Attention Veterans – Meaningful Career Path as a Certified RESNET Home Energy Rater

I am a veteran and a certified home energy rater. This is to introduce you to the career possibility of being certified as a Home Energy Rater.

What We Owe Veterans

Veterans from every branch of the armed services serve with dedication and professionalism to keep our nation free and defend American interests and values at home and all around the community of nations. Every veteran has their own reasons and motivations for electing to serve; yet we are unified in our love of this nation and the desire to protect and preserve it. As a veteran, I certainly had my own reasons for serving and came away with my own unique set of experiences, pride in accomplishment and satisfaction in service.

It is as true today as it has always been throughout history including to Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan – this nation owes its combat veterans a deep debt. There are a number of tangible things that we, as a nation do to honor that debt. Here are some of them:

  • Recognition for service
  • Access to lifelong, high quality medical care
  • Educational opportunities

Veterans, after serving their country, have a right to a quality job in the civilian workforce. There are many ways in which organizations, both public and private, work to ensure our veterans find a productive place in society after their service. Finding jobs with a good “fit” for veterans is one key to long-term success in civilian life.

Veterans and RESNET

RESNET recognizes our veterans not only for their service, but for the tremendous resource that they are for our nation. Today’s veterans enter the workforce with a wide variety of skills and talents that should find a ready home across a number of industries. We believe that working in energy efficiency and sustainable building is a perfect fit for many veterans. Many veterans return home needing not just a job, but meaningful work that gives them challenges to overcome, problems to solve and a mission to fulfill.

To us, that sounds a lot like a RESNET HERS Rater. HERS Raters must possess a broad set of technical, analytic and interpersonal skills. That sounds a lot like today’s veterans! Our industry will succeed on the power of its people. Our nation’s values demand that we take care of our veterans. How well we take care of our veterans is a measure of how well we’re living up to our values and commitments. RESNET sees a great opportunity for returning veterans, for our industry and for our nation by encouraging veterans to explore careers as HERS Professionals.

New Mission, Same Values

Veterans are often mission driven individuals. Finding work that has a large purpose is for many of us a tremendous motivation and an important part of our lives. The work that we do as energy professionals is serving that larger purpose. The connection is in fact, very direct for many of us. Our work is playing a key role in reducing our consumption of energy. From a big picture perspective, energy is energy, regardless of its form. Reducing energy use in homes provides more energy for other uses, for example transportation. This helps us get closer and closer to energy independence. RESNET and all of its certified professionals are helping to make our nation stronger, more resilient and less dependent on foreign energy sources. This is an obvious motivator for many veterans, including myself.

The Opportunity for Veterans in the Industry Today

There are many veterans already engaged in RESNET today. We are HERS Raters, business owners, managers, IT experts and consultants among many other roles. The industry offers a great many paths for career progress, really limited only by the imagination of those who are part of it. Many veterans are motivated by the technical challenges of the work we do; testing homes with sophisticated equipment, working with energy modeling software and IT in many different guises, educating clients and the public and perhaps above all, solving problems in the analytic way that is normal operations for today’s veterans.

There are many opportunities in the industry today. RESNET has worked very hard to make the HERS Rating an increasingly common and important part of the home building process. In addition, HERS Raters are actively involved in all aspects of the existing home energy retrofit process, from independent 3rd party energy audits to being part of RESNET EnergySmart Home Performance Teams. There is work to be done now and there will be work to do for many, many years. Here are some key figures to consider as you consider the industry:

  • Over 40% of new homes sold in the U.S. were rated and received a HERS Index Score
  • Congress extended the energy efficient homes federal tax credit. Our industry’s voice was clearly heard in Washington
  • Seventeen of the nation’s largest production builders and over 150 local and regional builders committed to have all of their homes energy rated and to market the HERS Index Score of the homes
  • Strategic partnerships were formed with the leading trade associations and product manufacturers to promote the improvement of existing home

- From the 2012 RESNET Annual Report

Additionally, energy code adoptions are increasing the acceptance of ratings and increasing market penetration across the nation. HERS Raters are increasingly seen as the “go to” professionals in their communities by many code officials and are part of the conversation as jurisdictions, from towns to states, work to increase their energy performance.

The future of the industry is quite bright.

What next?

If you are a veteran, or know a veteran that would be interested in joining us, please visit here to learn more about what a HERS Rater is and does. To learn more about how to join us in the industry and become a HERS Rater, click here to learn more about becoming a HERS Rater.

Steve Byers
RESNET Board of Directors

What Veterans Say About a Career as a Home Energy Rater

Justin Heldenbrand, Home Energy Rater, U.S. Army veteran

The same desire to serve my country that led me to military service; is put to good use on a daily basis as a HERS Rater. We provide builders with knowledge about best building practices and help them catch mistakes during construction that could lead to problems down the road. We help communities increase their appeal by making sure that their builders produce a safe, comfortable, and durable product that anyone moving into that community would be happy to live in. We serve our country by making sure that the homes we inspect are energy efficient. Energy IS a national security issue, so minimizing waste and having a diversified energy portfolio are crucial to the country as a whole. The attention to detail that served you well in the military will help make you a very good HERS Rater.

Will Lorey, Home Energy Rater, U.S. Air Force veteran

We all enter – and leave the military for various reasons. But one thing carries through … we all want to make some sort of difference. For me, the long-term sustainability of the nation I chose to support and defend was paramount. Choose an issue – water, energy, carbon footprint, natural resources and many others; they all play a role in our ability to thrive as a nation. Being involved in an industry that can impact so many of the things I believe are important to our future is critical to me.

As with so many military efforts, there is no quick fix. It takes a tremendous amount of time and focused effort to achieve meaningful results. I’m happy to be working with my fellow energy professionals as we adapt to changing situations and overcome obstacles in our path – not to be deterred from the end goal of making a difference.

Steve Byers – CEO, EnergyLogic, U.S. Air Force veteran

I entered this industry because I wanted to actively work on energy issues in a way that would fulfill my deep desire to have an impact on both the planet and the good of our nation. This work is concrete and meaningful. I’ve been involved in energy efficiency a long time (since ’92) and have seen it grow and change. RESNET has been a critical player in moving the needle on energy efficiency in the US. I’m very proud of the work it’s done, the maturity it’s achieved and the impact that it’s having. I started out as a HERS Rater. I’ve learned a tremendous amount, met more great people both in and out of the industry than I can count and have been honored to be able to build our business, EnergyLogic, while doing good all along the way.

I strongly encourage my fellow veterans to consider joining us in this industry. It’s dynamic, it’s growing, it’s exciting and I promise you it can provide you with meaningful, honest and worthwhile work.