Home Energy Raters provide energy-efficiency strategies and tests for existing and new residential and commercial construction. Home Energy Raters play an integral part in the ENERGY STAR process. Raters offer two major types of services:
1) Assistance in reviewing current construction practices and recommending improvements that will result in ENERGY STAR compliance; and
2) Conducting Home Energy Rating System (HERS) ratings.
To ensure that a home meets ENERGY STAR requirements, a builder may submit the plans to a rater for a plan review. Raters input information from the plans into computer simulation programs that estimate the annual household energy use. The software generates a HERS score and HERS Index score that compares the consumption of the home to be built against a reference home based on the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The rater can then recommend construction practices and equipment to reach the ENERGY STAR level.
During construction the rater is responsible for completing the Thermal Enclosure System Checklist and the HVAC Quality Installation Rater System Checklist. Additionally, they will collect the Water Management Checklist and the HVAC Quality Installation Contractor checklist. Each of these checklists helps improve the quality of the construction of the home. To learn more about the checklists, please visit the ENERGY STAR technical resources page.
Once the home is built, the rater performs a final inspection. This usually includes a blower door test (to test the leakiness of the house) and a duct blaster test (to test the leakiness of the ducts). The rater generates another HERS score that compares the final home as it was built to the IECC-based reference home.
You can search the New Homes Partner Locator for ENERGY STAR raters by state.