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Services: Commercial Alterations 

BarrierEnergy is your one-stop-shop for consulting, referrals, and assessments for your commercial alterations project. We will help you stay on schedule, on budget, and compliant with energy standards.

Title 24 Compliance

Title 24 of the California Energy Commission (CEC) outlines energy efficiency standards for new, altered, and existing buildings in the state of California. The HERS index gives buildings a scoring based on their energy efficiency, out of a 0-150 scale. California requires a mandatory energy score, as well as mandatory compliance measures. Optional upgrades and tests can translate into compliance points. For more information, visit the CEC website.

HERS Raters

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) is used to test and enforce energy code standards set by the California Energy Commission. HERS Raters are private building inspectors who perform state compliance inspections and functional tests on residential and commercial buildings. A HERS Rater is licensed to collect and measure data on every energy consuming system in a building order to calculate an accurate energy scoring.  At BarrierEnergy, our certified HERS Raters are thoroughly trained on all new building codes and regulations.

 

Our Services

Recently, a new code cycle for building compliance in California was set as of 2019. In 2020, these standards go into effect. Our team offers over a decade of experience to help you keep up in a constantly changing work environment. BarrierEnergy’s goal is to keep your construction project progressing smoothly. Furthermore, we can help you to decide what solutions will work best for your project and budget by collaborating between the projects’ architects, builders, contractors, and owners. Contact us to discuss your energy solution, assessment, and HERS rating needs.

Commercial Alterations

Commercial projects that fall under Title 24 commercial codes include multi-family dwelling units, storefronts, offices, and any common indoor space that is non-residential. Alterations consist of additions, remodels, and change-outs and energy efficiency upgrades. A change-out is when someone replaces a component of the HVAC system, such as the ductwork or the furnace. Any of these alterations require a HERS test by California state law. The technician must certify that the installation has remained within energy efficiency guidelines. 

NRCC

In the beginning of a commercial construction project, permits must be applied for. To gain approval, Nonresidential Certificates of Compliance must verify that the plan-set for construction are within California Energy Code guidelines.

E-Project Management

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We offer a simple solution to streamline your compliance process. We manage your electronic file by uploading Title 24 datae on your behalf, as required by the state. Typically, CalCerts is our first choice, but Cheers is another alternative. For your convenience, we will navigate the reistry and sign-off documents.

BarrierEnergy will take care of the paperwork and data entry for your project, from beginning to end!

Kitchen Hood Testing

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It’s important to keep the kitchen cool and the cooking area clean (free of airborne bacteria). Airflow requirements must be taken into account during construction. 

As you are designing your kitchen, an expert will approve its compliance with efficiency standards. Read more on our page for kitchen hood testing.

Air Balance Testing

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Air balance refers to even distribution of airflow throughout a building. When new ductwork or HVAC systems are installed, duct vents will be tested to certify consistent airflow in each room and level. Keep this in mind when designing your HVAC system.

Read more on our page for Air Balance Testing.

Design Review

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The design plan is the foundation of your construction project. Our team will review your plan set to maximize the energy performance of your property. We will offer consultation to help you stay on schedule, on budget, and compliant with energy standards. Some design review topics include the project scope, HVAC system selection, and recommended efficiency measures.

Consulting

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An important element of what we do is to make sure your construction project matches the CF1R plan set. Projects go more smoothly when the architect, HERS Rater, and T-24 consultant discuss the project from beginning to end.

Consultations are free to you at any time when you choose BarrierEnergy. Throughout your project, we will advise you on how to keep progress on track. Advice we offer inculdes referrals, Q&A, compliance measures, and brand selection.

Electrical Power Distribution System

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In order to optimize energy efficiency, the electrical power distribution system of a property must be carefully designed. Every system must keep in mind voltage requirements, load schedules, and energy metering. Depending on how large the business is, different energy systems have different needs.

So, the goal is to deisgn an efficient, yet cost effective Power Distribution System. We are the experts that will help you do just that, while adhering to California State efficiency requirements.

Fenestration Approach

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Fenestration refers to the arrangement of windows and doors on a building. California requires compliance with types, locations, numbers, and sizes of windows. Windows are a surprising trap in a building because it is often overlooked.

Every wall and window transmits a certain amount of energy, or radiation, known as CHGC. Windows and doors must prevent a specific value of radtion transmission to be considered efficient. Factors and thermal transmission include geothermal placement, reflectiveness, and window tinting. Therefore, different kinds of windows and doors are required depending on the setting. We will consult you on which windows will fit best with your project, while filling out all necessary documentation.

Envelope Approach

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A building envelope refers to the exterior construction of the building. Thusly, building leakage is how tightly a building is sealed, as a whole. Air can leak into or out of a building from windows, doors, flooring, roofing, and so on. An air tight seal is important. Preventing energy waste will save money, comfort, and energy. At the same time, there must be a sufficient ventilation to maintain air quality. All of this must be taken into account in your plan-set.

HVAC

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Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, (HVAC) systems are an important factor in the energy efficiency of a building. Depending on the size and load capacity of the building, there will be a different requirements regarding these features. The HVAC system includes airflow (fan systems), appliances (heat pump, furnace etc.), and performance specifications.

We are here to make sure your project meets these requirements as set by Title 24. In addition, we will offer our recommendations of what materials and components to use for the best possible system design.

At BarrierEnergy, we understand all these calculations can be complicated time-consuming. We want to maximize your energy savings by offering you the expert advice you need. That’s why we’re dedicated to walking you through these processes. Reach out to one of our experts today.

Solar Ready Area

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Currently, all new or altered buildings in the state of California must have sufficient space for solar panel installation. A Solar Ready Area is a large, relatively flat empty space on the roof, which could potentially hold solar panels.

This law was created as a precursor for future goals. As of 2020, all new and altered buildings will be required to have solar panels installed.

Lighting

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In order to meet efficiency guidelines, lighting systems must adhere to a specific “power allowance”. Using energy-efficient bulbs, such as LED, will allow you to stay within the allotted allowance. Another method of limiting waste is to install lighting controls such as movement detecting lights, automatic shut off schedules, and so on.

Commercial Refrigeration

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Testing commercial refridgeration is within our area of expertise. Refrigeration is just another type of air conditioning. The condsensor must meet efficiency guidelines. The compressor system also has mandatory measures that only a trained technician can measure. Our team will guide you though planning your project, so that it will pass compliance testing.

Water Heating Systems

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The minimum efficiency regulations for water heating systems are determined by the California Energy Commission. Commercial buildings may have multiple water heaters, storage tanks, and heater systems. Learning the calculations and codes can be complicated and time-consuming. That’s why we have a team of certified experts who are trained to take care of all the legwork. We know efficiency codes in and out!

Garage Exhaust

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Garage exhaust fans prevent air from being trapped in a commercial garage. They allow air circulation, which removes toxic vehicle fumes. While designing your garage, an expert technician can approve your plan-set, based upon their calculations.

In addition to ventilation system acceptance testing, garages are also required to maintain proper air pressure and carbon dioxide sensors. Reach out to an expert at BarrierEnergy today. We will fill out and submit all necessary paperwork from the California Energy Commission.

Fan Power Consumptions

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Commercial buildings must meet energy standards, which dictate the power consumption of air conditioning fans. The Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) developed the Fan Power Index as a universal measurement to monitor these standards. Fan efficiency is affected by electrical input horsepower, motors, fan size and so on.

At BarrierEnergy, our certified HERS Raters are certifieid to calculate these complex equations. That way, your project will pass the compliance phase.

Elevators & Moving Walkways

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It is mandatory that escalators and moving walkways have an automatic speed control and a variable speed motor. They also must have sensors for approaching pedestrians. In addition, elevators are closed spaces and thusly must have proper lighting and ventilation.

Here is yet another form the California Energy Commission wants filled out properly and signed by a field technician. This is because the state must monitor and approve your building plans. A HERS Rater is licensed to calculate these variables. If your commercial project includes moving walkways, you can trust our team to guide you through energy code standards.

Process Boilers

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Boilers use the combustion of fossil fuels to create steam, which is harnessed to produce thermal energy. A process boiler must have a capacity of at least 300,000 BTUs (British thermal units) per hour, while serving a process. A process refers to any activity that is related to HVACR (heating, ventiliation, air conditioning, refridgeration).

The process boilers compliance document contains a record of the equipment’s specific description. It must be filled out and approved by a licenesed technician in mathematical detail.

Mechanical Systems

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Mechanical systems refer to equipment or piping systems that alter air temperature. Some examples include Forced Air Furnaces (FAUs) and gas space heaters. All of these features must be thoroughly planned and approved. Our technicians at BarrierEnergy are trained to make these calculations in mathematical detail.

Cool Roof (Solar Reflective Index)

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Roofing has a great impact on the thermal efficiency of a home. As the roof absorbs radiation from the sun, it heats up. Some of that heat passes into the building. Now, the HVAC system will have to work harder to maintain air temperature. To combat this, buildings are designed with cool roof technology. Reflective shingles are the main method of combating this thermal emittance.

California requires a minimum SRI (solar reflective index) value for all new roofs. This standardized measurement makes it possible to calculate and regulate thermal waste. Together, we can ensure your roofing design is in compliance with California energy codes.

NRCI

Next, the commercial construction project begins and fixtures are installed. Nonresidential Certificates of Installation are necessary to ensure that systems are installed according to current Energy Codes. During this step, we will take care of filling out, signing, and uploading all relevant Title 24 documents.

Electrical Power Distribution

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Once the power distribution system plan has been put into action, it must be inspected. We must make sure it’s been installed according to the compliance document.

We are the experts that will help you do just that, while adhering to California State efficiency requirements.

Envelope Sealing / Building Leakage

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A building envelope refers its’ exterior construction. Building leakage thusly, refers to how tightly a building is sealed as a whole. Air can leaking into or out of a building from windows, doors, flooring, roofing, and so on. A tight seal is important because solving the problem will save money, comfort, and energy.

All parties responsible in the construction process must sign off on this document to authenticate proper installation. They must visually inspect for gaps or cracks.

To learn more, visit our page on building leakage.

Lighting

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In order to meet energy efficiency guidelines, lighting systems must adhere to a specific “power allowance”. Using energy-efficient bulbs, such as LED, will allow you to stay within the allotted allowance. Another method of limiting waste is to install lighting controls such as movement detecting lights, automatic shut off schedules, and so on.

This stage is to verify that the  plan-set for lighting matches the installation.

Plumbing

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Plumbing must adhere to efficiency standards, like every system in a building. Piping types, shut-off systems, and other plumbing features fall under California Energy Commission guidelines. These documents verify that plumbing has been properly installed, according to the acceptance documents.

Hot Water Systems

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Hot water systems must be inspected and serviced to ensure the water heater is working at the proper BTU rate (British Thermal Unit). BTU measures the amount of energy to heat one pound of water by 1 Degree Fahrenheit. The manufacturer will specify what settings the equipment function best at. Efficiency codes regulate pipe insulation and water storage volume, among other various components of the HWS.

Solar Water Heating Systems

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If your business is intalling solar water heating systems, the manufacturerers information must be recorded. Everything about the system, from storage volume to solar savings, must be approved.

A licensed tehcnician will certify that the system was installed properly, according to the manufacturers recommendations and state guidelines.

NRCA

Following installation, a licensed technician must perform acceptance testing. At this stage, we will complete Nonresidential Certificates of Acceptance to authenticate compliance with California Building Energy Efficiency Standards, as per outlined in Title 24, section 6. All data will be submitted to proper authorities to demonstrate compliance.

Envelope Leakage Testing / Building Air Leakage

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A building envelope refers its’ exterior construction. Building leakage thusly, refers to how tightly a building is sealed as a whole. Air can leaking into or out of a building from windows, doors, flooring, roofing, and so on. A tight seal is important because solving the problem will save money, comfort, and energy.

A duct blower is used to determine how much air leakage is coming from a building. This machine does so by gauging air pressure. If the testing results do not meet efficiency standards, identitified leakage paths must be be sealed properly. Boundaries must be visually inspected for gaps. In some cases a smoke test will be performed to determine leakage points. 

To learn more, visit our page on building leakage.

Duct Leakage Testing

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Whenever changes are made to an existing HVAC system, technicians must test the internal pressure of the ductwork. According to California’s energy efficiency laws, we have a legal obligation to ensure the duct system is tightly sealed.  If the pressure reading is not within approved guidelines, it is caused by excess air escaping from the ducts. As HERS Raters, this test is our specialty! For more information, visit our duct leakage testing page.

Kitchen Hood Testing

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Once a new kitchen hood is installed, an air balance test measures the ratio of intake airflow vs output airflow. This test ensures kitchen hoods are operating properly according to energy efficiency regulation. Read more on our page for kitchen hood testing.

Air Balance Testing

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Air balance refers to even distribution of airflow throughout a building. When new ductwork or HVAC systems are installed, duct vents will be tested to certify consistent airflow in each room and level. Read more on our page for Air Balance Testing.

Valve Leakage Testing

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Heat pumps must be tested after their installation has been approved. Pump valves are used to regulate pressure levels in the water heating system. It’s important that pressure is within the approved values to optimize the effectiveness of the unit. A pressure problem can also lead to bigger problems with the plumbing system.

Fenestration

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Fenestration refers to the arrangement of windows and doors on a building. California requires compliance with types, locations, numbers, and sizes of windows. Windows are a surprising trap in a building because it is often overlooked.

Every wall and window transmits a certain amount of energy, or heat radiation, known as CHGC. Windows and doors must prevent a specific value of radtion transmission to be considered efficient. Factors of thermal transmission include geothermal placement, reflectiveness, and tinting. Therefore, different kinds of windows and doors are required depending on the setting. We will inspect all doors and windows after installation, crosschecking the data with the plan-set.

Lighting

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In order to meet efficiency guidelines, lighting systems must adhere to a specific “power allowance”. Using energy-efficient bulbs, such as LED, will allow you to stay within the allotted allowance. Another method of limiting waste is to install lighting controls such as movement detecting lights, automatic shut off schedules, and so on.

After lighting installations have been verified, a technician must perform acceptance testing. These are functional tests, for the actual performance of the lighting system. Lighting systems should function according to the acceptance documents.

Outdoor Airflow

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The outdoor air certificate of acceptance is granted after a technician performs a variable air volume systems test. Basically, the airflow of supply vents will be tested to confirm there is adequate outdoor ventilation for the HVAC system. Supply vents provide a building with fresh, temperature controlled air.  Outdoor air circulates inside a building to maintain air quality. There should be sufficient airflow, but still controlled.

At this stage, a field technician will be verifying the functionality of the outdoor air systems including supply fans, heat pumps and ductwork. Other compliance criteria consists of correct thermostat placement and programming, and so on.

Indoor Airflow

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All ducts have a return vent to counter-balance supply vents. Supply vents expel temperature controlled air into a building. Opposingly, the return vent pulls air from inside the room to take it back to the furnace or conditioner. This keeps air moving cyclically and evenly throughout a building.

It is our job to verify the return vent has been installed properly and the airflow levels match current standards. Certified HERS Raters will hook a flow hood up to the return vent in order to read its airflow in cubic ft per minute. They will also test the return vents’ air economizer controls, demand control ventilation, and fan variable flow controls.

AC Systems

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Testing the AC system after installation is important. This involves simulating its’ cooling features to make sure it can handle the buildings load capacity efficienctly. The system should be able to change modes depending on set schedules throughout the day. A licensed technician will also check the supply fan and condensing unit. An AC system should be able to regulate temperature in a building effectively.

Energy Management Systems

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An Energy Management Control System (EMCS) is a computerized program that coordinates the energy consumption of a building through components such as HVAC, lighting, and water heating. By monitoring system loads and environmental factors in real-time, it automatically adjusts itself to maximize energy savings.

The purpose of acceptance testing is to confirm the EMCS is operating correctly, in concession with energy efficiency standards.

Garage Exhaust

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Garage exhaust fans prevent air from being trapped in a commercial garage. They allow air circulation, which is important to remove toxic vehicle fumes. A certified technician can use a duct blower to test the exhaust fans airflow. Airflow rates should match the compliane calculations, in cross-referrance.

In addition to ventilation system acceptance testing, garages are also required to maintain proper air pressure and carbon dioxide sensors. Reach out to an expert at BarrierEnergy today. We will fill out and submit all necessary paperwork from the California Energy Commission.

Elevators & Moving Walkways

More Info
It is mandatory that escalators and moving walkways have automatic speed controls as well as variable speed motors. They also must have sensors for approaching pedestrians. Here is yet another acceptance form the California Energy Commission wants filled out properly and signed by a field technician. Technicians are trained to collect this data and analyze it in terms of mechanical efficiency.

In addition, elevators are closed spaces and must have proper lighting and ventilation. A HERS Rater is licensed to verify airflow and lighting efficiency. If your commercial project includes moving walkways, you can trust our team to take care of your acceptance needs.

Refrigerated Warehouses

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Testing on refrigerated warehouses is broken up into five categories. Those categories are fan motor controls, evaporative condensor controls, cooled condensor controls, variable speed compressors, and electric. After the initial contruction inspection, functional tests are performed on these aspects of the refrigeration system. A HERS Rater is qualified to perform these tests and sign off on acceptance documents.

HVAC

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Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, (HVAC) systems are important factors in the energy efficiency of a building. Depending on the size and load capacity of the building, there will be a different requirements regarding these features. The HVAC system includes airflow (fan systems), appliances (heat pump, furnace etc.), and performance specifications.

The HVAC system must be tested to confirm it functions according to the approved plan-set. 

At BarrierEnergy, we understand all these calculations can be complicated time-consuming. We want tyour construction project to progress smoothly. That’s why we’re dedicated to walking you through these processes. Reach out to one of our experts today.

NRCV

Lastly, Nonresidential Certificates of Verification authenticate that the project was completed in compliance with HERS Energy Code standards. As your registered HERS Providers, our HERS Raters will complete these forms. These legally binding documents ensure consistency between the plan and the actualization of the commercial building plan.

Project Status Report

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A Project Status Report lists the completion status of each necessary HERS component in a project. All pertinent information to the project will be listed, as well as what forms have been completed.  Periodically, we will update the PSR, which will note completed progress with a green dot. Enforcement agencies can access this report at any time, as it will be used by officials to authenticate Title 24 compliance.

Duct Leakage Diagnostic Test

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When the project is at final, all data regarding the new duct system will be verified and recoreded. Any problems that were uncovered in the initial testing phase must be corrected by this point. Our technicians will make a final compliance statement to validate the efficiency of the duct system.

Envelope Diagnostic Test

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A building envelope refers its’ exterior construction. Building leakage thusly, refers to how tightly a building is sealed as a whole. Air can leaking into or out of a building from windows, doors, flooring, roofing, and so on. A tight seal is important because solving the problem will save money, comfort, and energy.

At final, building enclosures will be tested and verified. Any problems that were uncovered in the initial testing phase must be corrected by this point. Our technicians will make a final compliance statement to diagnose the efficiency of the building envelope.

Hot Water System Distribution

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At this point, it is expected that the builders have made any corrections recommended by our field technicians. All important data regarding the water heating system is recorded here.

The project will pass or fail the final verification status, based on the energy efficiency requirements of the state. If you have followed the guidance of our team up to this point, you should pass with flying colors!

Mechanical Exhaust

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The final verification paperwork covers kitchen and bathroom exhuast fans. All ventilation rates must pass one final verification test, using a duct blower. Any issues with these systems must have been remedied by this stage, to pass inspection.

More Services

In addition to compliance related services, we offer other miscellaneous tests and services. Take a look, and get a quote from us today!

LEED Certification

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LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a global system for rating the environmentalism of buildings. As LEED Green Associates, we can get your project certified LEED. This extra level of certification will increase the value and environmental benefits of the property.

Through LEED you can also aquire points and credits for your project. We will help you choose which credits to pursue for the most payback. The amount of points obtained will determine which level of certification you are rewarded: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.

Energy Star Certification

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Energy Star is another certification program, run by the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency). Buildings that score a 75 or higher on this scale, can qualify for this additional designation. All that you need is a licensed professional to sign off on your energy rating.

Buildings with the Energy Star stamp have higher market value while saving time and resources in the long run. It’s a great return on investment.

Energy Efficiency Audit

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We are licensed by ASHRAE to perform energy efficiency audits. A licensed technician will analyze all features of a home for efficiency. An energy audit provides and opportunity to assess what improvements could be made to make the building more efficient.

Not only will money and resources be saved, but creature comfort will improve. Plus, the value of your home will remain high, as quality will prevent damage. That is why we recommend this test is performed every year. We can identify and prevent major expenses, such as overworked HVAC systems that cause system collapse.

An EE audit, or home energy assessment, is also the first step to qualifying for a special programs/energy lungs

Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM)

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The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers an Energy Efficient Mortgage program to help make green energy upgrades affordable. You can save up to half a percent on your mortgage with certain providers if you pass California State Energy Efficient Mortgage guidelines. An opportunity to save tens of thousands of dollars when purchasing, selling, or refinancing your property is huge! In order to qualify, an energy assessment will need to be performed in order to verify basic mandatory upgrades. This option is cost effective and easy.

Energy Efficient Mortgages can also be used for upgrading new homes. In this instance, HERS Raters would be conducting a home energy assessment to help determine the cost effectiveness of upgrades. The expected savings from installing efficiency upgrades will offset the cost of the improvements. Based on these findings, the FHA approves an allocated amount towards energy efficient upgrades. Therefore, the FHA can guarantee an energy package loan to cover initial installation fees by lumping it in with the mortgage. Reach out to our experts for more information about this service.

PACE Loan / Special Programs

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PACE is one of the many programs that exist in California to help their residence afford energy-efficienct improvements. PACE loans are offered through government approved third parties. First, an Energy assessment must be completed by a licensed inspector. That’s where we come in!

We know which programs will work best for you. Reach out to our experts today.

Energy Efficient Tax Credits

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To incentivise energy efficinecy, the government offers many tax credit oppurtunities and programs.

For example, 45L is a tax credit that encourages the construction of energy efficient residential properties. Contractors may be eligible for a $2,000 tax credit per energy efficient unit. In order to qualify, a certified field technician must verify the efficiency of the dwelling unit(s) meets the programs standards.

To learn more about the special programs and savings you could qualify for, reach out to our expert team today.

Warranty Sign-Off

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If an appliance in your home has a current warranty, and it breaks, you would need a certified inspector to sign-off approval for replacing it. The reason is because warranties are not applicable in certain situations. The inspector would make sure that the appliance was installed properly according to California state law as well as according to the manufactures intructions. That way they can prove that the fault is due to the manufacturer.

Home Inspection

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We are certified by the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) to perform home inspections. Home inspections are typically a part of real estate transactions, for example selling a home. A home inspection is also required to qualify for an Energy Efficiency Mortgage (EEM).

During a home inspection, the inspector will document every part of the home. The data they collect will be supported with picture evidence, and documented through an inpection report.

Miscellaneous Compliance Testing

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State codes enforce basic minimum requirements for efficiency. However, local codes can vary from area to area. There are federal and local special addendums and programs. 

Our technicians will work with the owner and builders to make sure every step of the construction process is done properly, given codes in certain municipalities.

Basic Health and Safety

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a maximum level for every toxin that could be found in a home. 

If you are experiencing symptoms of sickness for no apparent reason, it may be a good idea to get some general tests done. We can ensure proper airflow, temperature control, and exterior seal. Reach out to an expert at BarrierEnergy; we are here to protect your health.

Testing Solar Panel Installs

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If your building has solar panels they should be tested regularly. It is required to have them inspected upon installation. We can certify that they have been installed properly.

Thermostat Programming

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We offer indoor and outdoor climate control systems integration and programming. All thermostats must be programmed and the program must be known. This system dictates temperature conditions, security alarms, and time settings.

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