Pearl’s Accreditation Standards establish the criteria through which an organization becomes recognized as meeting minimum requirements to:

  • Become a Qualified Source of certifiable data and/or

  • Join the Pearl Network

Ethical Energy Volunteer Pearl Network Contractor Ethical Energy values community outreach.

Contractor Accreditation Standards

Pearl’s contractor accreditation standards were established at Pearl’s formation and have been foundational in how Pearl certifies home features.

In 2022, Pearl became the first and only organization to have its quality management system reviewed and accepted by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of Pearl’s sponsorship of the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program.

Pearl Network contractor members must meet the following criteria:

  • Superior customer service - maintain excellent customer ratings on review sites, have business systems in place to monitor customer satisfaction, have appropriate policies to address customer complaints, and — as applicable — maintain a good history with the Better Business Bureau.

  • Business best practices - maintain all licenses, pull appropriate permits, and maintain appropriate insurance levels.

  • Success at sustainable growth - a healthy business grows. Growth is often measured in revenue, employees, or locations. But sometimes growth can be defined as growing knowledge — understanding the business and investing in systems to improve the delivery of goods and services to customers.

  • Commitment to quality - supporting its workforce with technical and sales training, as well as supporting employees to grow professionally and advance their careers.

  • Commitment to community - Pearl seeks network members with a shared sense of responsibility and mission to serve its community, whether that “community” is defined locally or globally.

  • Technical and thought leadership - Pearl network members must demonstrate appropriate qualifications for the specific trade(s) and features that they certify through Pearl. A solar-only contractor can’t certify all the features of a heating and cooling system and vice-versa. In addition to maintaining staff credentials for their trade(s), members should be engaged with their industry associations and tracking emerging trends and technologies.

Pearl employs software and services to verify and enforce its accreditation standards. Pearl’s Certification App and process standards review and approve all work being certified. Pearl’s account management team get to know and understand the ownership and the staff of Pearl Network Contractors, including their conformance with Pearl’s requirements for business best practices and technical competency in sales, customer service, and installation.

Continuous Improvement Process Recognizing that the industry is constantly evolving, Pearl Certification employs a formal process for updating our standards to address the advancing industry.

Continuous Improvement Process

As part of Pearl’s continuous improvement process, Pearl conducted an internal audit on its standards (in general) and its contractor accreditation standards (in particular). That audit, conducted in Q3 and Q4 of 2022, identified five (5) priority areas, each of which had an:

  • Improvement Need

  • Implementation Solution

  • Implementation Approach

In Q1 of 2023, Pearl’s Executive Committee directed the Standards Management Board to design and implement Version Two (2) of Pearl’s Contractor Accreditation Standards.

Pearl’s Standards Management Board assigned the work to two (2) Standards Development Committees (SDCs):

  • Pearl’s Contractor Accreditation SDC is developing a more scalable and verifiable approach to measure and enforce a contractor’s quality management system, which includes but is not limited to proper oversight on projects.

  • Pearl’s Certification System SDC is developing more comprehensive and more detailed methods to verify how a measure should be verified as meeting specific design and installation standards for applicable HPH improvements (e.g., insulation, space heating and cooling, water heating, window installation, electrical system upgrades, solar, batteries, electric vehicle changing, and more).

Pearl is currently monitoring upcoming changes to industry standards and requirements for the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Pearl will launch the next version of its contractor accreditation standards once:

  • guidance from the Department of Energy, the Treasury, and states are more solidified

  • expected upcoming changes to industry practices and standards are finalized (e.g., BPI-2400, quality installation of heat pump water heaters, quality installation of cold climate heat pumps)

Howard Building Science Builders Pearl Network Builder Howard Building Science builds homes to Zero Energy Ready Homes standards, exceeding average building codes.

New Construction Accreditation Standards

Pearl’s New Construction Accreditation Standards apply to builders that join the Pearl Network.

LAER Realty Pearl Real Estate Network Member LAER Realty brings visibility to a home's high-performing features to earn a sales premium on homes that have earned this distinction.

Real Estate Organization Accreditation Standards

Pearl’s Real Estate Accreditation Standards apply to brokerages and real estate teams that join the Pearl Network. 

More Information

Want to learn more about Pearl’s Accreditation Standards? Contact us at [email protected].