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PSD staff grabbing a beer and a bite to eat after a long day of public speaking. Left to Right: Mike Turns, Jim Phelps, Ethan MacCormick

PSD staff joined over one thousand attendees at this year’s Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) 2014 Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, to discuss the latest in home energy ratings, existing home retrofits, building codes, and energy policy. The yearly event offered an incredible opportunity for PSD staff to catch up with industry peers and PSD Raters, learn about recent developments in the field, and share our in-house expertise on a range of topics. PSD staff took center stage at presentations throughout the week.

PSD has always been actively involved in growing the Rater workforce, and this year’s conference was no different. Ethan MacCormick, Vice President of Services to Energy Businesses, and Emelie Cuppernell, Manager of HERS Rater Provider Services, kicked off the week for PSD with a half-day Indoor airPLUS training. The training provided Raters in attendance the skills needed to understand and complete an Indoor airPLUS rating and meet the growing consumer preference for homes with improved indoor air quality.  Emelie Cuppernell gave another presentation entitled “Sample Ratings: As Clear as We Can Make Them” that explained the ins-and-outs of the sampling process for Ratings in multifamily buildings to new and experienced Raters in the field. As a Rater for seven years, and PSD’s HERS Rater Provider manager for three, Emelie was able to offer considerations of the trade that were welcomed by many Raters and Program administrators in attendance.  Ethan MacCormick was also a double-presenter, combining his expertise in software applications with years of in-field experience to deliver a presentation entitled, “Mobile Data Collection and Ratings: Touch and Go.” The presentation highlighted the recent advances in tablet computing, combined with cloud-based data management. Case studies included PSD’s Quality Assurance Team work, and a large ongoing residential baseline study.  In-house codes expert Mike Turns, Senior Program Manager for PSD, spoke to a packed room about the “Business Opportunities in Energy Codes and Performance Testing.” Touching on one of the major themes of this year’s conference, Mike walked Raters through requirements of the 2009, 2012, and 2015 IECCs. As building energy codes rapidly advance and performance testing becomes the norm rather than the exception, the session highlighted how Raters can capitalize on this growing market by understanding energy code requirement and how to market their services to builders.  Joining a panel of fellow industry experts, Senior Vice President of Program Services, Kathy Greely, spoke about “Incentivizing the Next Generation of High Performance Homes: Program Administrators discuss a post-IECC 2012/2015 Environment.” As a former program manager and current head of PSD’s programs team, Kathy was able to speak to the challenges that both program implementers and participants face when programs transition to the newest and most stringent building standards.

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