The Building Performance Institute offers two programs, and it can be confusing to know which to pursue. Let’s talk about BPI Certification and the BPI Accreditation program.
There are a number of BPI Certifications that an individual can earn. The basic and most popular certification is called BPI Building Analyst. Typically, a BPI Building Analyst is also called an Energy Auditor. The next most popular BPI certification is the BPI Envelope/Shell Professional. After BPI Building Analyst and BPI Envelope, the other credentials BPI credentials are called Heat Pump, Heating, Air Condition, Multifamily, and Manufactured Housing. All of the advanced specialties are growing rapidly. However, many of the advanced specialties required in-depth trade knowledge to pass the exams. For example, the BPI Multifamily specialty requires in-depth knowledge of boiler systems.
On to the BPI Accreditation program…a BPI Accredited contractor is typically called a “Home Performance Contractor” (sometimes you’ll see “with ENERGY STAR” following the title). The point of accreditation is to label those contractors who have both the training and have incorporated quality control systems in place to truly look at the home as a system. A home performance contractor will come to a home not as a single trade (ie, an HVAC tech whose sole aim is to sell you a new HVAC unit) but rather from a holistic approach that includes insulation, air sealing, appliance efficiency, duct testing, and more. Once the work is selected, a BPI Accredited contractor will ensure that quality repairs or energy retrofits are made to the home.
So, if you are an individual looking to become an Energy Auditor, you will want to gain multiple certifications to expand your knowledge and to be able to market your services.
Jan. 2020 Update – if you’re looking for more information about the BPI Accreditation program, it seems that initiative has been rebranded and redesigned to become the BPI GoldStar Contractor program.