Energy Auditing

What is a Certified Energy Auditor?

An energy auditor is a specialized consultant who helps improve the energy efficiency of both residential and commercial buildings. As part of the 'green' energy business sector, a career as an energy auditor presents ample opportunities for advancement over the coming decades. Energy auditors provide clients with actionable, real-world advice that can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars annually. Energy auditors are essentially building inspectors who provide consultations on energy efficiency.

A large number of energy industry analysts anticipate that the alternative energy sector will continue to expand at a much faster pace than expected.

What does an Energy Auditor do?

Using energy costs money can contribute to pollution. Energy auditors and weatherization workers help customers use less energy, lowering their bills and reducing their impact on the environment. Energy auditors often begin by inspecting homes or commercial buildings to measure heat, cooling, electrical, and gas usage. They use thermal infrared cameras to find energy leaks, and blower-door tests to measure how airtight a structure is.

The next step is often to meet with building managers or homeowners to determine how to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs. This requires extensive knowledge of efficient practices, and excellent communication skills. Weatherization technicians improve the efficiency of heating and cooling system ductwork. They repair windows and insulate attics, basements, walls, and other areas. They also prepare bids and contracts for weatherization work. Physical fitness is important for these careers, since energy auditors and weatherization technicians spend much of the day on their feet. They may find themselves anywhere from rooftops to tight crawl spaces when looking for the weaknesses in a building's insulation.

Positions are typically available in utility companies, or construction and engineering firms. Many experienced energy auditors choose self-employment to work on their own schedule.

Some states require energy auditors to become certified; many auditors learn through up to three years of on-the-job training. Most weatherization technicians need a high school diploma or equivalent.

Why are Energy Auditors serviced important?

Energy consumers as a whole are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious, which has created a comfortable niche market in which energy auditors can earn a living. A bigger driving factor in the business of energy auditing is the rising cost of residential electricity. Similar to the price of gas, the price of electricity has been on an upward trajectory for the past few decades.

The heating and cooling system of a structure degrades over time if not properly maintained. Additionally, factors unrelated to the integrity of a heating and cooling system can cause buildings to become less energy efficient. In order to find the source of energy deficiency, an auditor will conduct various hands-on tests.

Conducting a blower-door test is one of the most common ways to find an air leak. This test uses a specialized blower fan to alter the air pressure inside an enclosed structure. All exterior openings to a building are completely closed except for the opening where the blower fan operates. The blower fan essentially creates a vacuum within the structure, causing exterior air to seep back into the structure. Energy auditors then inspect the structure in search of any air leaks.

A more technical test involves using a thermal infrared camera to analyze the amount of heat a building accumulates. Thermal infrared devices allow minor differences in ambient heat to appear via a camera monitor as shades of bright and dark colors. Typically, red and yellow colors signify a higher temperature than darker shades. By using a thermal monitoring device, energy auditors can determine which areas of a structure demand attention.

Some of the common duties of an Energy Auditor include:

  • Perform pre-work repair inspections conditions and note the areas and services that will be provided by contractors to building owners.
  • Perform post-work repair inspections ensuring repairs of contractors were completed according to code and regulations.
  • Make recommendations to building owners which will improve their energy efficiency

Building Analysts, Energy Auditors and Quality Control Inspectors HVAC employees may also be required to perform regular maintenance of heating and air conditioning systems. This encompasses cleaning ducts, checking fluid levels, and installing new filters.

Potential Hazards of the Industry

Energy Auditors including Building Analysts and Quality Control Inspectors are subject to a number of potentially hazardous conditions. Auditors engage combustion using equipment and must be aware of how they work and what emissions may be present along with how best to quickly and safely secure the units. Auditors will be required to use ladders to access internal building spaces.

Other dangers include working with the harmful chemicals existing within heating and cooling units. Energy Auditors must make sure to wear the proper protective clothing, and properly dispose of used chemical agents. They need to be knowledgeable about the environmental regulations controlling how such fluids are to be used.

There are some more serious risks for Energy Auditors that could be potentially fatal. They can be exposed to Carbon Monoxide which can be poisonous.

Daily Tasks for a Certified Energy Auditor (Building Analyst, Quality Control Inspector)

  • Perform tests such as blower-door tests to locate air leaks.
  • Identify any health or safety issues related to planned weatherization projects.
  • Prepare job specification sheets for home energy improvements, such as attic insulation, window retrofits, or heating system upgrades.
  • Compare existing energy consumption levels to normative data.
  • Prepare audit reports containing energy analysis results or recommendations for energy cost savings.
  • Educate customers on energy efficiency or answer questions on topics such as the costs of running household appliances or the selection of energy-efficient appliances.
  • Identify opportunities to improve the operation, maintenance, or energy efficiency of building or process systems.
  • Quantify energy consumption to establish baselines for energy use or need.
  • Oversee installation of equipment such as water heater wraps, pipe insulation, weatherstripping, door sweeps, or low-flow showerheads to improve energy efficiency.
  • Determine patterns of building use to show annual or monthly needs for heating, cooling, lighting, or other energy needs.
  • Inspect newly installed energy-efficient equipment to ensure that it was installed properly and is performing according to specifications.

Are Energy Auditors employed full time or part time?

Many Energy Auditors work full-time. Work in this field also requires extensive traveling time as auditors are required to move from one job site to another.

Job Outlook for Building Analyst

The need for HVAC technicians will continue to rise steadily as the need to reduce society’s carbon footprint becomes increasingly paramount. The Occupational Outlook Handbook: US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have a lot of information on the future other than it is expected to increase. Energy Auditors : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov).

The job growth in this field is attributed to the expected increase in building construction coupled with the fact that climate control systems are becoming more common. Also, since systems have to be replaced after about a decade, many buildings will become due for replacement units in the next few years. Due to these reasons, the job growth for this occupation is higher than average. For more information on BLS green jobs initiatives, please see www.bls.gov/green.

What training will you receive?

Our forty-four week program in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC/R) prepares students for immediate employability in today's workforce. The HVAC/R industry is expected to continue to outpace the industry average for needed technicians.

The courses that comprise our HVAC course are:

  • OSHA 10-Industry and Safety
  • Energy Auditor Tool Use and Application
  • Building Analyst
  • Energy Auditor
  • Quality Control Inspector

Successful completion of these courses will earn the student a Certificate of Completion from the program and make them eligible to test for their Building Analyst, Energy Auditor and Quality Control Inspector certifications.

Classes start January 2022

Books are included in class cost

Continuous Training for HVAC Techs and Electricians Southfield MI | HVAC U, LLC
Knowledge is power... especially when it's shared.
(248) 450-3105
18311 W 10 Mile Rd. Ste 103
Southfield, MI 48075
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