Friday, October 16, 2015

The Cost of Failing to Get a HERS Rater (For California Projects)

(I just received this from our California Energy Analyst)


I just wanted to share a current issue with you concerning a PMHI project.


I am trying to help an owner-builder that didn't hire a HERS Rater until the Building Department reminded him they wouldn't issue the occupancy permit without the required Installation Certificates and HERS Verification Certificates.  The problem is the project is complete and owner only had a couple of weeks to get all the forms completed or pay a $4,000 penalty.


It's going to be impossible to get the Installation Certificates and HERS Verification Certificates for Quality Installation of the Insulation at this stage of the project.   This credit requires the HERS Rater be present during the framing installation and again during installation of the insulation.  The house is completely finished and ready to occupy so there is no way to document compliance on the insulation installation.  This credit is worth 10-15% of the total energy compliance credit on most projects.  This oops could easily cost the owner thousands of dollars in additional fees, construction modifications to the completed house and weeks or months of delay to occupy the house.


The project also took credit for a high EER air conditioner, but the mechanical contractor installed a system that has not been certified by AHRI (Air Conditioning Heating & Refrigerant Institute) so it will require the mechanical contractor to order a special AHRI certificate.  Based on the equipment installed I think they will easily comply, but it just more cost and more delay.


Luckily I could shift projects today and get the owner most of the paperwork they need with the help of their HERS Rater.  With any luck the building department will not penalize the owner and require upgrades, but this could have all been avoided.


Please remind your clients to hire the HERS Rater early and keep them involved throughout construction to avoid these type of painful and expensive mistakes.


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