Inflation Reduction Act Produces Urgent Need for Certified Home Energy Raters, Energy Modelers, and Field Inspectors

Sharla RESNET 2019-2020 Awards Photo

Sharla RESNET 2019-2020 Awards



EnergySmart Institute Logo with Text

EnergySmart Institute Logo with Text

Certified Energy Professionals are now in high demand. Their services are needed to ensure the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act are realized.

The need is urgent for certified Home Energy Raters, Energy Modelers, and Rating Field Inspectors to test and verify every type of residence for programs such as ENERGY STAR to earn up to $5,000/unit.”
— Sharla Riead, Award Winning Instructor and Presenter
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, December 15, 2022 / -- President Biden has signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law. This act includes some excellent incentives for residential new construction that are guaranteed to save energy and prepare residences to become zero energy structures. Plus this act will provide many good paying career jobs, especially for certified home energy raters (HERS* Raters), energy modelers, and rating field inspectors.

The act extends and modifies the 45L tax credit providing more tax credit opportunities to more types of homes. This act provides the ability for builders and developers who have been building and selling energy efficient structures to claim credits for all their residential structures, single-family homes, multi-family homes, low and even high-rise apartments. It also incentivizes builders to ensure their structures are not only verified as energy efficient, but also set the groundwork for the building to handle solar panels in a move toward zero energy.

The tax credit provides up to $5,000 per unit. This can become a large sum of money in a high-rise apartment structure and is worth the investment even in a single-family house. To qualify for $2,500 per unit, the unit must be ENERGY STAR qualified. The ENERGY STAR brand has long been sought after to indicate high levels of energy efficiency in lights, appliances, computers, etc. but people may not realize that energy efficient homes and apartments can also be branded with the ENERGY STAR label. The tax credit rises to $5,000 per unit if the unit is also certified as a Zero Energy Ready Home. The Zero Energy Ready Home program ensures the project is oriented correctly for maximum solar gain, that the space for solar panels, batteries, and electrical panel integration is in place, that the roof is designed to handle the weight and wind-load of solar panels, and that the passageways needed to connect it all together are built into the structure.

These programs require verification and qualification, and the builder will need to contract with energy professionals to perform that work. There are certified individuals currently performing these verifications and they have been involved for decades. However, the improvements to the programs and the additional funding that is now available over the next ten years has led to an urgent need to staff up to provide these services. The EnergySmart Institute provides award-winning certification services for Home Energy Rating System HERS Raters, energy professionals who sign off on the verifications needed, HERS Modelers, who provide energy modeling services to ensure the structures will qualify at the planning stage, and Rating Field Inspectors (RFIs), who perform the field work needed to gather the actual data and test results once the structures are built.

There is over 8 billion dollars in rebates allocated to improving the energy efficiency of privately-owned residences and another billion to fund upgrades to affordable housing. It is difficult to project how many certified energy professionals will be needed to implement these programs but it is clear that there are not yet enough of these specialists available to meet this growing demand.

The certification time frame for one of these energy professional positions ranges from a few weeks for RFIs to up to a year for a HERS Rater. The time needed depends highly on the motivation of the individual to complete the training, testing, evaluation, and apprenticeship. An individual can also progress through these levels of certifications as a method to expand their knowledge and abilities.

Certified individuals can choose to work as an employee for a verification firm, or start their own business working as an individual or growing their own company. The work can be part or full-time. The types of verification services required cannot be outsourced to other countries as it requires on-site testing and inspections. This opportunity is excellent for students on up to seniors. Perhaps the new year is a time to consider a new career!

*HERS = Home Energy Rating System

Ken Riead
EnergySmart Institute
+1 816-224-5550
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Award Winning Video Entitled: Do You Need a HERS Rated Home?