Section R402.4.1.2 says when the code official requires it,
the testing will be done by an approved third party. A
report generated by the approved third party would then be
submitted to the code official. So, it is not saying
somebody else does the sign-off, but that the code official
would approve the tester and accept or reject her or his
report. The other Section in question, R104.5 authorizes the
code official to accept reports of inspection agencies he or
she approves and requires such agencies to satisfy the
requirements related to qualifications and reliability.
Florida Statute 553.993(5) and (7) defines Energy auditor
and Energy Rater, respectively. Both call for certification.
Further, Ch. 553.998 , F.S. permits the local enforcement
agencies to accept inspections by individuals as defined in
the aforementioned sections of Florida Statute. The question
is does the certification
of the Building Performance Institute qualify individuals so
certified to do such testing and provide such reports. The
answer is yes based on the following: 1. The BPI Program is
a national program that includes classroom and field
training and examination. 2. The program to become a BPI
rater has prerequisites before one is pemitted to take the
training. 3. BPI partners with the USDOE on rating existing
homes. 4. BPI certified raters are subject to a quality
control program. 5.The raters may only operate on
code related items with the approval of the code official.
6. There is no requirement for a local jurisdiction to
accept reports it does not believe are correct. 7. The
program is an additional resource for departments that may
not have the expertise to conduct increasingly complicated
energy audits for new or existing construction.