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What is EnergySmart?

What is EnergySmart?

To properly explain what EnergySmart is all about it is important to outline the need for it first. It is no secret that most residences built in America are not very energy efficient, especially the older ones.

EnergySmart-Home-Performance-Team

The vast majority of homes, apartments and other residential building types that were constructed prior to 1980 were not subject to energy codes. In fact, you could say that most residences built prior to 1990 are in the same boat since the first national energy code, the 1992 Model Energy Code or MEC, was not yet in effect.

Why does this matter? It is not unusual for a residence to have a useful life from 50 to 100 years or more, depending on construction type and maintenance. So, many homes and apartments built even 100+ years ago are still around & being occupied today.

HERS-Index-IECC-2006Unfortunately, many of these living units are in dire need of energy efficient upgrades and yet the ability to obtain an energy improvement loan or similar financing is hard to come by. There is a strong reason why private lenders are reluctant to offer loans on older existing homes/residences; the unreliable chaos that is the current norm for the residential energy improvement industry.

Basically, private sector lenders and investors who would normally be interested in offering improvement loans/mortgages to finance energy upgrades are very 'risk averse' and therefore are staying on the sidelines. This is unfortunate because there are literally trillions of dollars of 'pent-up' capital that could be made available for energy improvement projects. To get these private lenders and investors interested in releasing the funds needed for substantial energy upgrades there needs to be a system in place that helps mitigate the risk that these loans will be spent on non-performing energy improvement projects.

Enter the RESNET EnergySmart certification programs:

RESNET Qualified EnergySmart Contractor LogoThe Residential Services Network or RESNET has recognized the need for comprehensive certification programs for the various contractors and professionals involved in the residential construction industries, whether it be for new construction or existing building improvements/retrofits.

For new construction there is the RESNET EnergySmart Builder program wherein the builder certifies that all homes that he or she builds will have an Energy Index Score attached to it via a certified home energy (HERS) rating performed by a certified home energy rater. The trades people involved in new home construction can be certified as well under the following programs:

One of the fundamental items that contractors are taught during their certification process is the importance of the other trades involved in the process, whether it be new construction or a major energy efficient improvement project. For example, don't move attic insulation to the side when installing new wiring, plumbing, etc. without putting it back in place when finished.

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A RESNET EnergySmart Home Performance Team consists of a group of certified professionals working together, applying their specialties, in order to provide the homeowner with improvement solutions for reduced energy consumption, better comfort and healthier living. All members of the Team are trained, certified and bound by contract to provide the highest quality service and workmanship. All work is enveloped in Quality Assurance and Formal Complaint Resolution procedures for the greatest satisfaction of the homeowner.

EnergySmart is part of the Residential Energy Service's Network or RESNET's certification programs that provides assurance services for both the public and private sector. EnergySmart Institute works with Accurate Rater Network, a RESNET Accredited CEQ Provider

http://www.resnet.us/professional/programs/contractor_providers

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