Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Rater: Online Training

About The Training:

Responding to the market needs for virtual education, Southface brings this longtime training offering to a new,live online format!

Our current HERS training registration has closed, but please contact us here if you would like to be notified about future HERS trainings.


Completion of this training is the necessary step for becoming a Certified Home Energy Rater authorized to administer the Home Energy Rating System (HERS), as developed and maintained by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET).

Southface will present 10 live, instructor led half-day online sessions with experienced HERS trainer Mike Barcik, who has taught this course over 100 times since 1999. The training will conclude with all required RESNET evaluations, and the price includes proctoring costs for each RESNET exam.

The course requires completion of prerequisite online training modules, which must be completed prior to online instructor-led sessions. Content includes homework problems and practice test questions, as well as practice using rating software and combustion safety and rating simulator tools.

The assessment phase includes all three RESNET required tests (the 55-question National Rater Exam, the RESNET Combustion Appliance Simulation Test and the RESNET Rater Simulation Practical Test), as well as a proctored “oral exam” of blower door, duct leakage testing and ventilation air flow, as well as an actual projected rating of a home based on plans.

The course must be completed within two months of starting, but all coursework and assignments are designed to be completed comfortably within one month.

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to connect with a Certified Home Energy Rating Provider and complete the necessary provisional ratings to begin performing certified Home Energy Ratings.

Following is an overview the course structure:

Mandatory Prerequisite Modules

Upon enrolling in the Southface HERS Training, complete the following pre-course required modules (~9 hours total):

  • Construction Math for HERS Raters – calculations of building areas and volumes (~1 hour, plus problems)
  • Building Science Fundamentals – (each ~1 hr)
    • Heat,
    • Air,
    • Moisture
  • Cracking the Building Energy Code (~1 hour)
  • Demystifying Energy Modeling (~1 hour)
  • Healthy Homes and Fresh Air Systems (~1 hour)
  • High Performance Homes and the Value HERS Raters Provide (~1 hour)
  • Video on basic field diagnostic tools, including blower door, duct leakage and ventilation system air flow measurements (~1 hour)

Help us help you (and others): For something new, at the end of each module, create a single HW or test-like question and submit to the HERSinstructor@Southface.org. It can be easy or hard, a concept or a calculation in a multiple choice or True/False format. The instructor will answer and will also share with the class.

Pre-Training Meet-Up

During the week prior to live classes, Southface will conduct a short, live (online) all-hands meeting to perform introductions, answer questions, review pre-course and class expectations and confirm familiarity with online training platform (Zoom).

Live Instructor-Led Training

Day 1: Quick orientation, review of class expectations, “Virtual binder” review.

HERS industry overview, software and simulation demonstrations, Geometry review, take-offs, perimeter, areas, volume, roof pitch, etc. High performance homes, energy bills and climate zones. BS Part 1 – Heat Transfer basics.

HW: Use 3DSim to perform take-offs + Uncle Bruce, HW probs 1-3, Sketch your house floorplan and 4 elevations. Read Ekotrope Help files and RESNET Standards

Day 2: Review HW
BS Part 2 Air Movement – House of Pressure demonstration (video/prop).
Moisture Flow; Basic+Advanced wood framing. Pressure and Diagnostics – blower door setup and usage. BD cfm adjustments (temp+altitude). Calculating ACH, ELR

HW: Fun with Psychrometrics, read SF Factsheet BD+db, Appendix A-26-27 plus Standard 380 for house leakage testing. Ekotrope file review – read help file.

Day 3: Review HW
SFer to set up blower door, show 30 Pa fan pressure for different rings for B, A, Open – show impact on house pressure, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 Pa – discuss multipoint test (mention Guarded vs. Unguarded for MF). Air sealing details, intro to insulation

HW: Use 3DSim, air sealing, BD gauge setup and steps to program for single and multiple test, Ekotrope file review – read help file on infiltration entry.

Day 4: Review HW
Insulation + heat transfer calculations. Insulating building components, Grading install. Windows. Entering FIELD home into HERS software

HW: Use 3DSim, enter component assemblies, insulation grading problems, Ekotrope file review – read help file on component entry. Watch SF BS Webinar on Insulation Installation
————————–Week 1 ends——————————————

Day 5: Review HW
Energy Units. Mechanicals, Part 1: Heating and AC, equipment and ductwork. Model numbers for FIELD house. Entering equipment into HERS software. Intro to duct testing concepts. TOT vs. LTO

HW: Use 3DSim, enter equipment details, mechanical problems. Ekotrope file review – read help file on mechanical equipment.

Day 6: Review HW
Mechanicals, Part 2: Duct testing, Hot Water, Ventilation & IAQ Heating and AC, equipment and ductwork. Entering Ducts, WH & ventilation equipment numbers for FIELD house into HERS software.

HW: Use 3DSim, enter hot water systems and ducts, ventilation problems, Ekotrope file review – read help file on hot water and ventilation. try RESCAZ(?)

Day 7: Review HW
Lighting and appliances and renewables, RESNET industry and Standards overview. Entering lights, appliances, renewables numbers for FIELD house into HERS software.

HW: Use 3DSim, enter lights, appliances, renewables. Ekotrope file review – read help file on lighting and appliances and renewables.

————————–Week 2 ends——————————————

Day 8: Review HW
Combustion safety – concepts and RESCAZ simulator –

HW: Read ACCA 12 standard handout, practice RESCAZ simulator

Day 9: Review HW
Combustion safety – field demo and RESCAZ simulator review scenarios

  • Take and pass RESCAZ simulator exam

Day 10:
Discuss remaining HERS Evaluations (oral exam via Zoom on BD&db, rating actual house based on plan, 3DSim houses, 55 Q exam). Schedule for proctoring evaluations
Work practice problems and content review for 55 Q exam – MikeB to lead.

————————–Week 3 ends——————————————

HERS EVALUATIONS: Complete remaining HERS evaluations:

  • Take 55 Q exam
  • Complete oral exam – BD and db leakage test for your house and ducts – proctored via Zoom (you will need access to test equipment and house with ducts located in the attic).
  • Rate HouseMB from plans – (use BD/db leakage numbers from your house) – share file with SF instructor for grading.
  • Take and complete RESNET 3DSim

Results and certification of successful completion will be emailed after all evaluations are graded and compiled.


$2,845 (includes RESNET fees)

As a Certified Home Energy Rater, you will be able to produce energy rating reports that will help home buyers and homeowners qualify for financing incentives through a variety of private and government loan programs. Raters provide the documentation for home builders to receive credit for beyond-code construction and with more modern energy codes, raters can help builders demonstrate compliance via the Energy Rating Index (ERI) pathway.

By applying a building science-based knowledge with industry approved energy modeling software and enhanced diagnostic tools, Certified HERS Rater is one of the highest residential energy credentials that can be earned by an individual. Home Energy Ratings can be performed on both new and existing homes and are utilized by numerous energy and green building certification programs including ENERGY STAR, EarthCraft House, LEED for Homes and National Green Building Standard, as well as many utility rebate programs and energy code compliance efforts.

This training complies with RESNET’s Mortgage Industry National Home Energy Rating System Accreditation Standard, which has been adopted by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of State Energy Officials. For more information about the Home Energy Rating industry, visit www.resnet.us.