How to Choose the Right Company for your Energy Audit
So you’ve taken the first step and decided to get an energy audit. It could be for many reasons, but the most important thing is that you’ve decided to follow through and get it done. Now that you’ve taken that step, you’re looking at numerous companies, everyone coming at you using a unique angle or marketing ploy. How do you choose the right one?
There’re a few crucial things to look for when considering a company to do your energy audit, and it’s important to look past the flashiness of advertising and get a personal feel for the company. While many companies are jumping on the current trend using fancy buzzwords and confusing phrasing, once you know what to look for it’s quite simple to find a company that will meet your energy auditing needs. They will not only properly diagnose your home, but they will have the know-how to advise you on how to fix your home to run at the peak of efficiency and make every ounce of electricity work its best.
How do you choose?
The first thing to look for is experience, both in the field and beyond it. With the current trend in energy auditing flaring up and with regulations concerning energy audits looming in the future, many companies are popping up to capitalize on the opportunity, either by expansion into the field or starting a company just to be a part of this field. While the certification process requires a certain amount of experience and training in related fields, it’s important to look past the minimal requirements and into the background and experience of the company and the advisors. Finding a company with experience in contracting and in home inspection before offering energy audits is a smart move. It will ensure the business you work with has a thorough understanding of homes and their requirements. This extra knowledge and deep grounding in the industry will ensure they can correctly advise you and deliver a solid plan on how to implement their suggestions, and offer advice on possible fixes or even renovations. Experience in home inspection and general contracting offers an upper hand in knowing how to perform an exhaustive audit competently, and how to correct their findings while staying up to date with code.
Certifications, Standards, Regulations – Oh My!
The other thing to look for is when and how the company got their certification to do energy audits, and how long they’ve been working in the field overall. With many different standards, code, and regulations coming and going over the last decade, it’s important to look to companies on the forefront of this wave, riding it with the knowledge of upcoming standards, current regulations, and the ability to make them work for you. The current certification standard covers the basics, but a company that has a history in this field has experience beyond current teachings, and can offer insight and advice well above and beyond auditors just entering the field with only basic knowledge. Just like above, it comes down to experience. A company that’s kept up with the field will be able to provide customer service above and beyond those of auditors only trained in current standards. While it may seem like common sense, it’s important not to fall for flashy ads and sharp writing.
What You Need to Ask
Many companies just entering the fray will try to inflate their image and give the perception of experience and knowledge. Some simple questions for the business, plus a review of how the business interacts with you is a good way to squash a lot the glitz around which some companies try to surround themselves. Ask how long the company has been performing energy audits, or ask how long their technicians have been licensed in the field; there is no such thing as a wrong question when you’re looking for someone to perform work, or provide you advice, on your home.
All in all, it may sound like common sense but so often consumers get swept away by the words and ignore the facts – make sure you do your research and find an experienced, qualified, company for your energy audit. You won’t be sorry.
Do you have experience with getting work done before doing enough research about your provider? We’d love to hear – comment below with your horror story!