Becoming a Participating Contractor or Rater
Home Upgrade provides an opportunity for local contractors and raters to expand their skills and build new business. The program offers tangible benefits for building professionals, including:
- Training in the latest home performance standards
- Listing on an online contractor or rater directory
- Connection to clients looking for services
- Marketing support and outreach materials
The Home Energy Digest is a useful tool you can use to show homeowners the benefits of a "whole house" approach.
Participation and certification
All contractors participating in the statewide Home Upgrade program must have: a valid California contractor's license appropriate to the scope of work from the California State Licensing Board, appropriate bonding, completion of mandatory orientation session workshops, insurance to utility minimums, a signed Contractor Participation Agreement, and building permits on all work as required by local jurisdiction requirements.
All Raters participating in the statewide Home Upgrade program must have a Whole-House Home Energy Rating System Certification, either through the Independent Rater path or the Building Performance Contractor (BPC) Rater path (see “Building Performance Contractors and BPC Raters”, below).
For a listing of trainings, many free or low cost, related to Energy Upgrade California, click here.
Contractors working in the 9-county San Francisco Bay Area can become Participating Contractors through www.BayAreaEnergyUpgrade.org.
Home Upgrade Contractors
Contractors interested in offering the Home Upgrade in the San Francisco Bay Area must fulfill the requirements found at www.BayAreaEnergyUpgrade.org.
Contractors interested in offering the Home Upgrade outside of the San Francisco Bay Area must attend a two-hour orientation about the program and a free, three-day building science basic training about the building envelope elements (insulation, duct sealing, combustion testing, etc.).
Please note that each participating utility or program implementer may have additional requirements.
Advanced Home Upgrade Contractors
Contractors interested in offering the Advanced Home Upgrade may have Building Performance Institute (BPI) Accreditation, or at a minimum hold, or employ staff that hold a BPI Building Analyst (BA) certification. In addition, they must attend a two-hour orientation on the program itself. Please note that each participating utility may have additional requirements.
Contractors interested in offering the Advanced Home Upgrade in the San Francisco Bay Area may qualify to receive additional rebates and incentives. More information is available at www.BayAreaEnergyUpgrade.org.
Independent Whole House Home Energy Raters
The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) was originally developed to promote energy efficiency in new homes. Independent Whole House Home Energy Raters (Independent Whole House Raters) are now certified for assessing the energy efficiency in existing homes through third-party assessment and verification. Independent Whole House Raters provide California homeowners with information about the energy efficiency of the homes they live in and provide evaluation of proposed measures to achieve greater energy performance in those homes. Independent Whole House Raters must be certified by a qualified provider. Currently CalCERTS is the sole provider offering certification for Independent Whole House Raters.
Building Performance Contractors and BPC Raters
The Building Performance Contractor path (BPC) allows Participating Contractors and Whole-House Home Energy Raters to provide homeowners with a complete range of services, from an initial Whole House Rating through the installation of energy upgrade measures.
A Participating Contractor may hire a BPC Rater in order to qualify as a BPC company. The following requirements are needed:
- Class B contractors license
- Complete BPC orientation
BPC Rater Requirements:
- Complete BPI building analyst and envelope professional training
- Complete BPC training
- Pass BPC exam
Currently CalCERTS is the sole provider offering certification for BPC Raters.
Green Certified Contractors
Contractors interested in providing Green Upgrade Options must possess green building certification in addition to meeting the qualifications for either the Home Upgrade or Advanced Home Upgrade. Currently, the required certification is Build It Green’s (BIG) Certified Green Building Professional (CGBP), or an approved equivalent.
By June 2011 contractors must obtain BIG’s GreenPoint Rated Existing Home (Single Family) certification in order to continue to be identified as providing the Green Upgrade Option.
Contractors providing solar services are identified by Go Solar California!, a joint effort of the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission. Companies must first be signed up with the Solar Registered Retailers, Installers, and Contractors Database at http://www.gosolarcalifornia.org/installers/installer.php
Training classes for contractors
For utility or region-specific information on how to participate and for orientation sessions, click on a link below.
- Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)
- Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
- San Diego Gas & Electric® (SDG&E®)
- Southern California Edison (SCE)
- Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas®)
- Bay Area Regional Energy Network
- Building Performance Institute (BPI)
- CalCERTS Home Energy Rating System Raters
- California Building Performance Contractors Association (CBPCA)
- Go Solar California
- Build It Green
Neither this program, the participating utilities nor any other public or private party associated with the Energy Upgrade California Program, including but not limited to the State of California or the California Energy Commission, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company, or San Diego Gas & Electric® is: (a) endorsing, recommending or referring any specific contractor or rater, (b) making any representation or warranty regarding the qualifications, licensing, products, or workmanship of any contractor or rater, (c) making any warranty regarding the contractor’s or rater’s work or products purchased from contractors and raters provided, or (d) accepting any liability that may be alleged to arise from the work of any listed contractor or rater on a customer project or from any reliance on any claims, statements or other descriptions regarding a contractor’s or rater’s certifications, licenses, qualifications or products. Such claims, statements and other descriptions are made solely by the contractor or rater.
The participating utilities cannot guarantee to participating contractors and raters that a homeowner will select a participating contractor or rater to perform services under the Energy Upgrade California Program. Neither the State of California nor the utilities participating in the Energy Upgrade California Program have made and do not hereby make any representation or warranty with respect to the number of homeowners that may select a participating contractor or rater to perform work in connection with the Energy Upgrade California Program. Each participating contractor or rater acknowledges that the purchase of home repair services is speculative and agrees that the State of California’s judgment with regard to any matter affecting the Energy Upgrade California Program (as well as each utility’s decision to market and promote its own “Whole House program” alone and/or in connection with the Energy Upgrade California Program) is within the sole discretion of the State of California and each utility, respectively.