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.
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
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.
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!