Step 5b: Help Program Contractors Obtain the Necessary Equipment
Reducing the Equipment Cost Barrier
To help local contractors enter the program more quickly and offset start-up expenses, the Fayette County Better Buildings Initiative has created a loan fund to help contractors finance equipment purchases. To qualify for loans, program contractors must be BPI certified, attend the program's sales and entrepreneurial training sessions, and demonstrate the ability to perform energy assessments to BPI standards during a job shadow phase with county energy upgrade assessors.
The program considers eligible equipment purchases to be those that have been outlined by BPI as being the minimum necessary to perform an energy assessment. All loans have five-year terms with flexible interest rates that are adjusted to fit the contractor's income level.
In addition to equipment for installing energy improvements that a contractor might already own, it costs more than $10,000 for a building contractor to purchase the necessary equipment and tools to get started in the energy efficiency upgrade profession. An energy professional will need the appropriate tools to conduct a home energy evaluation, to test the health and safety of the indoor environment, and to verify that energy improvements were installed correctly.
To reduce the economic burden to a building contractor of entering the energy efficiency upgrade profession, program administrators may consider equipment rental programs or equipment loans to defray the costs.
Building scientists recommend that home energy experts own the following equipment (associated costs are estimated):
- Blower door system with flow plates―$5,000
- Duct blaster―$1,500
- Combustion analyzer―$300
- Digital micro-manometer―$500
- Digital carbon monoxide analyzer―$150
- Gas leak detection devices―$150
- Infrared camera―$2,500
- Analysis software―varies and sometimes has training costs