The Foundation for Pool & Spa Industry Education is rolling out a new online course for energy auditors.

The Certified Aquatic Energy Auditor Course is intended to be a primer for those working outside of the pool industry, namely home energy auditors.

This group of professionals is figuring larger in the pool industry as more utility providers offer generous rebates to incentivize homeowners to make energy-efficient upgrades, said Michael Orr, FPSIE’s executive director. A growing number of those rebate programs factor pool equipment into the efficiency equation.

Auditors play a key role in this: They often contract with energy companies to conduct whole-home inspections to determine an applicant’s qualifications. While they are qualified to gauge the performance of, say, an HVAC system, many are confused when it comes to pool equipment.

This roughly 15-hour course intends to bring them up to speed on swimming pool circulation, Orr said.

The course is different from FPSIE’s signature Certified Aquatic Equipment Installer program. The CAEI is geared toward the pool trade, certifying technicians to install variable-speed pumps on behalf of two California utilities. The auditor course, however, is tailored to ancillary trades, such as HVAC contractors and licensed electricians who are conducting audits for utilities. As such, it delves into swimming pool basics more than the CAEI does.

Another notable difference: The installers course is a California program, whereas the auditor course is intended to be nationwide.

The Certified Aquatic Energy Auditor Course is expected to go live in February.