In 2014 over 165,000 homes in the U.S. were rated by HERS® Raters and issued a RESNET HERS® Index, although the more rural communities of the nation have been under served. Rural Americans pay among the highest energy bills in the nation. The procedures and infrastructure that RESNET has developed in the more urban areas of America will not necessarily work for the more rural areas. An important goal for RESNET in 2016 is to expand RESNET’s services to rural America. To achieve this goal, RESNET has developed a partnership with Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. The partnership will work on addressing the barriers that limit RESNET services in rural areas RESNET Executive Director Steve Baden presents agreement to Roy Honican of Blue Grass Energy at the RESNET Board of Directors fall board meeting. On October 14, 2015, RESNET entered into a partnership with Touchstone Energy Cooperative to link the organization’s Energy Advisors Training with the RESNET HERS® Ratings. Roy Honican of Blue Grass Energy was instrumental in forging the cooperative agreement. Elements of the agreement include: Touchstone Energy Cooperatives’ Level 3 Energy Advisors Being Trained and Certified as RESNET Rating Field Inspectors Touchstone Energy will develop, with the assistance of RESNET, a training program that will lead to Touchstone Energy member cooperatives staff that are Level 3 Energy Advisors to also being certified as RESNET Rating Field Inspectors. The training will include inspecting the minimum rated features identified by RESNET standards and conducting air and duct leakage testing. This, in addition to providing member cooperative members with an energy audit, will provide all the information needed to produce a RESNET HERS® Rating. This would create a career path for Energy Advisors to be able to increase their skills and become certified RESNET HERS® Raters. Touchstone Energy and RESNET will Coordinate to Establish a Network of Certified RESNET HERS® Raters who can take the data collected by the Level 3 Energy Advisors and Produce HERS® Ratings. Touchstone Energy and RESNET will develop a seamless system by which the data collected by a Level 3 Energy Advisor can be fed to a targeted HERS® Rater and produce a HERS® Rating. This would provide an infrastructure for every participating cooperative to be able to cost effectively produce HERS® Ratings. RESNET Executive Director Steve Baden commented, “This partnership will provide Americans living in rural communities access to the benefits of the HERS® Rating. By working with Touchstone Energy and its member cooperatives we will remove a key barrier to achieving this goal. This will provide momentum for improving the energy performance of homes throughout the nation.” Touchstone Energy composed of more than 750 local, consumer-owned utility cooperatives in 46 of the 50 United States. Touchstone Energy co-ops serve more than 30 million members.