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Give a Hand to Audits

May/June 2008
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2008 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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May 01, 2008
Today, hand-held devices are smaller and easier to use and can be extended very easily with a wide variety of both software and hardware add-ons.
The capability now exists for auditors to inspect a home; enter data; determine (by running local calculations) what measures are needed to increase the energy efficiency of the home; create a printed paper invoice/order for the customer; and digitally capture the customer’s written signature of acceptance. An order for the materials can be placed into the back-end system and the date for doing the work determined with the customer—and this entire process can be completed in a single visit. But this is old news to some of you readers. I want to share with you some of the more advanced things that can be added to a personal digital assistant (PDA) to make your time in the field even more productive. However, let’s start by taking you through the minimum that you should demand when developing an audit application to run on hand-held devices. Utilities, contracting firms, energy auditors, and general home inspectors throughout the United States perform audits using hand-held devices (PDAs).  The technology of automating energy audits has grown a great deal since I first started to work with PDAs in 1997, and especially during the several years that I have ...

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