HERS Rater FAQ

Frequently Asked RESNET Questions

Browse the brief sections below to find the answers to your questions. 

Questions About the RESNET Program

Questions About the RESNET Exam Process

Questions About Quality Assurance

Questions About RESNET Continuing Education


Questions About the RESNET Program

Q: How can I become a HERS Rater?

A: To become a HERS Rater, you must pass the national, online RESNET HERS Rater exam, perform two field inspections in the presence of a RESNET certified rater trainer, and complete three probationary ratings under the supervision of a Quality Assurance Designee (QAD) with a RESNET accredited rating provider.

Everblue is an accredited rater trainer for RESNET and provides the training that rater candidates need to prepare for the HERS Exam. Through Everblue's RESNET training, students will have an opportunity to sit for the RESNET Exam and also acquire the two field inspections necessary to become a certified HERS Rater.

Everblue is also an approved rating provider, or Quality Assurance Provider. When you join our quality assurance program, you enlist the guidance and support of experienced quality assurance designees to help you succeed in this industry. We'll help you acquire the three probationary ratings needed to complete your HERS Certification. We'll also provide ongoing quality assurance of the home ratings you complete going forward.

Q: What is a home energy rating?

A: The home energy rating is a standard measurement of the home's energy efficiency similar in concept to gas mileage ratings for cars. An energy rating allows a home buyer to easily compare the energy costs for the homes being considered.

Q: What is involved in a home energy rating?

A: Home energy ratings involve an on-site inspection by a residential energy efficiency professional - a home energy rater (aka HERS Rater). Home energy raters are trained by Everblue and certified by RESNET.

The home energy rater inspects the home and measures its energy characteristics, such as insulation levels, window efficiency, wall-to-window ratios, heating and cooling system efficiency, and the solar orientation of the home. Performance testing, such as a blower door test measuring door and duct leakage may be used.

All of the data is input into an energy model that provides the home with a rating, or score, which quantifies the efficiency of the home with a single and easy to understand number. The home receives a point score between 1 and 100, depending on its relative efficiency. The rating also provides an estimate of annual utility costs. A homeowner who wants to upgrade their home’s efficiency can then use the model to predict the savings from different energy saving improvements.

Q: Can I trust the results of a home energy rating?

A: Home energy ratings must meet the stringent standards developed by RESNET. Raters must abide by a code of ethics, rating standards of practice, and most disclose all financial interests to the client. The mortgage industry recognizes the rating to qualify for an energy efficient mortgage.

Q: What can I do with an energy rating?

A: The energy rating provides the following benefits:

  • When buying a home a rating allows you to compare homes according to their energy efficiency.
  • A rating allows you to know the energy performance of your home and identifies cost effective improvements that you can make to increase your comfort and home's performance.
  • A rating is required to qualify the home for an energy efficient mortgage.
  • A rating is required for a home to be labeled as ENERGY STAR.

Q: What are the costs associated with RESNET HERS Certification?

A: The cost to become a HERS Rater varies depending on what you want to achieve. If you are looking to start your own energy auditing business, the upfront costs will inevitably be a bit more than if you were working for an established energy auditing company. With the former, you would pay $2395 for the training and certification process and then separate fees for insurance and equipment. You will also pay $50 per home energy rating to your Quality Assurance Provider. If you work for an established company, you can use the insurance and equipment of your employer, thereby saving money on those expenses.

Q: What are the new combustion safety requirements?

A: In January 2014, RESNET launched a new combustion safety standard. We have incorporated these concepts into our RESNET training course. What it entails is additional classroom and field training as well as two exams: a 25-question, multiple-choice exam and a simulation exam. Both exams are delivered over the Internet.

Q: Where can I get insurance to start my energy auditing business?

A: RESNET partnered with Lockton Affinity to develop the RESNET Insurance Program. This program is meant for home energy raters and home inspectors. It will provide you with everything you need to start your business.

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Questions About the RESNET Exam Process

Q: How is the RESNET HERS Rater Exam Structured?

The RESNET HERS Rater Test is an online, 50-question, true or false, multiple-choice exam covering building science concepts and rating procedures. Prospective raters have two hours to complete this open-book test and must answer 80% or more of the questions correctly in order to pass. Raters receive their results immediately after completing the test. Successful examinees will be listed in the directory of certified raters posted on RESNET's website.

The RESNET National Rater Test questions are divided into the key categories of building science and home energy ratings. Read more about the HERS Rater Exam

Q: What happens if I fail the RESNET exam?

If you have failed and want to re-take the RESNET exam, you must contact your local public library or college. You will ask them if they administer online testing and if they have third-party proctors available. If they do, make arrangements with the proctor for your testing session.

Contact Everblue, or another RESNET affiliate, and provide them with the name, email address, and phone number of your proctor. Everblue will be able to create the testing session in the RESNET testing portal. We will need to input the proctor’s contact information, as well as the venue location.

You will pay a $50 re-testing fee to RESNET. Once payment is made, you will receive an email with your login credentials. 

In accordance with RESNET’s terms and conditions, your proctor must read the Procedures for Rater Training Providers to Proctor the RESNET National Rater Test. 

Q: If I fail the RESNET Exam, can I sit through the class again?

A: Yes, you may retake the RESNET HERS Rater classroom training for free. However, you will be charged the price of the exam ($150).

Q: How will I complete the combustion safety simulation exam?

A: The simulation exam will be taken after your RESNET training has concluded. The simulation is formatted like a video game. You perform a virtual home energy audit through the video game simulation. We recommend for students to practice with the interface before taking their exam. You will take the exam in a proctored environment at a local library.

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Questions About Quality Assurance

Q: Is a Rating Provider the same thing as a Quality Assurance Provider?

A: Yes. RESNET used to use the term "Rating Provider" but now prefers "Quality Assurance Provider." In either case, this organization reviews the energy models of home energy rater candidates and certified Raters. This process allows for quality assurance and compliance of the RESNET standards.

Q: Do I need a Quality Assurance Provider?

A: Yes. In order to complete your RESNET HERS Certification, you will need to sign on with a Quality Assurance Provider. There are providers across the country - many of which specialize in their particular region. Everblue is a Quality Assurance Provider with nationwide reach. No matter where you live, we'll assist you with completing and maintaining your certification! Many students choose Everblue as their Quality Assurance Provider due to the one-stop-shop convenience - when you enroll in our training and certification package, you're all set up with no need to look anywhere else for anything else!

Q: Do all Quality Assurance Providers have a Quality Assurance Designee (QAD) on staff?

A: Yes. Quality Assurance Providers are required to have a QAD on staff to review home energy ratings. Everblue has several QADs, located across the country, to best service you.

Q: How will I get my probationary rating supervised by a QAD?

A: We have built this step into our RESNET Training and Certification package. Our regular RESNET training course goes from Monday to Friday. When you enroll in the full package, you add 1 day onto the schedule. You will complete your supervised on that Saturday in the presence of our QAD-certified instructor.

Q: What if I have a Quality Assurance Provider near me?

A: That's no problem. We understand if you know someone locally who works for a Quality Assurance Provider. This will not prevent you from taking an Everblue RESNET training course. In fact, instead of enrolling in our full training and certification package, you'll only need to sign up for the RESNET HERS Training course. When you are done with training, you can move forward with the Quality Assurance Provider of your choosing.

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Questions About RESNET Continuing Education

Q: How can I maintain my RESNET HERS Certification?

A: HERS Raters must acquire 18 hours of continuing education every three years to maintain their certification. There are two main ways to achieve this: attend RESNET's annual conference or complete ENERGY STAR Version 3 training and testing. With the former, you'll have to purchase a conference pass and attend industry-specific sessions that count for continuing education credit. The latter option is generally more popular because of its applicability to one's job as a HERS Rater.

All HERS Raters must take ENERGY STAR Version 3 training to inspect and/or certify a home working toward the ENERGY STAR designation. You can kill two birds with one stone - expand your career opportunities and fulfill your continuing education requirement. Not to mention, ENERGY STAR v3 is convenient and fairly inexpensive; the online webinar is only $399. If you enroll in the RESNET Training and Certification package, we'll throw in the ENERGY STAR v3 training for FREE! That way, you'll be covered on your continuing education for 6 years!

Q: What do I do if my RESNET Certification expires?

A: Unfortunately, if you do not meet the requirements to maintain your HERS Certification, you will have to start the process over from scratch. Don't let this happen! Sign up for ENERGY STAR v3 Training to keep your certification active.

Register Now for the RESNET Training & Certification Package

 

 

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