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BPI Certification Training Question & Answer

Energy Audit Question & Answer

EnergyScore® BPI Training Answers

How many questions are on the BPI exams?

Your first BPI certification exam will be 100 questions. Any subsequent BPI Certification exams will be 50 questions.

How long does it take to get the exam results?

Written exam results are available immediately through the web-based testing interface. Field exam results are available in 48 hours from BPI. You will receive an email from BPI that your test results are available.

Does EnergyScore grade the exams?

No. EnergyScore, Inc. is a BPI Test Center and will proctor your BPI Certification exams. All exams are graded by BPI who is the certifying body and issues successful certifications. Written exam results are available immediately through the web-based testing interface. Field exam results are available in two to four weeks from BPI.

What score do I need to pass the exams?

An overall score of 70% or higher on the online and field exams is required to pass. An 85% or higher in the CAZ and CO sections of the field exam is required.

Will my trainer also be my exam proctor?

No. We believe there is an inherent conflict of interest with trainers or instructors also being proctors on your field exams. Another proctor from our organization will proctor your field exam.

Are your instructors certified in the areas they are teaching? Are you trainers also BPI proctors?

Yes, of course. All our instructors are BPI certified in the areas they teach, frankly we don't understand how one could teach material they have not yet mastered themselves.. All our trainers are also BPI field and written proctors.

What if I fail an exam?

Your success depends on a number of factors including experience, math aptitude, mastery of the material and your preparation for the exams. If you are concerned take our BPI Sample Quiz that focus on math skills. We have a very high pass rate in excess of 90% and our curriculum has been tested on many hundreds of students. If you're unsuccessful in taking any BPI exams we allow you to retake the entire class for free (just bring your book). We do charge a test fee since we are charged a test fee by BPI. You may challenge the exam six times per year and no more than one time in seven days.

How many tests are there to become BPI certified?

You are required to pass two exams to become BPI certified; the online exam and the field exam. All our courses include both proctored exams and related test fees. When shopping with our competitors please make sure that their classes include both written and field tests because some of these costs are substantial.

How come some other training center's prices seem cheaper?

Many of the other test centers do not include all the required tests to become BPI certified. Some just provide training, while others only include the written exams. We include all training and all proctored exams; the online exam and the field exam.

I am a BPI certified Building Analyst and have been so for years. What do I need to do to get re-certified?

Yes we can proctor your BPI re-certification exam(s). The type of exam required depends on how many CEUs you have. With enough CEUs the written exam may be reduced or eliminated and with enough field experience the field exam may also be waived. Please see our re-certification page for more information.

When can I take my re-certification exam(s)?

Certified individuals may take the required exams for renewal up to six (6) months prior to their date of expiration. The renewed certification period begins with the date of expiration of the candidate’s initial certification.

I took my Building Analyst exam a few years ago and now need the Envelope Professional certification as well. Do you provide a review of basic energy auditing as part of your advanced courses?

Yes, our advanced classes do include a review of the Building Analyst material. We often get people coming back to take more certification classes as their career progressives.

How does EnergyScore and BPI assure quality in the exam process?

All exams, both online and field, are videotaped 100%. On a random basis EnergyScore and BPI critique those videos for quality assurance purposes.

I understand the entire exam processes is video recorded. Am I graded based on the video?

No, you are not being graded based on your performance in the video, all video is done for quality assurance purposes.

How many certifications can I get in a week?

Two certifications can be completed in a week either the Building Analyst and Envelope Professional or the Building Analyst and Heating Professional or Heating Professional and BPI AC/Heat Pump.

Is there any reading and studying I can do before showing up to class?

Yes. After registering for the class you'll be redirected a web page where there are study materials for your upcoming class.

Are there any additional fees, other than class fees, to become BPI certified?

No. All fees are included in the cost of the class including BPI written and field testing fees.

Do you provide BPI practice test questions?

Yes as part of the course you'll receive practice test questions for preparation your BPI certification exam(s).

When will my field test be scheduled?

Your field test will be scheduled late the week of your class. Please note that all field tests are one-on-one with an EnergyScore proctor. You only need to be available during your test time slot.

What kind of equipment will we use in the class? Do we need to own any equipment?

We train on Retrotec blower doors doors and UEI combustion equipment as outlined here. You do not need to bring any equipment to the class but may if you are more comfortable.

When we do our field test can I use my equipment?

Yes. If you're familiar with a different brand of equipment and would like to use that equipment during your field test you are welcome to do so. Our proctors are capable of testing on all major brands of equipment.

Energy Audit Answers

What is an Energy Audit?

An Energy Audit is an assessment of the buildings thermal barrier, pressure barrier, and energy consumption systems. That assessment is then compared to current state-of-the-art industry standards. Although property may have been built in say 1970 there has been much advancement in building technology in the last 40 years so that energy audit compares that building to today's standards and recommends targeted upgrades. Those recommendations also include an estimate of the costs involved and a payback analysis. A Payback Analysis will help prioritize which upgrades will pay for themselves the quickest. For example a window replacement may have a seven year payback while replacing incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent light bulbs may have a one and a half year payback.

Who needs an Energy Audit?

Virtually any building can benefit from energy audit since an energy audit identifies waste and focuses on improving the efficiency of that building. Certainly buildings that are drafty or have excessive energy consumption are in dire need of an energy audit. Any building to be included in the new HOME STAR program is required to have an energy audit before and after renovations funded by the program to confirm the renovations were done properly and actually made the building more energy efficient.

What type of energy audits do you provide?

We provide three types of energy audits; a Free online QuickScore, Onsite EnergyScore® Energy Audit and Online EnergyScore® Energy Audit.

What does a good Energy Audit provide?

A good Energy Audits provides comprehensive reporting of the energy viability of a property and also recommends repairs to improve that energy viability. At a minimum an on-site energy audit must include a blower door test, thermographic imaging, an assessment of the buildings thermal and pressure boundaries and an assessment of the building systems. The assessment of building systems would include heating and air-conditioning systems, combustion equipment testing, gas leak testing, lighting systems, insulation assessment, appliance evaluation, and water systems.

What are the differences between the types of Energy Audits you provide?

We offer audits both Online and Onsite.

What Certifications are Required for Energy Auditors?

We recommend at a minimum BPI (Building Performance Institute) Building Analyst certification and a BPI Building Envelope certification is highly recommended. In addition to being both BPI Building Analyst certified and a BPI Building Envelope certified we are also BPI testing proctors. What this means is we are training and certifying the employees of our competitors.

What is a blower door test and how does it help?

A Blower Door Test uses a large fan to depressurize the building. This fan is called a blower door at depressurizes is the building down to -50 pascal's. At -50 Pa a building is put into a simulated 25 mph wind in all directions at the same time. This enables the tester to clearly identify problem areas and propose real solutions. At the test pressure of -50 pascals the amount of air leaking into the building is recorded. That amount of leakage is then compared to the acceptable leakage a building of that size and number of occupants should have. It is not uncommon to see a building with a flow rate at -50pa (CFM50) to be say 4500 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) where the design CFM is 1700 CFM therefore you have a building that has substantial air leakage of 4500-1700 or 2700 CFM at CFM50. Of course the air leakage would be substantially more in a 40 mph wind. The blower door test identifies the areas that are leaking and can be easily targeted for repair. After all the repairs are complete we can recommend another quick blower door test to confirm that the CFM50 is now as it should be, in the above example 1700 CFM. First of all this confirms the workmanship of the repairs was done properly and also confirms that the building was not over sealed.

Is it possible to over seal a building and what steps or calculations are completed to confirm the building is not over sealed?

Yes, it is certainly possible to over seal a building. When a proper energy audit is undertaken the auditor completes a number of calculations. The first calculation is based on the size of the building and yields a number of air changes per hour that are required for that building to be healthy. The second calculation is the number of air changes per hour required based on the number of occupants for that building. These two numbers are then compared and the larger is used. This larger number is called the building airflow standard or BAS and is then converted to the CFM50 rate target flow rate outlined above.

What is Thermographic Imaging and how does it help

Thermographic Imaging uses an infrared camera to identify temperature differentials in the building envelope. The thermographic imager graphically represents the temperature differentials as colors. With that colored image one can easily identify gaps in the buildings thermal barrier that are wasting energy behind floors, walls & ceilings. Those gaps in the thermal barrier are problems areas where repairs should be targeted. Our Onsite EnergyScore® Energy Audit use Thermographic Imaging to identify these problem areas and propose solutions along with an estimate of costs of those repairs.

What does an Energy Audit Cost?

Our Free online QuickScore Energy Audit is of course free. Our EnergyScore® Online Energy Audit is $39. Our Onsite EnergyScore® Energy Audit is typically $375 but cost depends on the size and complexity of the building. Please contact us for more information on these.

Is there funding available to have the audits done for a reduced cost?

There is funding available through many state energy office programs including those in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We interact with all the state programs and can help you obtain all funding that is available for your property.

Does EnergyScore do any of the recommended repair work?

EnergyScore does not complete the recommended repair work. Frankly we feel it is a conflict of interest to have the same company evaluate your property, recommend repairs, complete those repairs and then certify that there own repairs were done properly.

Do you have sample reports I can see?

Yes there are sample reports available for the three types of energy audits that we provide; a Free Online QuickScore Energy Audit, Onsite EnergyScore® Energy Audit and Online EnergyScore® Energy Audit.

Do you sell any of the equipment required for an Energy Audit?

Yes we sell all types of Energy Auditing equipment and can provide guidance on performing your own audit. We rent Retrotec Blower Doors, FLIR i5 Infrared Cameras and Thermographic Imagers, Carbon Monoxide Detectors, Combustible Gas Leak Detectors, Hand held Manometers. All can be read by clicking here or through the menu above.

What type of Consulting Services do you provide?

In addition to our work in building energy auditing we also provide Consulting services on major projects. Those services include construction project management, LEED Certification Consulting, LEED project administration, owners representation, LEED and BPI personnel training. Please click this link to be taken to our sustainable construction consulting web site.