Not Everyone Needs to be an Energy Auditor

Posted by Macie Melendez on May 15, 2013
Not Everyone Needs to be an Energy Auditor
BPI's Building Science Principles Reference Guide should be studied thoroughly before taking the certificate exam.

“All of the building science in the world means nothing if it never makes it to the building,” said John Costello, lead field instructor at Everblue Training Institute during a webinar earlier this week. The webinar, titled “Not Everyone Needs to be an Energy Auditor: Exploring BPI’s Building Science Principles Certificate of Knowledge,” explained to participants what the new certificate’s purpose is and why the industry needs it.

The answers to those questions? The Building Science Principles (BSP) Certificate is a knowledge-based certificate that informs people how their homes work and how the homes they go into work. The home performance industry needs it because “all of the building science in the world means nothing if it never makes it to the building.”

But that’s not the only reason that BPI created this certificate. “There was a lot of demand from contractors for their office staff and new people in the trade,” said Tiger Adolf, director of program design and market development for BPI. Since its launch in January of this year, manufacturers, home inspectors, appraisers, and realtors are among the groups of people that have shown interest. And why not? Shouldn’t everyone that touches this industry have a basic, foundational knowledge of the building science behind what they do?

Just like the traditional educational path we all took in elementary, middle, and high school, we were required to obtain foundational knowledge in all subject areas then given the choice to branch out from there. Once we had our basics down, we could then choose to obtain more in-depth knowledge in the subject of expertise we were most interested in. It’s a tried-and-true method of learning that undoubtedly makes sense in the world of home performance.

A supporter of the certificate, Chris Mari, office manager of Healthy Home Energy & Consulting, Inc., had his team participate in after-work study sessions that eventually led in the crew taking the certification test. (The test is 100 multiple-choice questions and can be taken online or at a BPI test center.) As a small organization with a staff of less than 10 people, all members of the Healthy Home Energy & Consulting group have their hands in a lot of aspects of the company, which does energy audits and retrofit work. Mari wanted his team to take the certification test primarily because, as he put it, “If you don’t understand the concepts, none of the details are going to make sense to you either.”

All in all, he’s had positive feedback from staff and clients. “The certificate taught employees about building science and how it played a role in all of their jobs,” he said. It’s also helped them communicate more effectively with customers and each other.

As we all know, communication is key in all relationships—and there’s no better way to foster communication than if we can all speak the same language.

Guess that means I better get to studying.


You can learn more about BPI’s Building Science Principles Certificate at

Listen to a recording of the webinar here.

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