California has two distinct types of Raters, and they are different from the nationally known RESNET HERS Rater.
- The first is a California Whole House Rater.
- The second is a Compliance Rater that conducts diagnostic testing per Title 24 Energy Code.
A California Whole House Rater that has gone through CalCERTS training can produce RESNET HERS scores only in CA.
A Compliance Rater that has also gone through ENERGY STAR training from any recognized ENERGY STAR training provider (which Everblue is) can conduct ENERGY STAR inspections in CA.
To that latter point: In the spring of 2022, RESNET announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved it as a Home Certification Organization (HCO) for the California ENERGY STAR Homes Program.
Home Certification Organizations (HCOs) are independent organizations recognized by EPA to implement an ENERGY STAR certification program based on ENERGY STAR Certified Homes or the Energy Rating Index (ERI) compliance path of the ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction program.
In partnership with CalCERTS, RESNET worked with the EPA to seek approval as an HCO for the California ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction Program.
Previously, RESNET was approved by EPA as an HCO for ENERGY STAR Homes in every state except California. This recent announcement standardizes the acceptance of RESNET in all states, leaving only this question for aspiring home performance contractors: now should you become a California HERS Rater or earn your BPI Certification?
Should You Become a HERS Rater or BPI Building Analyst?
There are two leading home energy auditing standards in the United States. One was developed by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), and the other was created by the Building Performance Institute (BPI).
In a nutshell, the RESNET HERS Rater designation focuses on new construction and rating the energy efficiency of a proposed home design according to the RESNET Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index. The BPI Building Analyst designation focuses on identifying problem areas in existing homes and providing recommendations to homeowners for retrofit upgrades. On the surface, this sounds like a clear difference, however, the gap between these two certification programs has lessened in the last 5 years – both demonstrate competency in offering home energy audit services, complete with combustion safety testing, blower door testing, duct blaster and air leakage testing, etc.
For a more detailed assessment, check out our previous post on the difference between BPI and RESNET.
If you live in California, and you’re simply looking to become a home energy auditor, you may be more interested in becoming a BPI Building Analyst. The BPI Certification program has far fewer hurdles to jump through than pursuing the RESNET HERS Rater designation. The RESNET Certification program requires ongoing completion of activities for the first year and beyond. The BPI Building Analyst Certification can be achieved much sooner and may be a good foot-in-the-door to adding home energy auditing services to your business.