification.

That comes to over $10,000.00 no mater how you cut it.

A lot of new tax credit coming up for home owner in 2009 from Feds. https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c= ... credits#s2

WHERE DO YOU GET CERTIFICATION TO DO ENERGY AUDITS?

WHERE DO YOU GET CERTIFICATION TO DO ENERGY AUDITS??

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