What Does an Energy Inspector Do?

Nick Mann

A career as an energy inspector revolves around monitoring energy use and optimizing the energy consumption of residential homes and businesses. Being successful in this field usually requires a person with an analytical mind, interpersonal skills and an eye for detail. In most cases, an individual will need a high school diploma or equivalent, and a certification in electrical inspection to obtain a position. Some common responsibilities of an energy inspector are answering public inquiries, checking energy use of a residence or building, performing inspections, assisting with equipment installation and helping people optimize their homes for energy efficiency.

An energy inspector may suggest installation of solar panels.
An energy inspector may suggest installation of solar panels.

Throughout his daily duties, an energy inspector will often spend a significant amount of time answering public inquiries. For example, he might answer questions concerning energy codes from contractors prior to building a house. Other times, he may help a homeowner identify possible reasons for energy costs suddenly spiking up. Due to the wide variety of inquiries he may encounter, an energy inspector must be knowledgeable in all subjects pertaining to energy.

Another large part of this job involves checking the energy use of a residence or building. In order to determine how much energy is being used and the subsequent costs, an energy inspector will usually check a utility meter or other measuring device. Afterward, he will document the reading by placing the information into a file so it can be reviewed later on if necessary.

Along with this, he will be responsible for performing inspections. This might involve traveling to a construction site to see if electrical outlets comply with building codes. In other cases, he may inspect a building after new additions have been made or a new heating system has been installed. Sometimes, an energy inspector might also inspect a residence to determine which areas are lacking in energy efficiency. To be effective, he must be thorough with each inspection and communicate clearly with others.

When a home or business owner has energy-saving equipment installed, an energy inspector will often assist in the process. For example, he might help with installing insulation for piping or geothermal heat pumps. Since he is the expert in this field, it's up to him to ensure that all equipment is correctly installed and working properly.

In addition, this position sometimes involves helping people optimize their homes for energy efficiency. If a homeowner is experiencing high energy costs in the winter, an energy inspector might recommend installing new insulation in an attic. He may also propose ideas for individuals looking to implement green energy, such as solar panels, or more efficient appliances.

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