Energy advisors are typically program staff who help customers understand, manage, and successfully navigate the home energy assessment and upgrade processes. Customer services can range from providing independent technical advice to serving as the customer’s primary point of contact for all program services. A program’s decision to use energy advisors varies by community needs and program resources.
Energy efficient mortgages (EEMs) allow borrowers to include the cost of energy efficiency improvements in a mortgage. Lenders offer EEMs through allowing increases in the amount that a borrower can borrow relative to the property value and the debt that the borrower is eligible to carry relative to their income. The Federal Housing Administration and Fannie Mae offer versions of EEMs.
Energy modeling, or simulation, is the practice of using software to model the energy performance of a home or its systems. Modeling is typically used by contractors or programs to estimate the energy savings that a customer could expect from completing various energy efficiency improvements.
To predict energy savings, program administrators select among different approaches (e.g., modeled savings, deemed savings, hybrid methods) that use information about the quantity and type of building improvements and engineering estimates of expected energy savings. Energy savings estimates may differ from actual energy use because of weather, home size, number of occupants, occupant behavior, installation quality, or other factors.