Consumer Reports warns homeowners of fly-by-night home energy auditors

Malta, NY, September 19, 2013 - Consumer Reports magazine has released a report concluding that consumers must look out for fly-by-night, "blow and go" home energy auditors that charge big fees and disappear. The article also recommends that homeowners choose a contractor certified by the Building Performance Institute. 

Click here to read the full article.

BPI-certified professionals have passed rigorous written and field exams that verify their knowledge and skills in building science. They are trained to approach the whole house as a system, much like a car mechanic analyzes the interacting components of a car. Home performance assessments go beyond an energy audit to discover how different components of the home are working together to deliver comfort, energy efficiency and indoor air quality. Based on the assessment report, contractors develop a prioritized scope of work to improve the building envelope, heating, A/C, insulation, mechanical ventilation, or other systems of the home. Tackling these problems one by one can cost a lot of money and time without ever achieving the goal of a comfortable, healthy, and energy-efficient home.

 

Nancy and Monte Mallin of Kensington, Maryland wanted to be more comfortable and balance out the wide temperature differences across the rooms of their colonial home. They had heard about Pepco's Home Performance with Energy Star Program, which offers homeowners rebates for choosing a "whole house" approach to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. To ensure quality work, Pepco requires participating contractors' technicians to be BPI certified.

 

"Avalon Energy came and did the [energy] audit. They were wonderful, I learned a lot," said Nancy Mallin. "I found out what I considered my main problem wasn't really a problem at all, and other things surprised me - like a huge chunk of insulation missing above my son's room that I didn't know about."

 

"The contractor we worked with was great. He was easy to talk to, laid out our options, stuck to the price he quoted and got the job done on time. Then we got the rebate from Pepco, which was nice. I would definitely do this again," said Mallin.

 

Chris Forbes of Minetto, New York was faced with a drainage issue that caused a buildup of mold in his basement, and aside from its potential danger, the smell was more than he could bear. He enlisted BPI Accredited Contractor ZeroDraft in Syracuse, New York to seal the basement, after which Forbes immediately noticed an improvement. "It was amazing, the smell was virtually gone," said Forbes.

 

After the basement issue was solved, ZeroDraft did an energy audit and found air leaks in the building envelope. Forbes immediately enlisted the crew to replace a number of windows and doors, and air seal the rest of the structure. "We had the upgrades done while it was still hot out, and afterwards, I didn't even need to turn the AC on," said Forbes. "We noticed a huge difference in comfort; I can't wait to see how much of a difference this will make in the winter."

 

"We chose ZeroDraft because they had a great reputation and their pricing was competitive, and we were very pleased with their professionalism," said Forbes.

 

"They made everything very easy to understand, and were excellent throughout the entire process."

 

About the Building Performance Institute
BPI is the nation's premier building performance credentialing, quality assurance and standards setting organization. BPI develops technical standards using an open, transparent, consensus-based process built on sound building science. BPI is approved by the American National Standards Institute, Inc. (ANSI) as an accredited developer of American National Standards and as a certifying body for personnel credentials.

BPI offers the following:  

  • National standards to ensure top quality, consistent protocols are being followed throughout the home performance and weatherization workforce
  • Certification of individuals in building analyst, heating, AC/heat pump, shell/envelope and multi-family designations
  • Accreditation of contracting companies committed to delivering quality home performance improvements
  • Quality assurance to verify conformance with BPI sta ndards and provide feedback for continuing improvement
  • Partnership with testing organizations that deliver BPI services in their market 

For more information on BPI, visit www.bpi.org.

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