Where is the money in energy auditing / home rating?

I'm a real estate broker that became certified as BPI building analyst to provide energy audits for my clients when buying a home.  Since then I have expanded into providing home ratings for my sellers that have taken the time and investment to improve the energy efficiency of their home and it has rewarded my real estate business ten fold. I'm thinking about taking it a step further and become a HERS rater but want to see if there is additional income possibilities if I move forward with that step.

I'm curious though for those of you that are energy auditors and home raters, where is there a viable business model for energy audits?  Is it pursuing home performance work with air sealing, HVAC, insulation or are there individuals/companies out there that perform energy audits and home ratings for architects, builders, contractors, etc and make a nice income strictly on the rating side of the business?

Thanks in advance.


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I make a living with a stand alone audit/rating business. The three areas of focus include Code compliance for jurisdictions in my area, Green certifications for multi-family housing projects and low income tax credit work for the state of Kansas/Missouri. Homeowner work is basically non-existent. As more jurisdictions adopt the energy codes business increases. Get certified (RESNET-Energy Star- NGBS) Talk to code officials, join the local HBA and establish credibility with those groups. Work to get the Energy Code adopted in your area.

Hay Bruce -  I feed off some of your leads.  I make a living doing HVAC/ building science/ CO / IAQ   -  I am looking for true friendlys to increase my business.  80-95% of realtor/loan closer will  kill energy codes.

@Eric, please elaborate re: "80-90% of realtor/loan closer will kill energy codes"

Most realtor/loan closer look at just there close rate and not best for bill payer.  Monday I was working with Jullia who has been looking at houses for 3 mo.   She found a "good value" older home that was flashed - just painted  and cleaned but the base things like attic sealing and Energy Star with Home energy over haul was by passed and I tried to put in loan with HUD so can wrap energy saving equipment, adding R to attic, sealing whole house and crawl space.   On web sight says will add 6-8% to loan, realtor/loan closer will "not look into this"  "just slows down"  "not way its done".   This has happen lots before to me so I just use other ways like pace or 3 rd party.    I try to set the loan up to match energy saving.   I just get burned out 

Ok, now I understand. I think that happens pretty much everywhere. But forgoing energy retrofits at resale doesn't affect code compliance. And in cases where the energy code would apply (i.e., a major renovation or addition), the realtors/closers can't override what the code requires. 

I live in a smaller town and the saving grace is that the community is very energy efficiency/conservation minded. I currently only do audits but am looking to self perform for air sealing and insulation as I come from a WAP (Weatherization Assistance Program) background. Bottom line is that you have to diversify your offerings to your area and community in order to stay busy for your main source of income. Audits alone could also be a good side gig for somebody if that's all they're looking for.


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