I help homeowners and light commercial building owners determine the savings on investment associated with building energy efficiently. This is accomplished through inspection, testing and computer modeling of your building. I perform this service for both existing buildings and new construction, along with finding financial incentives to help offset the cost of making energy efficient upgrades. In addition to helping my clients save energy and money, I help them make informed decisions concerning how energy efficient changes affect the health, safety, comfort and durability of their building.

Blower Door Test

  • We are PTCS certified to conduct air leakage testing for Washington State Energy Code requirement.
  • The Washington State Energy Code requires air leakage testing for new residential construction and for some remodeling jobs.
  • The test uses a fan to depressurize your house by blowing air out of the building (called a blower door test).
  • The amount of air that goes out of the building is equal to the amount of air that is pulled back into the building. The incoming air is referred to as infiltration. It comes into the building through unsealed penetrations in the shell of the building (walls, floors, ceilings).
  • Before air infiltration testing was adopted into our state’s energy code, it was estimated by the U.S. Department of Energy that approximately 30% of a building’s heating and cooling energy usage was due to air infiltration.
  • If your house is too tight and does not allow enough fresh air to enter, this can cause health problems.
  • There is a ventilation health safety standard called ASHRAE 62.
  • When I conduct a Blower Door test, I also determine what the ASHRAE safety standard is for your specific house. If the blower door test results show that your building is below the ASHRAE safety standard, then I will advise a strategy for restoring proper ventilation.

Washington State Energy Code (WSEC)

Pathways to Compliance
There are three separate pathways for complying with the Washington State Energy Code:

  • Prescriptive
  • UA Alternative
  • Performance Alternative

The most commonly used one is the prescriptive path. It is essentially a checklist of energy requirements that are necessary for compliance. However, some home owners and builders would like to incorporate design elements into their houses that do not comply with the prescriptive checklist. This can be accomplished by using either the UA alternative or performance alternative paths.

With the UA alternative path, you can trade off design elements of the house’s shell in order to comply with code (walls, floors & ceilings).

With the performance path you can trade off design elements of the house’s shell along with mechanical components. One application where the performance path has been helpful for homeowners is when they are getting ready to sell their house and want to have a higher assessed value recorded at the county. They do this by converting their garage or other non-conditioned space into conditioned space.

Builder Incentives

  • There are many financial incentives for homeowners and builders to build energy efficiently.
  • One of them is BPA’s builder incentive program called Better Built Northwest.
  • Participating utilities typically pay builders from $1,200.00 to $2,000.00 per qualifying house.
  • Qualification is based upon building a house that uses less energy than the Washington State Energy Code standard.
  • As a RESNET Rater I am certified to determine if your house qualifies for this incentive.
  • There are inexpensive design changes that builders can make that will enable them to earn this incentive.

Energy Efficient Mortgages

Energy efficient mortgages provide borrowers with tangible benefits such as:

  • Increasing their purchasing power through cost savings
  • Increasing market value of their home
  • Helping to make energy efficient upgrades more affordable

There are federal and state sponsored energy efficient mortgages:

  • The Washington State Housing and Financial Commission (WSHFC) has a program that enables qualified homeowners to get a .25% reduction in their mortgage interest rate.
  • Federally there are energy mortgages that are sponsored by: FHA, VA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

As a HERS Rater I am certified to qualify your home for these programs.

  • There are inexpensive design changes that builders can make that will enable them to earn this incentive.