Advanced Energy is one of just two organizations nationwide that can credential heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors to perform installations in the ENERGY STAR® Certified New Homes program. With HVAC systems being so important for a home’s comfort and energy efficiency, ENERGY STAR knows the need for high quality installations. Therefore, HVAC contractors planning to work in the program must first be credentialed. Advanced Energy’s credentialing program, started in 2012, offers an affordable and supportive way to obtain these credentials. Currently, there are more than 200 active members in the program.
Contractors must complete a few steps to become credentialed. They first need to provide a copy of their State Mechanical License, a certificate of insurance showing liability, and a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certification card. The cost for initial certification is $900, and yearly renewals cost $600 (both credentials and membership in Advanced Energy’s program are good for one year).
Once contractors provide the relevant documents and pay the fee, they receive an email sending them to a training portal developed by Advanced Energy. The portal contains four modules that guide contractors through the ENERGY STAR requirements. If completed in one sitting, the entire process would typically take a few hours. The modules provide contractors with the information they need to succeed on the job and also how and where to find that information in the future. Each module is followed by an exam. Contractors must score 100 percent on every exam to proceed (though the exams can be retaken as many times as needed).
Following the modules, contractors receive an email with a letter of acceptance, a certificate of completion, ENERGY STAR Certified Homes national program requirements, copies of the most recent ENERGY STAR HVAC commissioning checklist and design report, and Advanced Energy’s technical pocket guide. The pocket guide contains all of the ENERGY STAR requirements along with associated photos and formulas. It is small enough that contractors can take it with them as they perform their work. Contractors also receive hard copies of the certificate and pocket guide in the mail. Contractors that become credentialed are added to the program’s website as a way to show their achievement, and this member directory is a great way for builders to locate contractors in their area that are ENERGY STAR-certified.
The actual credentialing process, though, is only part of Advanced Energy’s program. Program members also have the option to submit detailed job reviews for quality assurance oversight (which is a requirement for ENERGY STAR). They also receive technical assistance from Advanced Energy’s HVAC technician, Chris Reynolds, access to other trainings and resources, and the program’s quarterly newsletter with helpful articles containing information you should know.
Advanced Energy has more than 30 years of experience in the building science, energy efficiency and HVAC industries and has worked with the ENERGY STAR homes program since its inception in 1995. Along the way, Advanced Energy has received numerous awards, including ENERGY STAR for Homes Leadership in Housing, ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year and ENERGY STAR for Homes Outstanding Achievement. Additionally, Advanced Energy contributes to national requirements and creates industry-leading guidebooks, training workshops and other resources that support the success of HVAC contractors and others in the program.
Steps to Becoming ENERGY STAR Credentialed
- Visit http://www.advancedenergy.org/portal/hvac/enrollment.php
- Click “Become a Member”
- Fill out registration page
- Upload valid copy of State Mechanical License, Certificate of Insurance and EPA Certification card
- Pay $900 for first year of membership (and $600 for renewal, as long as it has not lapsed)
- Proceed through modules (will receive via email)
- Complete exam after each module and pass with a score of 100 percent
- You can take each exam as many times as needed
- Receive email with welcome letter, certificate, national program requirements, commissioning checklist, design report and technical pocket guide
- Receive hard copy of certificate and pocket guide in the mail
More and more building projects are looking for contractors with ENERGY STAR credentials – even if the buildings themselves are not being certified through ENERGY STAR. If you are hoping to be credentialed, let us know or visit our website to learn how we can assist you!