PORTLAND, Ore., April 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Earth Advantage Institute's David Heslam is having a hard time keeping up with demand for software demonstrations at the nonprofit's small booth as energy professionals stream in to see its online Energy Performance Score (EPS) Auditor™ tool. Outfitted with his iPad®, a laptop, and an extra monitor, the building scientist is responding to questions, running the tool through its paces, and signing people up for demo accounts to let them test the home energy rating tool on their own.
"I've already talked to more than 100 people today," said Heslam, hoarsely. "There seems to be quite a bit of pent-up demand for an easy-to-use home energy assessment tool that can quickly generate professional-looking reports and recommendations as well as Energy Performance Score scorecards. So far 71 people have signed up to test-drive this software."
The organization built EPS Auditor to help home energy professionals leverage the power of the Energy Performance Score to motivate homeowners to make money-saving energy upgrades. The pay-as-you-go software enables auditors to cost-effectively produce Energy Performance Score scorecards that estimate the annual energy consumption, energy costs and associated carbon emissions of a home based on its design.
"EPS is a very good tool and I will continue to use it for my audits," said Eric Sperline, owner of Renton, Washington-based Washington Energy Audits. "With the EPS scorecard, it provides a tangible output for the customer and provides an important comparison point."
Designed on top of the well-known SIMPLE algorithm developed by energy expert Michael Blasnik, the tool has gained a large following from auditors in the state of Washington, where EPS Auditor has been deployed for a 5,000-home pilot in Seattle and a 900-home pilot in Bellingham. Additional programs in Kitsap and Snohomish counties are commencing.
The rest of the industry is taking notice. The software's template-based report forms that let auditors send same day energy recommendations have attracted the attention of other software vendors who would like to see it optimized to run with their related tools. The availability of EPS Auditor is also prompting professional assessors from various regions to contact local agencies and utility districts to urge them to implement EPS-based retrofit programs. Bellingham, Washington, for example is showing an upgrade rate of 50% among audited homes, according to the Bellingham-based Opportunity Council.
"We are piloting EPS Auditor for two of our programs, and our auditors are finding it easy to use and quicker than tools we've had experience with," said John Davies, an administrator and auditor at the Opportunity Council. "We really like the speed with which we can come up with a professional report."
The Energy Performance Score (EPS) is a home energy rating system similar to the miles-per-gallon (MPG) rating for the auto industry. The scorecard provides an estimate of home energy consumption as well as related carbon emissions, and shows home buyers and homeowners where the home ranks in energy use on a regional and national scale. Home-related businesses, from real estate to lending and insurance companies, see the EPS as a metric to help them increase demand for existing and new service offerings.
About Earth Advantage Institute
Earth Advantage Institute works with the building and design industry to help implement sustainable building practices. Its nonprofit mission is to create an immediate, practical and cost-effective path to sustainability and carbon reduction in the built environment. The organization achieves its objectives through a range of innovative certification, education and technical services programs.
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