I am interested in becoming an energy auditor. What kind of training/education does this require? Do I need a license?
There is no “license” required to practice an energy audit, though there are professional certifications, training and education that you can pursue to become an energy auditor.
Generally, energy auditing is not a standardized profession, meaning that the type of education, training, or certification you need will depend on your employer. Many programs, such as Home Performance with ENERGY STAR and LEED for Homes, require an energy audit by a certified professional.
I would recommend energy auditor training and/or certification, because this should demonstrate your knowledge and practice of energy audits to most employers. Both the Building Performance Institute (BPI) and Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) provide professional certifications for energy auditors. While neither require training for certification, it can help candidates to pass the required exams and field tests.
RESNET HERS Rater
The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) offers the Home Energy Rater (HERS) certification.
A HERS Rater is certified to perform a home energy audit, perform an energy analysis using an energy efficiency software program (and give the home a HERS rating), and identify energy efficiency improvements needed for the home to meet ENERGY STAR guidelines.
To become a HERS Rater, you must pass an
online core competency tests with a score of 80 or higher, perform three probationary ratings, and contract with a RESNET accredited rating provider.
While training is not neccessary to become a HERS Rater, it is highly recommended. There are number of RESNET training providers listed here that will help you to prepare for the test and probationary ratings.
BPI Energy Auditor
The Building Performance Institute (BPI) offers the Building Analyst certification. along with a variety of other specialized certifications, such as heating, air conditioning and heat pump, building envelope, etc.
A Building Analyst is certified to perform a comprehensive, whole-home energy assessment and to provide recommendations for energy efficiency improvements.
To become a Building Analyst, you must complete both a 100-question online exam and a field exam with an overall score of 70% or higher. (If you are already a HERS Rater, you only need to take a 50-question online exam and a field exam.) The Combustion Appliance Zone (CAZ) and Carbon Monoxide sections of the field exams must be passed with am 85% or higher.
It is important to note that there are no eligibility requirements to become a Certified BPI Building Analyst.
While training is not mandatory, it can be shown to improve test scores. You can use the BPI Locator on their website to find an independent training organization.