Question: What are my roles and responsibilities as a rater?
You are a rater. It doesn’t matter what classification. You are considered a third party verifier of energy efficiency of real property. Decisions made about this property regarding energy efficiency are basically “in your hands”. Your input to the client, whether it be a builder or homeowner, is important for solid, sound decisions about spending money wisely on replacement or upgrading systems and materials. Your opinions should be based on solid principles as well as keeping in mind the “law of diminishing returns.”
As a rater, your only responsibility is to your client. Remember that as a rater you are the person who is certified. You are the person who passed all of the exams and jumped through all of the hoops. When you perform a rating, you are putting your reputation on the line as well as the whole energy efficiency industry. When you perform a rating you are NOT really representing the company you are paid by because companies are not certified. At this point you are a third party verifier and the client is your only concern. If you allow any person or circumstance to change your professional judgment you are not being a third party verifier. You are being a paid “yes” man/woman. This can cause problems in the future if there is a complaint because defending yourself in a “compromising” situation can be detrimental to you not your employer or client. You are actually putting your certification in jeopardy, not to mention eroding the integrity of the rating system.
Please make sure you explain to your employer that you represent the rating industry as a third party verifier when you perform a rating, and your job is to verify the features of the home as well as assist with sound, solid advice when asked to do so. Selling or advising a client to purchase a material or service from your company is fine as long as you can justify its cost through its savings. If asked to compromise your advice based on what the company sells is a red flag warning. Remember your certification is yours, and will be taken from you, not the company you are employed through. Trying to “please” your builder because your employer “expects” it also becomes another red flag warning. Again, remember whose certification is on the line.
So, the next time you hit the road to perform a rating, remember that you are representing yourself as a third party verifier as well as an entire energy efficiency community. Please take pride in what you do and all of those you represent.