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.