Advanced Technical Training is Eligible for BPI CEUs

Author Archives: Sara Zak

Changes to Home Upgrade Training and Certification Requirements

Update: Contractors can now have either a BPI Analyst on staff or use a Participating Rater; BPI Analysts must retake the Advanced Technical Training every two years.



Dear Participating Contractors and Raters,

With the Home Upgrade basic pathway being discontinued, the Advanced Home Upgrade pathway will become the primary program offering. Build It Green is working to help contractors transition their businesses to Advanced Home Upgrade, and to help Raters continue their participation as we evolve and scale the program. Our goal is to build a thriving market for home performance contracting; to achieve that goal, we must increase the number of providers who offer these services.

Participation Rule Change for BPI Analysts

Accommodating differing business sizes and models helps us scale. With this in mind, BIG and PG&E have adjusted the participation rules so that Advanced Home Upgrade contractors can either:

  1. Have a BPI Analyst on staff or
  2. Use a Participating Rater

Training Requirement Change

BIG is rolling out a more extensive training schedule to help contractors refresh their skills. We are working to build the most elite team of home performance contractors—like you!—in California, and this more extensive training schedule helps us get there.

This means that professionals who have not taken either Advanced Technical Training or Home Upgrade Core Training in 2016/2017 will need to retake it at some point in 2018.

This change is to ensure that the rigor and training that have made Advanced Home Upgrade successful continues as we expand our contractor pool. On-boarding and additional training are the two places where we can have the biggest impact, and we’ll be raising our standards and requirements in both areas.

Please review the chart for the updated training requirements–or click the image above to download a pdf version.

Upcoming Trainings: Mark Your Calendar

May 23-25  | Home Upgrade Core Training
June 18-20 | Home Upgrade Core Training
July 18-20  | Home Upgrade Core Training
Aug. 13-15 | Home Upgrade Core Training

March 14-15 | Home Energy Score Boot Camp (Santa Maria)

April 2-3 | Advanced Technical Training
May 7-8 | Advanced Technical Training
June 4-5 | Advanced Technical Training
July 9-10 | Advanced Technical Training
Sept. 17-18 | Advanced Technical Training

Coming soon: HPHI (High Performance HVAC Install) Training, Duct Leakage to Outside Testing Training

*Note: For contractors who live a considerable distance away from the Stockton training center, we will offer to move a Home Upgrade Core or Advanced Technical Training location if a group of 8 or more forms and will commit to one of the above dates in their area (for example, Bakersfield or Fresno).

Home Energy Score 2-Day Boot Camp | Santa Maria

Join us for a two-day boot camp to complete the online DOE Sim Training & Testing and score your first home with a mentor to become a qualified Home Energy Score Assessor.

Home Energy Score is a great way to enhance your business. You can supply customers with reliable home energy information to help them save money on energy costs and live more comfortably in their homes by becoming a Home Energy Score Assessor. We want to help you take the next steps in completing the Home Energy Score training and testing requirements.

Check your qualifications here:


Day 1- Classroom Training
When: Wednesday, March 14th | 8am-5pm
Classroom: Santa Maria Inn,  801 S Broadway, Santa Maria, CA 93454 (Kent Room)Day 2- Online Exam + Mentor AssessmentWhen: Thursday, March 15th | 8am-6pm
Classroom: Santa Maria Inn,  801 S Broadway, Santa Maria, CA 93454 (Kent Room)
Test House: TBD Santa Maria, CA

*Mentor Assessment | Must complete Sim Training to attend Mentor Assessment.

What to Expect

Day 1:

This full-day classroom computer training will prepare you to pass the DOE online simulation testing, which is required to offer the Home Energy Score. Led by a qualified mentor, we will begin the day with a simulation tutorial and walk you through completing a test house scenario. Mentors will also provide tips and tricks to completing the training and testing.

Day 2:

The morning classroom session run through the simulation tutorial and prepare you for taking the DOE online simulation test. The afternoon is comprised of a program mentor accompanying you on your first Home Energy Assessment. This will take approximately two hours and will count towards the mentoring requirements set forth by the program. Once you complete the Assessment, submit all required documentation and run the Score, you will be a qualified Home Energy Score Assessor!


Registration for the boot camp will close on Monday, March 12th. Cost to attend is $25, which includes lunch and refreshments on Day 1 and Day 2.

Cancellations / Refunds
View Build It Green’s Terms and Conditions 

What to bring:

Day 1

  • Laptop with wifi-capability (current version of Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari web-browsers recommended) and Microsoft Excel 2007 or newer, to run the Assessor Calculator
  • Microsoft Excel 2007 or newer, to run the Assessor Calculator
  • Graph paper or notebook and pencil

Day 2

  • Tape Measure and/or Laser Measure
  • Graph paper or notebook and pencil
  • Clipboard
  • Digital Camera**
  • Calculator**

**Most cell phones have both

If you have any questions regarding the two-day boot camp training, please send an email to, or give us a call at (510) 285-6222.

10 Tips to Sail Through FQC and CIP

Following these tips will help you spend less time on go-backs and remediating problems so you can spend more time selling and installing new jobs.


1. Keep EUC materials on-hand for reference. Use resources such as the NGAT Action Guidelines, Make Safe Procedure, 2016 Whole House Combustion Appliance Safety Test Procedure, and Home Upgrade Installation Specs.


2. Communicate with your team. Incorporate testing and quality installation requirements as topics in your regular meetings with field staff to ensure all health, safety, and program requirements are met.


3. Take ownership. Participating contractors are responsible for the work listed in their signed scope of work (e.g. measures claimed for the application) and for the safe operation of all combustion safety appliances. Regardless if combustion appliances are included in the signed scope of work agreement, per program requirements, you are still responsible for making sure the appliance operates safely. Are you only doing an HVAC changeout, but the water heater is spilling and has insufficient CVA? In this example you are still responsible correcting the safety issues with the water heater.


4. Be thorough! Test all accessible gas lines and follow all testing protocols when inspecting combustion appliance safety.


5. FQC visits are program requirements and help ensure success. Keep homeowners informed that they may be selected for a Build it Green field quality control inspection or a PG&E CIP inspection. All jobs with incentive amounts greater than $10K require mandatory PG&E CIP inspections.


6. Be prepared and plan ahead. Go-backs are costly and take away from your company’s productivity. Whether it’s for safety, energy-saving measures, or mechanical ventilation installation, it’s important to be prepared to remedy any issues before the job’s completion.


7. Communicate with the homeowner. Many customer complaints arise from misquoting rebate amounts, not discussing the importance of safety and field quality control requirements, and not following up with customer complaints. These are all fixable by communicating expectations with homeowners and following up in a timely manner. Let the homeowner know what to expect from the beginning of the job through its completion and follow up!


8. Document, document, document. From safety concerns to recommendations for a customer to install mechanical ventilation, we recommend contractors document all issues that arise. Take photos for your file and use the test measurements form to submit records for the Build It Green Desktop Review and Field Quality Control teams.


9. Incorporate balanced ventilation strategies. While auditors must observe indoor air quality and ventilation requirements on every project, it is particularly important when Whole Building Air Sealing is performed. Although BPI-1200 currently references ASHRAE 62.2-2013 for whole-building ventilation requirements, California references a version of ASHRAE 62-2010. Build It Green recommends all participating contractors consult their local code-enforcement for ventilation requirements during work-scope development prior to installation on all projects.


10. Air seal thoroughly. A best practice whole-house approach for a typical Home Upgrade Program project would be to air seal as much as possible to reduce energy loss and to provide balanced mechanical ventilation while minimizing unwanted pollutants from entering the home. For a helpful resource, Build It Green recommends referencing the online ASHRAE 62.2-2010 (California) mechanical ventilation calculator located here (an ASHRAE 62.2 2013 mechanical ventilation calculator is also available).

Cake Systems update for AHU Participants

Earth Advantage (the developer/owner of CakeSystems versions 1.0-1.8) is discontinuing support for CakeSystems energy-modeling software as they have decided to re-focus their efforts towards projects that more closely align with their organization’s mission.

Some CakeSystems users will be transitioned off of CakeSystems on December 31st, 2017. Others will be transitioned by the end of the first quarter of 2018 (this depends on the type of user agreement they have with specific software-user customers). If you don’t know what your contract end date is, please contact Earth Advantage for more information.

If you use (or were planning on using) CakeSystems software for modeling Advanced Home Upgrade projects, please contact Build It Green at 510-285-6222 to discuss the other approved software options (OptiMiser or SnuggPro).

If you use SnuggPro or OptiMiser energy-modeling software, you do not need to take any action at this time. Both of those software options are continuing to support their products going forward.

New: Safety and Quality Acknowledgment Form

An updated version of the Safety and Quality Acknowledgment (SQA) Form (pdf) has been uploaded to the document library. The following items are now included in the new form:

  • HVAC Permit Information

  • Heat Producing Devices Verification

  • GSR Field Order number (if applicable)

The old version of the SQA form will not be accepted after July 21. If you continue to use the old form until that deadline, please submit the HPD form with your supplemental documents. Please review this revised form and contact your Account Manager if you have questions.