Federal Energy Auditor Training Program Underway

The Federal Government utilizing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) authorized the creation of a new energy auditor training program.

Making American homes and buildings more energy efficient presents unprecedented opportunities for communities, building owners and the mechanical trades industries (HVACR, Plumbing, Electrical, etc.). The Federal Government utilizing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) authorized the creation of a new energy auditor training program.

Energy auditing is part of the growing industry of green and sustainable technologies. There are currently 8.5 million U.S. jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. This is expected to grow to as many as 40 million by 2030. Energy efficiency has never been so closely tied to economic opportunity. However the National Renewable Energy Lab has identified a shortage of skilled and trained persons as a leading barrier to renewable energy and energy efficiency growth.

Despite the economic and environmental benefits of improving home energy efficiency, a major barrier has prevented energy auditing on a national scale. The current workforce does not contain enough experienced professionals to take under their wings the numbers of new Energy Auditors that the marketplace is demanding. A nationally recognized worker training and certification standard for comprehensive energy auditing training needed to be created that provides evidence that a worker is well qualified to properly complete energy audits. Therefore, an 800-contact hour curriculum has been developed to produce professionals that are able to stand on their own upon graduation.

The development of the Energy Auditor Training Program was granted to the United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices (UA). The UA working with their partners at HVAC Excellence, ESCO Institute and the Green Mechanical Council have developed an energy auditor curriculum consisting of 23 individual classes or modules, totaling 800 contact hours. Graduates of the course will have the title of Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) conferred upon them by the Green Mechanical Council.

On January 4, 2010 the pilot testing of this new program began in Bismarck, North Dakota at the United Tribes Technical College (UTTC). This is an exciting event as the Federal Government in its 234 year history has never selected a group of Native Americans to pilot test any program. President Obama remarked at a conference in Washington, DC that thanks to the Recovery Act, we've established an Energy Auditor Training Program that could prepare Americans for the green jobs of the future, and that's going to be absolutely important. Making America more energy efficient will make us more independent and create new sources of revenue for contractors.

Persons interested in learning more about Energy Auditor Training Program are encouraged to attend the National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference. Members of the program development team will conduct a full session on the program and be available for questions. The conference will be held March 14-16, 2010 at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Visit www.greenmech.org or www.hvacexcellence.org for more information.

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