HERS Rater Market Development Project

NCBPA initiated a 12-month market development project in March of 2020 to support North Carolina’s HERS Rater market through advocacy, education and marketing, and workforce development.  The project is funded by a $25,000 grant from RESNET and up to $25,000 of match funding from NCBPA and its members.

Scroll down for more information on this project and check back every few weeks for updates.  Contact us if you’d like to get involved!

Current Status of the Project

The project scope and grant agreement were finalized in late April of 2020.  Much of the first phase of work to advocate for the expansion of the Duke Energy RNC Program has been underway for months and will continue until the program is officially expanded, likely in late 2020.  As of September 2020, NCBPA is working with HERS rating companies to obtain the new ICC HERS/IECC Compliance Specialist certification and begin working with Builders and Code Officials to improve collaboration with HERS Raters and RFIs in new home construction.  Contact us at Info@BuildingNC.org if you’d like more information on the project.

NEW: Visit our in-development webpage for Builders and Code Officials to learn more about working with HERS Raters and RFIs.

Current Project Documents:

Click on a link below for the most current resources:

  1. Project Plan as of September 1, 2020
  2. Information from RESNET about the ICC collaboration program
  3. IECC/HERS Compliance Specialist Designation Resources:
  4. New in-development webpage for helpful information for Builders and Code Officials
  5. RESNET: RFIs Now Eligible for IECC/HERS Compliance Specialist Designation
  6. Infographic from RESNET on the Energy Rating Index (ERI)

Project documents under development by RESNET, ICC and NCBPA:

  1. RESNET Education for HERS Raters and RFIs: Educates HERS Rating Companies on new opportunities to verify Section 405 of the IECC through HERS Raters and RFIs that have received the IECC/HERS Compliance Specialist Designation.
    • Podcasts
    • Webinars
    • Infographics
    • Direct emails to Rating Providers and active Raters
    • Videos
  2. RESNET Tools for HERS Rating Companies to Use with Code Departments and Code Officials: Resources provided by RESNET to HERS Rating Companies to educate Code Departments and Code Officials on the energy code compliance roles of HERS Raters and RFIs that have received the IECC/HERS Compliance Specialist Designation. 
    • RESNET “train-the-trainer” program (delivered by direct emails, webinars and conference session
    • Camera ready art work for pull up displays for code official meetings that the raters could then print
    • Infographics
    • Videos
    • Draft PowerPoint presentations for meetings with code officials
    • Camera-ready handouts
    • Scripts for meetings with Code Departments and Code Officials
  3. ICC Education of Code Departments:
    • Infographics
    • Camera-ready ads to appear on the ICC web site, publications and ICC chapter publications
    • Text and graphics for direct emails to building code departments
    • Videos
    • Coordinate ICC podcasts
    • Coordinate webinars for building departments
  4. ICC Education of Code Officials:
    • Infographics
    • Camera-ready ads to appear on the ICC web site, publications and ICC chapter publications
    • Text and graphics for direct emails to building code departments
    • Videos
    • Coordinate ICC podcasts
    • Coordinate webinars for building departments

Get Involved

Participate in Meetings, Education and Other Activities:

Review the project scope above and contact NCBPA’s Ryan Miller if you’d like to get involved in any of the activities planned for this project coming up soon or later in the year.

Help Fund the Project:

The project work is funded by a one-time $25,000 grant from RESNET and up to $25,000 of matching funds from NCBPA, its members and industry partners.  No time, resources or funding supported by RESNET’s financial contributions will be spent on lobbying activities through this Scope of Work. 

Current match funding has been provided by NCBPA members:

NAIMA

Southern Energy Management

DPIS

VandeMusser Design, PLLC

Building Efficiency Resources

Project Scope

To continue growing North Carolina’s HERS rating market, NCBPA will lead market efforts to:

Code and Utility Program Advocacy:

  • Advocate for and support the expansion of Duke Energy’s HERS-based Residential New Construction Program into its Carolinas territory.
  • Advocate for the adoption and usage of the newly available ICC IECC verification certificate and compliance report that would be produced by HERS Raters that have the ICC HERS/IECC Compliance Specialist certification.

Education and Marketing:

  • Educate builders on the availability of the HERS-based Duke Energy incentive program and strategies for cost effective code compliance using HERS Raters through the newly available North Carolina-specific energy code performance-based compliance pathways.
  • Educate North Carolina code officials on opportunities to work with HERS Raters using the new RESNET/ICC educational materials including the new uniform ICC IECC verification certificate and compliance report produced by RESNET accredited Rating Software Tools and provided by HERS Raters.

HERS Rater Workforce Development:

  • Develop and deliver new workforce recruitment, educational resources and training events that increase the number of HERS Raters that are certified by ICC to the newly available HERS/IECC Compliance Specialist certification in order to increase the verification of energy code compliance using the newly available North Carolina-specific energy code performance-based pathways. 

Excluded from Scope:

Advocating for changes to North Carolina’s state-specific energy code, including:

  • Mandating the ERI.
  • Changes to current backstops.
  • Changes that further distance the North Carolina-specific energy code requirements from the current and future IECC requirements.
  • Advocating for North Carolina’s highly customized state specific building and energy code to become more in-line with current and future versions of the ICC and IECC.

Project Goals:

Goals of this project include, but are not limited to:

  1. Approval of the expansion of Duke Energy’s Residential New Construction program to the Carolinas territory by the North Carolina Utilities Commission OR through an agreement that can be reached by Duke Energy and the natural gas utilities on their own.
  2. Onboard builders and HERS rating companies to participate in the new RNC program.
  3. Increase the annual volume of HERS ratings in North Carolina by up to 5,000.
  4. North Carolina to serve as a national pilot for the new ICC/HERS certification program that includes the certification of no less than one dozen HERS Raters.
  5. In partnership with RESNET and ICC, development of digital and print resources, strategies and templates that other states and regions can use to similarly advertise the availability of the new certification, train HERS Raters to obtain the certification and educate code officials on how and why to work with HERS Raters that earn the new certification.

Project Phases:

This project will take place in four phases:

  • Phase 1 (Mar – May 2020): Advocate for the expansion of the RNC program.
  • Phase 2 (Jun – Aug 2020): Support the implementation of the RNC program in the new territory and work with RESNET, ICC and key stakeholders on developing resources, trainings and advertising campaigns that support the new ICC/HERS certification program.
  • Phase 3 (Sep – Dec 2020): Continue support of the RNC program implementation and begin training HERS Raters and educating code officials on the new certification program.
  • Phase 4 (Jan – Mar 2021): Continue support of the RNC program implementation. Work with RESNET and ICC to finalize resources needed to support the certification. Upon completion, package these resources so that RESNET can make them available to other states and regions.

Background Information

NCBPA first proposed this project to RESNET staff in January of 2019 to establish support for efforts to grow North Carolina’s HERS Rater market that would result in new resources and best practices that may be used in other states and regions across the country.  The project was approved by RESNET’s Board of Directors in October of 2019 and the scope was submitted and amended in the months following.  The scope was finalized in early April of 2020.

About North Carolina’s HERS Rater Market

As a state, North Carolina ranks fourth in the country for the number of HERS ratings with 16,849 in 2019.  These homes averaged a HERS Score of 63.  One reason for the continued annual increase in the number of HERS Ratings in the state is the availability of Duke Energy’s Residential New Construction (RNC) program, which provides incentives for nearly half of the state’s annual HERS Ratings.  The program provides residential builders with up to $9,000 of HERS-based incentives in the utility’s Progress Energy territory, which includes metro markets in Wilmington, Raleigh, Asheville and parts of other metro and rural markets across the state. 

For several years now, Duke Energy and the HERS industry have sought to expand the program into Duke Energy’s second Carolinas territory, which includes Charlotte, NC, Greenville, SC and several other metro markets in North Carolina and South Carolina.  NCBPA estimates that expanding the program to the new territory would likely result in up to 5,000 new HERS Ratings annually in North Carolina alone.  Since 2018, NCBPA has led industry advocacy efforts with the North Carolina Utilities Commission to authorize the program’s expansion.

Led by NCBPA in 2017, the state’s HERS rating industry successfully advocated for the inclusion of the Energy Rating Index (ERI) as an optional energy code compliance pathway in North Carolina’s 2018 North Carolina Energy Conservation Code, which took effect on January 1, 2019.  This successful campaign was a planned first step to offer HERS Raters and code officials new ways to work together on energy code compliance activities.  Since this time, RESNET and the ICC have developed the ICC HERS/IECC Compliance Specialist certification, which offers HERS Raters a new opportunity to form strong partnerships with code officials in support of energy code compliance.