- The SWS have been updated to SWS Version 2017 (SWS v.2017).
- SWS v.2017 is the first major update to the SWS and reflects all adjudication efforts since the launch of the SWS Online Tool in 2014.
- Individuals can view all specifications that were changed via the 2017 Master Key and the 2017 SWS Comment Spreadsheet. Additional information can be found on the SWS Maintenance page.
- These updates reflect current industry best practices and should have minimal, if any, affect on the Home Energy Professional Certification exams.
- However, individuals preparing for the exams should continue using the previous versions of the SWS (available below) until the Quality Control Inspector (QCI) and Energy Auditor (EA) exams are aligned with SWS v.2017.
- We expect the new QCI and EA exams to be updated by late summer 2018.
News & Updates
- Save/Print existing field guides (this is done through your user account)
- Save/Print an entire housing type
We expect to complete all updates by August 31, 2017. Once the updates are completed, we will alert users via the site banner and via email. Please send any questions you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org and we thank you in advance for your cooperation.
The Standard Work Specifications are maintained through the submission of comments by industry experts throughout the year. Comments can be submitted at anytime through the SWS Online Tool. The below section contains a summary of comments that were received, reviewed, and adjudicated in 2015/2016.
SWS Maintenance Update
A total of 94 comments, received prior to October 31, 2015, were reviewed and adjudicated by the following committees: Health & Safety Committee, HVAC & Baseload, and Air Sealing & Infiltration. The resulting updates are displayed in the 2016 SWS Redline documents, which also contain all updates made during the 2015 Combustion Safety Maintenance Update. The 2016 SWS Comment Spreadsheet details the specific comments and adjudication responses. The 2016 SWS Redline documents and Comment Spreadsheet can be found via the SWS Maintenance page.
The changes represented in the redline versions and comment spreadsheet will be officially integrated into the SWS Online Tool by October 2017. Redline documents can be used as a reference by users who are looking for the most up-to-date industry standards.
Please note: At this time, Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) grantees are NOT required to revise their field guides in accordance with the redline documents.
Users continue to have the ability to submit comments via the SWS Online Tool. The next regularly scheduled SWS comment review will occur on March 19, 2017, held in conjunction with the HPC National Home Performance Conference. This event is open to the public. All new comments must be received by January 20, 2017 in order to be reviewed at this meeting. All comments submitted after this date will be reviewed at a later time.
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is currently seeking enthusiastic industry practitioners to participate on the Home Energy Professional (HEP) Quality Control Inspector (QCI) Job Task Analysis (JTA) and the QCI Scheme Maintenance Committees.
The QCI JTA Committee will be comprised of novice to expert single-family home energy professionals who will review the JTA-validation process and potentially revise the existing QCI JTA, developed in 2011. The committee will be responsible for facilitating revisions to the JTA over a two-year term, beginning in 2016.
The QCI Scheme Maintenance Committee will be a subcommittee of the QCI JTA Committee and comprised only of subject matter experts responsible for maintaining the scheme components to ensure the scheme aligns with current industry best practices. The committee members will be responsible for maintaining the certification scheme over a four-year term.
The estimated level of effort for both committees is approximately 4 hours per month.
Individuals who are interested in serving on the committee(s) are invited to submit their application via an online web form. Applications must be received by March 15, 2016.
This short video series not only talks about why the Standard Work Specifications (SWS) were developed, but it also provides examples of how to use them in the field: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urc8GYajCVs&list=PLaGHehoZpPuB-wkcTLShhwCxzPTzzazWO
Special thanks to Chris Baker, Energy Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator for the FSL Southwest Building Science Training Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
If you are interested in printing/saving all of the Standard Work Specifications for a particular housing type, please use the following links:
- Standard Work Specifications for Single-Family Home Energy Upgrades
- Standard Work Specifications for Multifamily Home Energy Upgrades
- Standard Work Specifications for Manufactured Housing Home Energy Upgrades
This enhanced print functionality is in beta release. Due to the intensive data processing required to generate each Web page, we recommend that you use a Web browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox.
Did you know that you can create a customized field guide for your state or agency, based on the Standard Work Specifications (SWS)? This feature was piloted by the Weatherization Assistance Network and is now available to the industry at large. The SWS Field Guide template allows users to create a step-by-step guide for implementing a vast array of weatherization measures and includes a list of necessary tools and materials, illustrated instructions, before/after photos, and additional notes. As of June 2017, all new and existing users should have access to the template via their My Account tab. Please contact
The Standard Work Specifications (SWS) Tool website will be inaccessible on Saturday, January 10, from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time due to a U.S. Department of Energy-required critical security upgrade.
Please contact us with questions or to report any issues following the upgrade.
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) was created in 1976 to assist low-income families who lacked resources to invest in energy efficiency. Through the services and education this program provides, participants experience an increase in health and comfort and a reduction in energy bills. Many times these savings have a huge impact on the household. This video not only shines a light of the existing success of the WAP, but it also takes a look at its recent evolution through the Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals project. This particular effort has brought a greater sense of unity to the industry, defining quality work, quality workers, and quality training. Watch the video now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73BUtF1TzOo
The first ever Standard Work Specifications (SWS) Maintenance Committee meetings were held on Monday, April 28, 2014 in Detroit, MI, which preceded the 2014 ACI National Home Performance Conference. Twenty-two subject matter experts, split amongst four technical sub-committees, reviewed one hundred eighty comments that were submitted prior to the event. On Friday, May 2, 2014, an Executive Committee meeting was held with all committee chairs to resolve any crosscutting issues and comments flagged for further discussion.
All comments have been resolved and SWS content is currently being updated. Please keep this in mind as you are using the SWS Online Tool.
Another announcement will be sent once all SWS content updates have been completed. Please visit the SWS Maintenance page to view the 2014 SWS Maintenance Report, and to view all comments that were submitted prior to this year's April 21, 2014 deadline.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this period of maintenance, and please send any questions to email@example.com.
The first ever Standard Work Specifications (SWS) Maintenance Committee meetings were held on Monday, April 28, 2014 in Detroit, MI, which preceded the 2014 ACI National Home Performance Conference. 22 subject matter experts, split amongst 4 technical sub-committees, reviewed 180 comments that were submitted prior to the event. Although the day was long, committees participated in some great discussions around which comments should be accepted, which should be accepted with modification, and which should not be accepted.
On Friday, May 2, 2014, an Executive Committee meeting was held with all committee chairs to resolve any cross-cutting issues and comments flagged for further debate.
Comment resolutions are now being reviewed by the NREL technical team and users can expect all updates to be made by the end of this summer. Any further questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and any further comments may be submitted through the tool.
To ensure that the Standard Work Specifications (SWS) continue to be a consensus-based, centralized resource for promoting best practices and maintaining consistency throughout the home performance industry, an SWS maintenance committee will inform regular revisions of the SWS in accordance with current home performance industry best practices.
The first committee meetings will be held on Monday, April 28, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT. All stakeholders are invited to observe the proceedings at the Cobo Center, as a pre-conference event in conjunction with the 2014 ACI National Home Performance Conference. Please see the table below for the committee and the associated room. A plenary discussion will take place at 9:00 a.m., with individual committee meetings commencing at approximately 10:30 a.m.
SWS Maintenance Event Plenary and Health & Safety Committee
Air Sealing & Insulation Committee
The subcommittees will be addressing technical comments that have already been submitted on the SWS, as well as providing feedback on the usability of the SWS Online Tool. New comments will not be addressed at the SWS maintenance event; all comments on the SWS need to be submitted by April 21, 2014 in order to be considered.
NREL wants your best weatherization photos! These photos will be uploaded to the new SWS Field Guide Flickr group and uniformly tagged. The photos will also be available for individuals and organizations to use when creating Field Guides based on the SWS.
Specifically, individuals are encouraged to submit photos for the following topics:
Please note that step-by-step images are especially useful for the template. If you are interested in submitting photos, please contact Deborah.email@example.com for further information and thank you in advance for your support of this effort.
In December 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy officially made available its new Quality Work Plan (QWP) requirement, further raising the bar within the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and setting an example for high quality and assurance within the industry at large.
One critical component of the new QWP requires state grantees to align their field guides to reflect the desired outcomes of the Standard Work Specifications (SWS). In order to assist states with this task, NREL, in collaboration with the WAP field guide collaborative, recently developed a new field guide template that allows users to create custom field guides that identify the necessary tools, materials and steps, as well as before and after photos, all from within the SWS Online Tool. Completed field guides can also be shared with other users. For more information on how this functionality works and to request access, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is pleased to announce that users of the SWS Online Tool now have the ability to submit comments from directly within the website. This feature was developed in order to support the SWS as a living resource that adapts to advancements in technology and understanding. Users are encouraged to submit comments, which will be reviewed at the first SWS maintenance committee, set to convene at the 2014 ACI National Home Performance Conference. To ensure that your comments are reviewed this year, please submit them by COB April 21, 2014.
To comment, users will need to first log into the SWS Online Tool and navigate to the desired specification (please note: the comment option will not be visible if you are not logged in). Users will then be able to leave a comment or a question by selecting the Comment button. Once submitted, that comment will be held for review. Users are able to review all comments that they have made by selecting the My Account link at the top of the site, and then choosing Comments.
If you would like to leave a general comment or would like to suggest new content, please send your comment(s) to email@example.com.
Learn more about the SWS maintenance and review process here.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is seeking technical comments on the Standard Work Specifications (SWS) as part of its effort to maintain a consensus-based, centralized resource for promoting best practices and maintaining consistency throughout the home performance industry. Comments will be evaluated and processed by SWS maintenance committees, scheduled to convene at the 2014 ACI National Home Performance Conference. More information on the committees and maintenance process is available here.
NREL is currently developing a formal SWS commenting tool to streamline and simplify the commenting process. Before this commenting tool becomes available, please submit any comments on the SWS to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is currently seeking enthusiastic industry practitioners who are interested in discussing, evaluating, and voting on proposed changes/updates to the Standard Work Specifications (SWS) for single-family home, multifamily home, and manufactured housing energy upgrades.
Individuals who are interested in serving on the 2014 SWS maintenance committees are invited to submit their credentials via an online application. Completed applications are due by 5:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST) on Friday, January 10, 2014. The appointed 2014 SWS maintenance committees will meet in conjunction with the 2014 ACI National Home Performance Conference.
SWS define the minimum requirements to ensure that the work performed during home energy upgrades is effective, durable, and safe. NREL and the U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) developed the SWS in collaboration with industry subject matter experts, program administrators, health and safety experts, weatherization contractors, and product manufacturers. Federal partners at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also contributed to the soundness of the SWS.
After a multi-year development and review period involving both industry stakeholders and the WAP, the SWS became available for public use in 2013. In order to maintain the SWS as a living resource that adapts to advancements in technology and understanding, a formal SWS maintenance process will inform regular revisions of the SWS in accordance with current home performance industry best practices. A large component of the maintenance process is the designation of annual SWS maintenance committees that will review all comments submitted against the current version of the SWS. Learn more about the SWS maintenance process here.
Please note: NREL is currently in the process of developing a formal commenting tool. Before this commenting tool becomes available however, all comments to the SWS may be sent to email@example.com.
The Calculation of the Infiltration Credit referenced in 6.9901.1 Supplemental Ventilation Information—ASHRAE 62.2 was updated to reflect changes made to ASHRAE Standard 62.2 with the revision to the 2013 version. Significant changes occured with the update to the 2013 version of the standard, which are now reflected in the Standard Work Specifications. The content was updated because the calculation of the infiltration credit was simplified.
With the announcement of the newly accredited Home Energy Professional certifications, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) continues to reaffirm its commitment to supporting an effective and highly skilled weatherization workforce.
On September 27, 2013 the Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI) announced that all four Home Energy Professional (HEP) certifications were awarded accreditation by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
The four certifications—Quality Control Inspector, Energy Auditor, Crew Leader, and Retrofit Installer Technician—are the only home performance credentials that are supported by DOE and accredited by ANSI.
ANSI ISO 17024 accreditation is the global benchmark for personnel certifications across all industries and is designed to ensure consistency and impartiality throughout the certification process. Recognized as the gold standard, ISO 17024 accreditation of the HEP certifications allows consumers and program administrators to validate contractor experience with credentials that are a strong indicator of worker competence and performance.
With the launch of the certifications, interested individuals can now find accredited training centers that support the new HEP certifications, apply to take a certification exam, and, if approved, schedule to take the exam at a participating testing center. A national registry of HEP-certified workers also makes it easy to find these certified home energy professionals.
A Larger Vision
This milestone follows the availability of the Standard Work Specifications (SWS) for Home Energy Upgrades, which is another major component of the overarching Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals project. The SWS define quality work within the weatherization industry and provide a common language to workers, employees, inspectors, utilities, and homeowners. The SWS also serve as a basis to the accredited HEP certifications, which reflect a worker's knowledge of these vetted industry-developed standards.
The availability of the accredited certifications, the SWS for all three housing types (single family, multifamily and manufactured housing), and accredited training programs brings a new level of confidence and trust to the weatherization industry, and provides even more reassurance for employees, employers, consumers, and utilities.
Read more about the Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals project.