Good question. Since energy auditing is an emerging field, your phone book might not have pages and pages of experienced home energy auditors -- yet. But they are out there.
Helping people find energy auditors and home performance contractors is one reason we started Energysavvy.com. So, our first suggestion is to take a look at our directory of pre-screened energy auditors.
Once you contact an auditor, here are a couple of questions to consider asking him/her to help you decide who to hire. The scope of energy audits can vary greatly, and as in most fields, experience makes a difference.
- How long have you been doing home energy audits?
- Where did you get your training and experience?
- What certifications do you hold? For example, a certification from the Building Performance Institute reflects training in evaluating your house as a "system" and is a good certification to look for.
- What does the audit includes and not include? The difference between a very basic and advanced audit can be significant. If it does not include a blower door test, indoor air quality evaluation, duct testing and a combustion appliance safety test, consider looking elsewhere. A more advanced audit might include infrared imaging, entering actual data from your utility bills into software programs, assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of heating /cooling appliances and their distribution systems, etc. Expect to pay more and get more detailed information/recommendations from a more advanced audit.
- Ask for a sample report and look it over. Is it easily understandable? Is the information useful to you?
- Finally, ask for a couple of references and talk to one or two previous customers.
Remember, having an energy audit of your home can point you towards the most inexpensive AND effective efficiency and comfort improvements right from the get go, and a good audit will pay for itself in no time!