An emerging trend in human consumption and daily living has surpassed the preliminary 'going green' phase of organic foods and has reached into all aspects of our lives: more fuel-efficient cars, reducing consumptions and cleaner energy. In a new move to help improve, not only our lives, but our homes, mandatory energy audits have been passed into laws in many states throughout the nation. An energy audit is an inspection, survey and analysis of energy flows in a building or home with the objective of understanding the dynamics of the system. Typically, an energy audit is conducted to seek out opportunities to reduce the amount of energy needed to help the building or home operate efficiently without negatively jeopardizing the output of energy. For a home, this may include finding ways to maintaining or improving human comfort, health and safety. An energy audit also seeks to prioritize the energy usage according
Starting on June 1, 2009, Austin homeowners will be required to have an energy audit conducted and completed on their house before they sell it. This new code was added by the City of Austin, requiring that all residential properties within the Austin city limits that are 10 years or older, receive services from Austin Electric Utility and that are on the market for sale, are required to have an energy audit completed by a certified auditor prior to the property being sold.
The homeowner who is selling the house has the choice of selecting an auditor that is a disinterested third party who may not have financial incentive to over-report repairs, or a home energy contractor who will accurately apply the cost of the audit to the cost of the needed repairs.
There are exemptions for single-family homes, but they don't come without hoops. Owners of homes that have participated in the Austin Energy Home Performance with Energy Star® offering or an Austin Energy equivalent fewer than 10 years before the time of the sale and either performed at least three energy efficiency measures or received a rebate of $500 or more will get an exemption.
The City of Austin has finalized their list of equipment and tests that are required for the Energy Audit. Texas Green Energy Audit is offering Green Energy Audit Certification through the BPI program. The BPI program focuses on the house-as-a-system concept, including mechanical equipment and the building envelope. Students who successfully complete the course, the online final exam, and the field test know how to identify problems, their root causes, and the appropriate repair. The purpose of Texas Green Energy Audits is to provide the latest in green education, training, and testing to qualified individuals who want to obtain the Building Performance Institute (BPI) certification and become a Building Analyst Professional able to perform energy audits in Austin.