As more homeowners want efficient homes with a lower environmental impact, the call for “green inspections” is expected to rise. More homeowners want to know about details such as the home’s energy score, plus its energy efficiency and water efficiency rating. This information, says Carol Dikelsky for ASHI Reporter, helps prospective buyers and existing homeowners make better decisions.
Inspectors and Green Inspections are a Great Fit
Green Builder® Coalition director, Mike Collignon, tells Dikelsky that “going green” can suit many home inspectors especially well. “With a vast background knowledge about homes and their systems, inspectors are well-suited to seek the type of training and certifications that would allow them to offer ancillary services . . .” including energy and water efficiency ratings, plus others.
Buyers trust inspectors, he explains. Because inspectors already provide them with important information about the house and any potential defects, it’s natural for buyers to also rely on inspectors for accurate information about energy ratings.
Collignon further explained that home inspectors have a few traits that make them “well-equipped” for the opportunity. Many specialize in examining systems and reporting on the condition, they’re objective experts, they’re accustomed to continuing education, clients generally hold home inspectors in high regard and green inspections offer new avenues for the much-desired business growth.
Understanding HES and HERS
Inspectors who want to offer green inspections can provide customers with a Home Energy Score or HES report. Developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, this report contains information about the home and recommendations for how to make it more energy efficient. Qualifications include working with a HES partner such as ASHI, holding a credential such as a home inspection certification, and passing a free test that’s given online.
Homeowners and buyers might be interested in this report. For homeowners, it can show where improvements can be made and it can also help reduce utility costs. For buyers, it lets them know whether the house they’re buying is energy efficient or not. The DOE and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’a FHA department are even working together to make buying energy efficient homes more accessible.
Another option is becoming a Home Energy Rating System or HERS rater. This rating is tied to some state and local energy efficient programs and energy codes. The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) creates the standards and organizes the online national exam.
The so-called green movement isn’t really an outlier anymore. More and more, eco-friendly materials and practices are becoming the way that things are done, especially with regard to the energy efficiency of homes. As a certified home inspector, you’re uniquely positioned to add the valuable skill set of green inspections to your arsenal. And as a result, you could grow your business in ways that you might not have expected before.
ICA School helps prepare home inspectors for the challenges and rigors that the industry brings. And with your certification, you could advance into a broader career that not only reports for clients the condition of a home and any defects, but also reveals its level of energy efficiency. That’s a well-rounded service. If you haven’t already, enroll now and start working toward your new career at your own pace.