Energy Auditing

Blower Door, Thermographics…

Among the variety of efficiency tests, a handful provide a relatively easy and inexpensive way of ensuring the quality of your energy envelope.

Blower Door, Duct Blaster, Gas Sniffer, Combustion Analyzer and Infrared Thermography are excellent test in and out choices.  This information can be analyzed simply or entered into various software programs like EnergyPro for in-depth analysis.


All The Testing & Certi?cation You Need….And None That You Don’t

Disclaimer: The Ideas presented here are for a noble experiment: Delivering Excellent Home Performance Projects using only our own properties, purchased right and renovated with the concepts developed on this site and implemented purely in the American Free Enterprise System. They may not be appropriate for “Home Performance Contracting” as normally practiced.

Contractor,  Rater or Energy-Wise Investor?  The “Rules” and Best Practices for these disciplines are different. An assumption that is true in one discipline can be false or irrelevant in another area. Most of the assumptions that you’ve heard are designed for contractors and their symbiotic cousins, the raters, contracting with homeowners in incentive driven programs (and they are mostly true in that context).

The Differences

  1. Testing
  2. Certi?cation
  3. Third Party Inspection
  4. Computer Modeling
  5. Energy Guarantees
  6. Marketing and Sales Expense
  7. Buyers Knowledge
  8. Buyers Expectations

These are common in Home Performance Contracting but not in Energy-Wise Renovation of Investor Owned Foreclosures. 

Quick Review Of G.E.E. Principles

  1. Work only on our own properties
  2. Select an area and stay in it
  3. Sell to ?rst time home buyers
  4. Complete 3 package system: Energy, WOW! & Done
  5. Sub-Contract Everything
  6. Systemize Everything
  7. Negotiate Hard @purchase
  8. Control the Comps, see#2
  9. In?uence the appraisal, see #2
  10. Demand Wholesale Pricing
  11. In & Out Quickly
  12. Do everything short of  Renewables, almost everytime.

13. $100K spread 20-20-20-20-20

Testing. The value of Testing is either:

  1. If you dont know what to do —
  2. Test, then convince the customer that you know what to do
  3.  The Program requires testing. This is appropriate on complicated  & one of a kind houses. We work in very simple houses that are  all the same & do “everything”  & have  no customers to convince.  So we perform tests essential to good Home Performance (blower door, duct blast, CO) but none to help make the sale or ?t into a incentive program.

Other Factors On When To Test:

1.  Everything that would be tested for air tightness usually goes away in the dumpster.  (HVAC, Ducts, Registers, Doors, Weatherstrip, Windows, etc)  This renders a  complete Test In useless.  Instead speci?c testing is done with the speci?c work.

2.  Looking at previous bills for modeling  purposes is impractical in foreclosed homes because they have been empty for 6 to 18 months or saving more and the previous owner is not available.

Certification is valuable in the Contracting Business. It gives you something to sell. Something to differentiate you from the competition.  Of course it costs money. Time, training, equipment, etc. You hope that it generates more additional than it costs. The First Time Home Buyer

A. Doesn’t care very much about Energy or Green
B. We double their knowledge on Efficiency and Green in the Sales Process

InsThird Party Inspection is valuable when there is a universe of “bad actors” who would do bad work and need policing. This is even more essential with sophisticated buyers shopping for contracting services. We do good work, police ourselves, do our own essential testing and skip the cost of preparation in Third Party programs. This savings is part of the reason that we can squeeze all of the value into our projects to make them compelling offers that sell quickly without aid or cost of “Programs”

Computer Modeling: is good in one of a kind, custom construction where I might not know what to do. It also helps convince a customer that they are dealing with the right contractor. Homebuyers are not that interested. I have not been asked once about Certification. My buyers are happy to hear about all the energy saving items, but it’s me telling them more things than they were expecting.

Energy Guarantees:  Because of Base Load and Lifestyle issues that we dont control, these can turn a happy customer into an unhappy customer. We choose to stay away.  Instead we offer to pay 1/2 of the Utility Bills for 2 years. This is enough to leave all the competition behind and there is nothing to argue about. They turn in the bills. I write a check. It’s a good way to stay involved with my customer. And collect referrals etc.

Marketing and Sales:  When Contracting with Homeowners a huge amount of effort goes into marketing and sales. I was reminded of this at a recent Home Show. Entry Fees, Set-up,Staffing,giveaways, literature, and sore feet. It adds up.  As an Energy Wise Investor, I skip all of that. This is just more savings that we can pass on in making the compelling package for the buyer. We do a little marketing for buyers, This brochure is superior to the typical realtor one page brochure and helps us control our comps and appraisals.


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