Certified Energy Manager Exam

The Certified Energy Manager (CEM) certificate is recognized worldwide and offered by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). The CEM certificate is a requirement for most energy manager positions in the United States and abroad. Careers that require the CEM exam include energy engineer, energy manager, building facility manager, government facility manager, and energy efficiency consultants, to name a few. The CEM certification received accreditation from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1981.

Eligibility and requirements

To apply for the CEM credential, you need to meet eligibility requirements that include education and related experience in energy engineering or energy management. In addition to the education and experience requirements, you need to attend a CEM training seminar, submit an application, and pass the CEM examination.

Test design and location

The CEM Certification exam assesses your understanding of the methods used to optimize energy performance in buildings and facilities. There are 130 multiple-choice and true or false questions on the four-hour, open-book examination. Of the 130 questions, ten are not scored and used for validation of future examination questions.

The test is delivered by computer at remote test centers and by paper and pencil at AEE seminars. You are allowed references, and you are required to bring a calculator (scientific, business/finance, or graphing) and sharpened number two pencils. Your reference materials need to be organized in a binder; loose papers are not allowed.

The CEM exam consists of 17 subject areas: Codes and Standards; Energy Accounting and Economics; Energy Audits and Instrumentation; Electrical Power Systems and Motors; HVAC Systems; Industrial Systems; Building Envelope; CHP Systems and Renewable Energy; Fuel Supply and Pricing; Building Automation and Control Systems; Thermal Energy Storage Systems; Lighting Systems; Boiler and Steam Systems; Maintenance and Commissioning; Energy Savings; Performance Contracting; and Measurement and Verification.

All questions on the Certified Energy Manager exam are based on the U.S. CEM Body of Knowledge and Study Guide.

Registration and cost

To register, complete the paper registration form that is located on the AEE website. If you elect to take the exam at a remote testing center, the fee is $400.00. If you take the exam in conjunction with a live seminar, the fee is $200.00. Mail your registration, exam fee, and the required documentation to the address on the form. Payment can be made by credit card or personal check. You need to register for the live seminar separately from the exam registration. Your fee is non-refundable. However, you can reschedule for any reason without an additional fee.

Test day

On the day of your exam, arrive 30 minutes before your appointment to allow time for the check-in procedures. Present your valid, government-issued identification and reference materials for inspection, and secure items not allowed in the testing center.

You have four hours to complete the exam. If time remains when you are finished, review your answers and ensure you have supplied responses to every question. Incorrect answers are not penalized, so it is beneficial to guess if you need to.

After you have completed your exam, return the provided materials to the test proctor and leave the center. It is now time for you to relax – you’re done!

Exam scoring and results

Your raw score is derived from each correct response. The maximum points you can receive as a raw score is 120 points.  Your official scaled score is obtained by multiplying your raw score by 8.7. The passing score is 700 points or a raw score of 81 points.

Your results are emailed to you 30 days after you complete the examination. The certification is valid for three years. If you did not pass, you can retake the exam after a 60-day waiting period.

How Can I Prepare for the CEM Test?

That’s a great question.  We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.

  1. Do yourself a favor and study.  Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try.  Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
  2. Take care of yourself.  Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping.  All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance.  If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
  3. Get a study guide or set of flashcards.  Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them.  We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam. Below you’ll see links to both!

Study Guide



Last Updated: August 6, 2019