Mentorship FAQ

What is a Rating Field Inspector (RFI)? A Rating Field Inspector (RFI) is an entry-level position in the HERS Industry. An RFI gathers data in the field by conducting on-site inspections and running diagnostic tests on buildings. The RFI collects data to verify whether various building components, such as insulation, HVAC systems, and windows, are installed the same way they were called for in the building plans. RFIs work under the guidance of a certified Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Rater.

What is a HERS Modeler? A HERS Modeler is an also entry-level position in the HERS Industry. A modeler takes the data gathered in the field and puts it into a specialized software system to create an energy model of the building that is used to calculate it's overall energy efficiency. Modelers also work under the guidance of a certified Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Rater.

What is a HERS Rater? A HERS Rater is a kind of energy auditor who both collects data in the field (as an RFI does) and inputs it into the energy modeling software (as a modeler does). The rater can also use the collected data to analyze the energy efficiency of a building by calculating the HERS Index score and make recommendations to builders, designers and homeowners about how to improve the energy efficiency of a building. RESNET Certified HERS Raters are qualified to perform duct tightness and blower door testing for home builders, certify projects for the ENERGY STAR program (after also completing the Energy Star Certified Homes Program), rate new homes in all states (except CA), and assist homeowners with problems such as ice dams, moisture, and mold.

What is the HERS Index? The HERS Index is the gold standard for energy efficiency ratings of buildings. Over 4 million homes have been issued a HERS Index Score in the US. 

What does it mean that RFIs and HERS Modelers operate under a HERS Rater? RFIs and HERS Modelers work closely with a certified HERS Rater throughout the energy assessment process. The HERS Rater provides guidance and oversight to ensure that both field assessments and energy models are conducted accurately and in accordance with industry standards. Only a certified HERS Rater can sign off on a HERS rating that is uploaded into the RESNET registry.

Why is the mentorship pilot project only open to Massachusetts residents? NEHERS received an Equity Workforce Planning and Capacity Building grant from MassCEC in order to run this project and the funds are only for Massachusetts residents at this time. 

What is the time commitment involved for a participant in this Pilot Project? We anticipate that it will be a time commitment of approximately 20 hours a week from April through June of 2024 in order to complete the online modules with the class, conduct the mentored field ratings or models, and take the exams. Upon successful completion of the training, candidates will be considered for full-time employment by the employer with whom they are paired at the beginning of the training. 

What will the schedule be for this program?

The schedule will be as follows:

  • April and May: progress as a class through recorded online modules.
  • June: work on mentored ratings or models and take exams.
  • July: begin of the transition into the workplace.
  • August, September and October: with ongoing case management support.

Is there any cost for candidates to participate in this program? No, there are no registration fees, but having a valid driver's license and access to your own transportation is a requirement of the program. 

Are there stipends or subsidized wages for participants in this program? Not at this time, but this is something we would like to offer in the future.

What exams do an RFIs and HERS Modelers have to take? An RFI candidate must pass the Combustion Safety (RESCAZ) Exam and a HERS Modeler must pass the HERS Modeler Practical Evaluation. 

What are mentored ratings or mentored rating models? Mentored ratings or models are practice ratings or models conducted under the supervision of an experienced rater. 

What are the steps to becoming an RFI? 

  • Complete at least three mentored ratings under the supervision of a certified HERS Rater or Candidate Field Assessor
  • Pass the RESCAZ Exam
  • Pass the Final Graded Field Evaluation under the supervision of a Candidate Field Assessor

Additional information about becoming an RFI can be found here.

What are the steps to becoming a HERS Modeler? 

  • Complete at least three mentored rating models as part of the training.
  • Pass the HERS Modeler Practical Evaluation
  • Successfully complete a minimum of two additional probationary rating models under the supervision of a Rating Quality Assurance Provider for each RESNET Accredited Software Tool they use.

Additional information about becoming a HERS Modeler can be found here.