Career Resources > Overview

Industry Introduction

The Home Performance industry is committed to a whole-house approach to identify and fix comfort and energy efficiency problems of homes across the nation. Residential energy efficiency means getting the same job done – anything from lighting a room to heating an entire home – using less energy. There are many benefits that are related to increasing the energy efficiency of a home, such as saving money on utility bills, increasing the comfort of a home by ensuring efficiency heating, cooling and ventilation systems, and increasing the indoor air quality of a home by decreasing pollutants such as mold or dust.

Reductions in demand for energy helps to conserve valuable resources like oil, natural gas, and coal used to run power plants, which in turn protects the environment, by reducing the amount of pollutants emitted into the air.

To create jobs, the Home Performance industry has encouraged government entities to develop programs and policies that focus on generating additional customer demand for retrofitss. This has resulted in a flood of legislation and funding to encourage residential assessments and retrofits, such as:

  • Municipal financing programs 
  • Utility-run residential energy efficiency incentive programs 
  • Ordinances requiring energy retrofits when homes are sold 
  • The proposed HOME STAR upgrade rebate and financing program 
  • Utility Demand Side Management (DSM) programs 
  • Statewide Home Performance with ENERGY STAR retrofit incentive programs in places such as New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Oregon 
  • Federal allocation of $24.4 billion to promote energy efficiency through the 2009 America Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) 
  • California’s 811 legislation authorizing the development of property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing mechanisms throughout the state

There is a need for trained staff within the Home Performance industry because companies expect an increase in demand for all types of residential construction and remodeling work and believe finding qualified staff will become more difficult.

The Home Performance industry is new, rapidly changing, and made up of mainly small, entrepreneurial companies. The industry is rapidly growing and changing, and training providers are responding by developing new programs that fit industry needs.

Employment Picture

During 2009, 25,000 homes were retrofitted to the exact specifications of Home Performance with Energy Star standards[1]. In 2009, Home Energy Magazine stated that 250,000 residential retrofits had happened nationwide. In 2010, energy efficiency job growth was 18% in response to increased market demand [2]. The source of the demand for Home Performance careers is the Department of Energy’s challenge charged to Americans to retrofit 10 million homes per year in an effort to increase energy efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

Because of this, the Home Performance Resource Center estimates that 55,000 jobs will be created every year within the Home Performance industry by 2025 [3]. This job growth will help achieve a 25% reduction in residential energy consumption by 2025 as well.

Commercial Building Performance is another sector within the larger Building Performance industry. Commercial Building Performance seeks to achieve better performance in commercial buildings by taking a complete approach to improving the energy efficiency, comfort and productivity of buildings. Activities address building systems (HVAC, lighting, etc.) as well as operations and maintenance. Common building performance services include building tune-ups, retrocommissioning, comprehensive building assessments and retrofits.

The growth of the Home Performance industry is dependent on policies and incentive programs that increase customer demand for home energy retrofits. Given the current economic environment, companies have not had difficulty hiring retrofit workers, but they expect that finding qualified staff will become more difficult when the recession ends and customer demand for all types of residential construction and remodeling work picks up again.

Home Performance companies are concerned about how to develop their businesses. Many companies within the Home Performance industry said their primary concern was either staying in business in the current economy or finding new avenues for growth.

The table shown below is an overview of the employment picture for Home Performance positions identified by the Building Performance Institute. [4]

  1. Building Performance Institute's "2010 Workforce Survey"