Jobs for Energy Auditors Gain Momentum Nationwide

It is anticipated that most, if not all, large U.S. cities will adopt programs to improve the energy efficiency of homes and commercial buildings.

January 06, 2010
January/February 2010
A version of this article appears in the January/February 2010 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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Austin, Texas, is one of the first cities in the country to require energy audits on buildings at their sale. The Austin City Council approved the Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD) ordinance to improve the energy efficiency of Austin homes and commercial buildings that receive electricity from Austin Energy. It is anticipated that most, if not all, large U.S. cities will adopt similar energy efficiency programs.
Duct Blaster ToolThe momentum for home energy audits— and the demand for auditors—is growing nationwide. Here is just a sampling of programs across the United States that will give home energy auditors a steady flow of work. Not listed here are the programs in the cities of Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, and Cleveland.

Montgomery County, Maryland: In 2007, The County Council for in Montgomery County introduced an act to require that a home energy audit be conducted as part of a home inspection completed in connection with the sale of a single-family residential building.

Albuquerque, New Mexico: In 2006, Executive Order 20 established green building standards for city projects, including requirements to meet or exceed LEED Silver ratings. In 2007, volumes 1 and 2 of the Albuquerque Energy Conservation Code were signed into legislation. This is the first comprehensive energy conservation code in the state of New Mexico; it reflects a concerted effort on the part of local government and the building and building-related industries to develop a code acceptable to all.

Alexandria, Virginia: As part of the 2008 Eco-City Charter, the first of its kind in the region, the city adopted a new and progressive green building policy for commercial and residential buildings. The charter outlines essential environmental sustainability principles and core values.

Babylon, Long Island, New York: In 2006, Mayor Steve Bellone founded the Babylon Project and the Long Island Green Homes Project, which together have completed 120 deep retrofits of existing homes, with another 96 audited in the queue. The pilot program of 275 homes will be completed by the end of the year. Next year, the project will be targeting 1,200 homes and aims to have them retrofitted by the end of 2010.

Miami, Florida: November 2009, Miami will launch a Home Energy Challenge/Reduce the Use program in partnership with the local nonprofit Dream-in-Green for 50 homes.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Released in April 2009, Greenworks Philadelphia is a comprehensive strategy to lower greenhouse gas emissions and improve the quality of life for all Philadelphians. It includes 169 separate initiatives, one of the most important of which is the ongoing effort to weatherize and install more-efficient heating systems in homes. It calls for the weatherization of 100,000 homes over the next seven years.

Pleasanton, California: In 2005 Pleasanton established a collaborative partnership with the local utility to provide energy efficiency audits and a retrofit program; rebates are provided to make this more cost-effective. The city has established a Green Building Ordinance, and is creating a special financing district that allows residents and business owners to finance energy efficiency upgrades, including solar, and have it added to their property taxes.

Cape Light of Barnstable, Massachusetts: Since 2009 this utility has offered a home energy audit for residential customers. This audit lists potential energy-saving home improvements and encourages customers to install these improvements with the help of generous program incentives. All audits come with a three-page report summarizing the findings, and a list of recommended mitigation measures.

New energy-efficient activities are emerging every day. The United States is already experiencing a surge in building performance improvement programs that will result in a smaller carbon footprint. One of the keys to almost every residential program is an energy audit that scientifically identifies every aspect of a building’s energy performance, and then makes recommendations to improve any identified shortcomings.

Patricia Leiser is CEO Executive Assistant, Administration, PR, and Sales & Marketing for
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