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What is an energy advisor?
An energy advisor is an individual who conducts EnerGuide home evaluations on behalf of service organizations licenced by Natural Resources Canada. Energy advisors provide third party expert advice to homeowners looking to improve energy efficiency of their homes, and can also work with builders who wish to use the EnerGuide Rating System (ERS) in the planning and design stages of their new constructions. Energy advisors help ensure homes labelled under NRCan’s energy efficiency housing initiatives meet the requirements of the respective standards.
Why should I become an energy advisor?
Canadian homeowners are becoming more concerned about energy use in their homes and look for ideas from professionals on how to reduce their utility bills.
Builders need to keep up with increased energy efficiency requirements in building codes and want to stay competitive in the market place, so they need assistance to accommodate changing code requirements and buyers who are in the market for energy-efficient homes.
NRCan has a number of initiatives to provide energy efficiency options to homeowners and industry stakeholders, and these homes must be evaluated by a registered energy advisor.
How do I become an energy advisor?
The process to become an energy advisor varies depending on which ERS rating system is used.
EnerGuide Rating System v.15
In the summer of 2015, NRCan launched the EnerGuide Rating System v.15 which provides a gigajoule rating of the house.
To date, the following provinces have transitioned to the ERS v.15: British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, Yukon, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.
To become registered as an energy advisor to deliver services under ERS v.15, energy advisor candidates must demonstrate proficiency by:
- Passing the Foundation Level exam,
- Passing the Energy Advisor exam,
- Being affiliated with a service organization,
- Completing probationary files to the satisfaction of the service organization that show their competence with energy simulation modelling and field work,
- Providing proof of a criminal check to the service organization.
The Foundation Level exam and the Energy Advisor exam are hosted by an independent organization and are taken at proctored testing centres across Canada. Natural Resources Canada provides competency profiles for each exam, which details the requisite skills, knowledge and abilities for the position. These competency profiles were used as the basis for the development of the exams and identify the topics that will be on the respective exams.
Natural Resources Canada has also prepared a Candidate Exam Handbook that contains information on:
- the exam development process,
- how to prepare for the exams,
- how to register for and purchase an exam,
- the process on exam day, and
- the Candidate Statement of Understanding.
The exam registration site is found at https://nrcan.ysasecure.com/. This site also includes a list of exam centre locations and the Candidate Exam Handbook.
Energy advisor candidates can also contact Natural Resources Canada to access all ERS v.15 documents, the competency profiles for all v 15 ERS exams, and the Candidate Exam Handbook.
Energy advisor candidates should contact service organization for existing or new homes to satisfy requirements 3, 4 and 5.
EnerGuide Rating System 0-100
Regions that have not transitioned to the new ERS v.15 gigajoule scale still use the EnerGuide Rating System 0-100 rating scale.
For the 0-100 rating system, the service organizations are still responsible for the training of energy advisor candidates.
There is only one exam that energy advisor candidates must pass in order to undertake evaluations of existing house under the ERS 0 -100 rating system. This exam is coordinated through the service organization. It combines content similar to the two ERS v.15 exams (Foundation Level exam and the Energy Advisor exam).
Candidates must demonstrate knowledge and competency in such areas as:
- Residential construction practices for low-rise housing
- Energy efficiency renovation practices
- Residential building materials
- Residential heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems
- Building science (including the principles of the “house as a system”)
- Basic arithmetic and geometry
- Computers skills
- EnerGuide Rating System services
- Data collection requirements
- Energy simulation modeling using HOT2000, and
- Good client relations
For both rating systems, the service organization must be involved in the energy advisor candidate qualification and registration process, but for ERS v.15, the candidates can take the exams before contacting a service organization.Find a licensed service organization in your area.
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