U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Finding a Qualified Energy Auditor for Property-Assessed Clean Energy Financing

The commercial building energy audit market is fragmented, with no universally accepted standards for auditors. Therefore, a commercial property-assessed clean energy (PACE) program cannot point to a single accreditation that auditors be required to have.

In the absence of a single accreditation, PACE programs can best serve their participants by providing them with a list of recommended licenses/credentials to seek in a contractor’s team, and questions to ask about their experience and what they will deliver to the client.

Recommendations for finding a qualified commercial energy auditor include the following:

  • Look for staffing to include:
    • Individuals with a Professional Engineering License (P.E.)
    • Individuals who are a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) or a Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) from the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE)
    • A collection of individuals who, between them, have multidisciplinary competence (e.g., lighting, HVAC, refrigeration, appliances).
  • Ask about involvement in relevant professional organizations (e.g., the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), etc.) or with federal efficiency programs such as ENERGY STAR.
  • Ask for previous client references and follow up to confirm the quality of work and service
  • Ask for a sample audit report (redacted) and confirm it is thorough, professional, and clear
  • Be clear about what outcomes are expected, including:
    • Actionable recommendations
    • Transparent analysis
    • Credible energy and cost savings estimates
    • Reasonable cost estimates or vendor bids
    • Interactive effects of multiple measures
    • Measurements of existing systems
    • Utility incentive/rebate application assistance.