What is a RATER?
A NEHERS(New England Home Energy Rater System) Rater is an individual who has passed the training, exams, and field testing required by the NEHERS Alliance.
• All NEHERS Raters must adhere to the national HERS accreditation guidelines promulgated by RESNET(Residential Energy Services Network). The Federal government relies on RESNET for verification of building energy performance for:
• Federal tax credit qualification
• EPA ENERGY STAR labeled homes
• U.S. Department of Energy Building America program
• Minimum code compliance in 16 states
A Rater, while under the watchful eye of both NEHERS Alliance and RESNET, is qualified to test homes for energy efficiency levels by utilizing various tools, software and resources issued to him/her. A Blower Door and Duct Blaster can be used to test homes for air-leaks, air-exchange rates, air-leaks in HVAC duct systems and more. The buildings materials, insulations, windows, mechanical equipment, dimensions, volume, etc. are collected from the field, or an off plan assessment of the home. The data is then entered into a software program. The software is then able to build a model of the home and show the utility costs, efficiencies, inefficiencies, and areas needing improvements, amongst many more useful pieces of information. A rating, or score, is then derived for the home. The rating can be used to qualify for the ENERGY STAR program, utility programs or incentives, and EIM (energy improvement loan or EEM (energy efficient mortgage).
A Rater carefully monitors the construction of a home for both efficiency and safety. A Rater must also understand the importance of building science and how it affects the home and its occupants.
A Rater can provide a list of suggested energy improvements – with their estimated costs and energy savings – based on existing conditions or proposed construction for the home, for the homeowner or home buyer to consider.