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Why does BPI refuse to protect consumers?



  • Dave, You're right! Performance assurance must be measured and verified. The steps we take in business are three actions: compile report or assessment; review or plan of action; and finally reconciling an audit to measure against the other two steps.

    How this applies is that we are seeing many conduct audits and then contractor come in and may or may not be able to determine performance after the fact. This then creates many different problems in the market place.

    What we do is all actions and measurement to determine the bench marks of the building, then when we submit rfp(s); we specially ask the contractors what measures of performance assurance will they assert in the warranty of their work?

    Today it is wide open as to what is occurring.

    Tomorrow belongs to those who understand the delivery of expectation performance that will thrive and gain market share! The audit one year after the work is completed brings conclusive proof of performance. It also helps relations!
  • I want BPI to either get this contractor to be in compliance or remove him from their Gold Star list. Naming him will not do this.
    He is not the only contractor doing this. He knows what is best practice and charges his customers as if he is providing it and then fires workers who try to provide it. BPI is complicit in his deception because they fail to keep him in line.

    I want BPI to actually meet their mandate and what I see is a failure to protect the public and honest contractors. It is a dereliction of duty.
  • Nate- Somewhat of a separate topic, but relevant to the broader QA and measurement & verification debate, Energy Star actually has a simple EUI for homes -- "Home Energy Yardstick." Very simple: zip code (for weather), square footage, # occupants, and 12 months of electricity and fuel usage.
    https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fu ... GetStarted
    Not sure why it hasn't gained traction like its EUI-based Portfolio Manager cousin in the commercial building world.
    Perhaps because it is an operational score and not an asset score- so less likely to be used by the real estate and EMV spheres. In that case, Home Energy Score is its asset-score equivalent, which is gaining traction.
  • Andy, sorry, I missed your comment. I remember playing with that tool and not liking it, I forget why. Home Energy Score makes me nervous, too little granularity and no blower door. Too easy to game. EUI just is. You can game square footage a bit, but I think there are ways around that. More to come, and we're pretty off thread...
  • I think it speaks volumes that BPI does not dispute my claims of not having any way to get them to investigate the practices of their Gold Star accredited contractors.
    I believe that BPI should be investigated by the NYS legislature. They have received 10s of millions of dollars in taxpayer money but fail the basic premise that gives them any reason to exist.
    I call on BPI to immediately correct this glaring lack of oversight or close their doors. In my opinion they are committing fraud by creating the illusion of oversight when they elect to not have any real QA/QC program and knowingly allow their accredited contractors to game the system.
  • I know of RESNET raters who offer ratings and never show up and have turned these raters into RESNET never to hear another word. BPI is no different in all they want are members and no policing is being done there either. All these organizations want are members and dues - How many Green accreditations are out there ? Now with energy scoring being used to verify 2015 codes it will only become worse in that too many organizations will try to get into this emerging market. Now with blower door numbers to meet code is a good idea but how often are contractors sending in equipment to have it calibrated. I know of one person always testing homes under 1 ACH and I also know the builders having these homes built and NO WAY is this possible. We have let loose too many unscrupulous people (they are not to be considered contractors) on an untrained public and who suffers is the public who has a right to buy good housing but are being shortchanged.
  • BPI is a joke. I let my Goldstar/BA/EP expire due to their extreme BS. As part of my QA a nice guy named Jeremy .. came to my office, he said "you are exactly the type of company we want to be accredited.' In the following days, I tried to renew my accreditation multiple times in an online portal that did not work (3 hours wasted). I emailed my documents and called to tell them. They
    said they weren't renewing me because 1) the credit card number on my application read mm/yy, not mm/yyyy; 2) the company owners name wasn't on application although I signed it as the owner and 3) I did not submit another accreditation agreement although the original agreement says it is in force until revoked. The person... I spoke to on the phone told me it wasn't her problem and she had to suspend me since I didn't submit the form on the site. Good riddens.
  • The best way to track performance remains with energy bills, IMHO. It's real, it can't be gamed. It can be free or nearly free. It can measure savings after a retrofit.

    It's tricky to predict occupant behavior, but disaggregation can help pull much of that variable out. A house with a 1 ACH should kick butt. If fudging is going on, it will come out over time, particularly if builders make bets on usage as the house goes up. Which they can. Check out Richard Rue's work. 45,000 energy guarantees to date.

    VW got caught playing games with measurement. Our industry can do the same and catch the cheaters. A tool a friend of mine is working on is about to launch its next version. I'd love to crash his server with people signing up. All of us who say we're good can prove it. More soon.
  • There is a major point here that should not be overlooked: To get the private sector to invest in energy upgrades they need some assurance that the upgrades were installed correctly and will perform within expectations. Anything less and the private sector won't invest; it is that simple. People and institutions who invest money are 'risk avers' so poor quality won't do. Build a sustainable industry on a reliable foundation and it will happen.
  • Risk averse - fat fingers...
  • Jim, I am a RESNET Quality Assurance Designee. When you turn in a Rater to RESNET the circumstances of your report will be investigated immediately. You may not learn the outcome as that is between RESNET, the Rating Provider and the HERS Rater. RESNET requires quality assurance and oversight of all their Raters including file review and field verification. Raters can and have been de-certified for actions you describe.

    I also used to be a BPI Training Affiliate and even a BPI Super Proctor for BPI (I Proctored those who wanted to be a BPI Proctor.) I chose to sever my relationship with BPI when they started putting homeowners in a position of potential serious harm and BAs in a very serious position of liability and when I asked them about it their response was, "They are business people, they should have liability insurance. They signed a code of ethics with us. BPI has no liability or responsibility in this matter." The two organizations are very different.
  • Contractors, like Chris, don't need BPI or any other entity between them and the consumer. Reminds me of BBB and NATE. If it isn't good for me, it likely does nothing for my customer.

    Knowledgeable code officials and private consultants, where necessary, keep the consumer as "safe" as he can be, depending on his resources and willingness to invest in quality.
  • BPI like any other 'paid trade membership' is designed to lobby government for funding to help promote jobs for your industry. (Tax Incentives and mandatory efficiency standards)
    It's not designed to be the police for bad contractors. If you thought you would receive something more for your membership dollars, you misinterpreted the purpose of a trade group. It's quite simple.
  • True, BPI is not Angies List. Any BPI certification is a demonstration of knowledge not quality of performace. That said, I have let my certification expire because it's not universally recognized (like Energy Star for example) and does not presenlty provide anyimmediate benefit to my company. Should I see a need or advantage to be re-certified in the future I will certainly act on that when the time comes.
  • Richard, if the trade organization creates standards and then lobbies for them to be included into a code, i.e. RESNET, then they have to follow the standards and show off how useful they are.

    If what multiple people in this thread allege is true, BPI is not just lobbying for their standards to be used, but are completely ignoring the actual use of the standards they have developed.
  • @Connor: your point regarding RESNET is spot on. Now that the IECC recognizes HERS as a compliance option by the ICC, RESNET has been amping up its QA program. See: http://bit.ly/1TB4daD
  • @Conner: If the allegations in this thread were not true BPI would be on it defending themselves. Their silence speaks volumes.
  • I think what Richard says may be true, but why? There's no excuses for shoddy performance. It's not to easy to pass BPI testing protocols. I've taken the class and have tested multiple homes.
  • Every credential should include a disciplinary process in the event of work that does not meet the standard. Poor work isn't good for anyone for quite a few reasons (and eventually it will come back to haunt the contractor, too), and it also dilutes the standard. Passing a test shouldn't be permanent tenure. If you break the rules, then you don't get to keep the credential - because it's a promise and a commitment.
  • Trade groups should not excuse shotty workmanship. Trade groups also know if they fined business members or rated them poorly they would have the same success as the BBB. Maybe it's time RESNET was also stung by the State's Attorney General as Connecticut did to the Better Business Bureau in 2010? See here:

    http://ctwatchdog.com/business/ct-attor ... ess-bureau

    "Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is threatening the Better Business Bureau with legal action unless it changes its controversial marketing program which gives accredited businesses better grades in return for annual payments."

    "According to sources, Blumenthal's investigation into the bureau's letter grade system has convinced him what many consumer advocates - including myself - have been saying, that it's a marketing system designed to pressure businesses to pay to become accredited members."

    See any difference between RESNET and BBB?