Deciding to become a home energy performance professional is a major move in anyone’s career journey. People enter the field of energy efficiency from various occupations and careers and at various stages of their lives. Everyone has different reasons why they think energy auditing is the correct career choice for them. But, one question that consistently comes from people looking to enter the home performance industry: “How do I become an Energy Auditing Professional?”
With the cost of energy increasing at a steady rate, and the promise of record breaking summer heat looming in the near future, the time has come for consumers to think of effective and innovative ways to save money on their utility bills.
The most reliable way to reduce excess spending on energy is to get an energy audit performed on your home. If you’re thinking about getting an energy audit, it is important to ensure that the person auditing your home has received their BPI certification and is knowledgeable about the ins and outs of home energy auditing. In some cases, homeowners can get a free energy audit by contacting their utilities company. Summer can be a hectic time and booking a home energy audit may not be at the top of your to-do list. So until you can schedule an audit, check out this simple suggestion for cutting back on your cost of utilities.
One small change that can have a massive impact is switching the bulbs in your house to energy efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamps, or CFLs. In addition to saving money on home energy bills, CFLs are also better for the environment than standard incandescent bulbs as they pull less electricity from power grids and in turn require less output, and pollution from power plants.
Since their market introduction in the mid 80s, CFLs have been a widely debated topic in the lighting and home improvement fields as consumers voiced concerns about installing CFLs in their homes and offices as the bulbs contain trace amounts of mercury. Bulb manufacturers took notice and responded to the criticisms and concerns through a well developed series of technological improvements, and safe recycling methods. CFLs have come a long way since their introduction, and the future of this energy efficient lighting source is looking bright.
Check out this infographic to see why using CFLs in your home or office is a great money saver and a giant step towards becoming more energy efficient.
For a full list of energy saving tips, click here.
The United States is poised for a major transformation in how it gathers, distributes and uses energy. Not surprisingly, the way in which the country educates its workforce must also be altered to handle this transition. As conventional energy sources become more costly in both economic and environmental terms, the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries are accelerating.
The nation possesses a tremendous diversity of renewable energy resources and a solid base of clean energy companies through which to exploit that potential.
These companies are offering innovative, well-paying jobs, but are often not always able to find enough skilled workers to satisfy demand. In order to fill these positions, a system of education must be developed that utilizes existing skills, emphasizes job readiness, and is backed by industry certifications.
New BPI Policy on Recertification
Recently, the Building Performance Institute (BPI) announced that it would be changing its requirements to become recertified as a home energy performance professional. Going forward, depending on how many years of experience the contractor has, the field and/or written testing requirements for recertification may be waived. Initial reactions have been far from positive. Many believe that BPI is simply reacting to the number of individuals that are not interested in recertifying. BPI itself stated that, of those who would not be getting recertified, 60% said that it was due to the cost and time of field testing. The network of proctors and testing centers that perform the third-party verifications for BPI was displeased for another reason – the reduced revenue from testing fees they depend on.
Certification and rigorous training are crucial to any industry, but ask an experienced energy auditor and they will tell you that there is no substitute for experience in the field and dealing with the imperfections of real life. So, on the surface it would seem that work experience would be a perfectly legitimate substitute for completing the examination procedures that got them into the industry in the first place. But the days of smoke pencils, metal probes, and educated guesses are long gone. There has been a constant improvement in technologies such as thermal imagers, computerized blow door fans, moisture meters, remote video borescropes, and energy modeling software. The real question is – does experience necessarily translate to quality in the energy auditing industry?
No doubt if you follow energy or environmental issues, you’ve heard over and over again that the least expensive way to tackle our energy difficulties is through efficiency. One report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) suggested that $168.6 billion could be saved through energy efficiency by 2020. Still, some of those close to the ground have heard horror stories on how the whole process is sometimes carried out in real life.
Significant energy savings cannot happen without a comprehensive energy audit. Quality energy audits followed by sound retrofits result in substantial energy savings. Poorly executed energy audits, no matter how good the retrofit, result in lower-than-expected savings, wasted investment, angry building owners, and a bad name for energy conservation.
Studies have shown a wide discrepancy in actual savings after energy audits. While some projects have delivered energy savings of less than 10% of original energy costs, others have successfully delivered savings of 40% and more.
This divergence is not a mystery. Experienced energy auditors have learned to avoid the mistakes that lead to underperforming retrofits, disappointed customers and a struggling referral business. Persuading homeowners and businesses of the benefits of energy efficiency can often feel like an uphill battle; there is no need to add the barrier of a poor review by committing the mistakes others have made.
Mistake #1 – Underestimating Installed Costs and/or overestimating savings
One can reasonably expect that if they install energy efficient light bulbs, they will lower their energy bill. But exactly how much will they save and how much more do the efficient light bulbs cost? These questions should be right up an energy auditor’s alley, but too often their answers promise higher benefits than should reasonably be expected. Overestimated savings arise from poor modeling, incorrect measurements or assumptions, or not accounting for the interactive effects between improvements. It also is tempting for energy auditors (especially those who are also trained retrofit installers) to bias the assumptions to make an improvement seem more appealing, but this will only hurt business in the long run.
Our satisfaction comes from getting to know our students as they learn new skills and prepare for their new careers. Check out some photos from our BPI Building Analyst Class
The Home Star program introduced by the government aims to reward consumers with rebates on purchase of energy efficient products, so that energy efficiency is maximized in residential projects.
To scale down non renewable energy consumption, the home star energy program recommends the use of solar, wind and geothermal energy.
Are you aware that solar energy is available free of cost, and generates no waste?
Experts are of the opinion that to maximize the effectiveness of the concept, Solar Energy Training can train professionals and bring out optimum performance.
Reputed institutes and online training providers have come up with training programs which offers correct technical knowledge to complete solar projects with skill.
Solar Energy Training is targeted to create a line of professionals who can seal the future of the nation by roping in the benefits of the most powerful source of light and energy- the Sun. Pass with flying colors and get absorbed into a lucrative job market.
Companies, who want to gain an edge over others, can come forward and opt for Solar Energy Training for professionals. This would definitely help them in roping in more clients and revenue to their business.
With the recent stress on energy savings through the Home Star program, consumers are sure to make a beeline for services employing alternative sources of energy.
Solar Energy Training mainly concentrates on designing of solar electric system, installation and safety procedures. As a professional you can benefit residential projects. Solar hot water ventures are also in demand now-a-days.
Professionals from every field can avail Solar Energy training. Builders, contractors, suppliers, salespersons and investors – come one, come all and grab this grand chance to create a greener environment through this course.
Many institutes are now organizing Solar Boot camps to give intensive training to the professional through class room schedules, on-field training and special software. The system of solar electricity is laid out in detail in the courses for complete guidance on designing, fitting and safety features.
Professionals who know about photovoltaic will gain from Solar Energy Training as this touches upon the essentials of solar energy utilization.
The course also involves hands-on training to optimize residential solar energy efficiency. It covers training on wiring up different types of inverters, mounting solar panels and fixing with attachments. Techniques and procedures to tie in the utility of AC/DC disconnects and inverters are also included.
Solar Energy Training has been modeled for you into basic and advanced courses.
If you are looking for investing yourself with knowledge about Solar Energy training feel free to visit any reputed institution for guidance. Great initiative for sunny countries!
All reputed institutes offer courses in Photovoltaic designs, installation of solar panels, employing of safety features and solar marketing. With the recent developments in the energy field with Home Star Energy program, the need to tap solar energy, as an eco-friendly alternative has increased.
Go ahead and explore the amazing power of the Sun!
by Robert Gluck
Forget calling buildings green.
Call them “bright green” instead.
That’s supposed to be the correct way of saying the color that focuses on environment sustainability – bright green.
In an article titled “There Are Green Buildings, Then There Are ‘Bright Green’ Buildings”, written by Marie Morelli in the Syracuse, New York-based The Post-Standard, IBM executive Jane Snowdon is quoted as having a new idea that’s gaining ground.
“A bright green building is at the convergence of green buildings with intelligence,” Snowdon, a key executive in IBM’s Intelligent Building and Smarter City Research department at the T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, told Morelli.
Snowdon also told an audience of business people at the Healthy Buildings 2009 conference’s Opportunity Exchange why buildings need to be smarter (read: greener, earth-friendly, focusing on renewable energy and conservation).
Buildings consume 70 percent of the world’s electricity, 12 percent of its potable water and 40 percent of the raw materials used globally.
They create 136 million tons of waste per year worldwide.
“We now have the ability to measure, sense and monitor the condition of almost everything,” Snowdon explained. “The world will have 2 billion people on the Internet by 2011, 4 billion cell phone subscribers and 1 trillion connected devices — what IBM calls ‘an internet of things.’ Applying intelligence to green buildings is what can make them more than green — bright green.”
Hence going for a LEED AP certification maybe the more intelligent and greener choice to attain an ecologically-safe home/building.
According to Snowdon, IBM is working on making a lot of things smarter:
- data centers,
- transportation systems,
- water systems
- and utility networks.
The Ninth International Healthy Buildings Conference and Exhibition took place in Syracuse from September 13-17.
This international meeting hosted by the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems brought together researchers, business professionals, and academics from across the globe to discuss built environments and how to make them healthier, more productive, and more sustainable places to live, work, and learn.
Courses as varied as BPI Certification, LEED Certification, Solar Certification, Energy Auditor Training, Thermography Training, Wind Energy Certification, LEED Green Associate and more are taken by the professionals converging at the Healthy Buildings Conference to make them qualified certifiable individuals helping people in turning the planet ‘green’.
by Robert Gluck
The United States Marine Corps…….….the few, the proud, and now, also the GREEN.
The marines at Camp Pendleton have decided to concentrate on renewable energy and fulfill their duty to the Mother Nature by turning their focus on safe environment-friendly ‘green’ ways.
The ‘greens’ will now have their hands full with the protection of the environment along with the country that they took an oath to safeguard.
Yes, this also translates to green jobs and green jobs training and maybe courses such as LEED AP certification and energy audit certification for marines interested to ‘go green’ in everyway.
According to an article titled “Camp Pendleton Recognized for Green Facility” written by Cpl. Shannon McMilan for the publication Scout, the military is gaining notoriety for going green.
McMilan wrote that the Industrial Environment Association recognized the Camp for its South Mesa Temporary Lodging Facility during the second annual Statewide Environment Summit at the Catamaran Resort Hotel in San Diego.
“Camp Pendleton received special acknowledgment for their sustainable green TLF, which has been designed to let in natural light, has an automated electrical system to turn lights on and off automatically, has employees that are mandated to recycle and the building itself is made of recyclable material,” wrote McMilan.
In her article McMilan quotes George Rogers, CEO of Design and Build, who says that Camp Pendleton is committed to being a great steward to the environment.
“The base is minimizing its effect on the environment, while accomplishing the mission of providing lodging for Marines, sailors and families,” said Rogers who lead the development of the green project.
So hazardous waste will be properly and safely disposed off and oils and lubricants will be recycled.
The facility opened in June 2009 and received certification by the California Green lodging Program and the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard, two green-certified programs.
The lodge has also developed a Green Building Action Plan, which not only includes an employee green operations training program but provides lodging occupants with green-facility brochures.
According to Patty Krebs, executive director of the Industrial Environmental Association – “it’s outstanding that Camp Pendleton is trying to teach Marines, sailors and families how to be green by educating all occupants who stay at the lodging.”
When we talk about green education then who better than Cleanedison and their myriad variety of courses from LEED certification, BPI certification, solar energy training, Energy auditor certification and many more to intrigue you, inform you and qualify you to be become a truly ‘green’ professional.
LEED Green associate is especially for individuals desiring knowledge of environment-friendly designs and construction for schools, homes etc.
“Across the board, Camp Pendleton has a high-level of awareness. They don’t react to compliance. They go above and beyond,” she added.
Camp Pendleton officials and project leaders are proud of their accomplishment and honored to be recognized for their fresh ‘green’ efforts.
“It’s a wonderful thing to be recognized,” Frank Winter, pollution prevention coordinator at Camp Pendleton told McMilan.
“We did something good for the environment. We built a great building, a green building, and we are proud of it. The Marine Corps is saving money and keeping the environment safe. A lot of thought was put into it for Marines, occupants and the environment.”
Kudos to the Marines for joining the ever-expanding green force, capitalizing on renewable energy, acting on sustainable energy-recycling steps, making more ‘green jobs’ and hence making the World a little more green.
by Robert Gluck
Building designs that are green minimize environmental impacts as well as the impacts on people.
But this may be a definition that’s too broad.
In her article titled “Modern Building Design-Is it Green Yet?”, freelance writer Mary Smith says that when buildings are designed with the “green” ideals in mind, the amount of energy spent constructing the building and operating the building during its lifetime can be minimized.
“The past few decades has witnessed the development of a wide variety of building practices, hi-tech materials and innovative techniques needed to fulfill these ‘green’ goals,” Smith says.
“The use of sustainable materials is one important characteristic of a green building design. Materials that qualify as sustainable include those that are available locally or those that are recyclable. Non-toxic materials as well as those that are reusable or renewable are often chosen as well.”
“Orientation of the building on a site is another common characteristic of a green design or basically a characteristic of a LEED AP building design and construction. Building orientation can minimize unfavorable local weather conditions or take advantage of the sun (solar certification or solar training can make a difference here) to save a considerable amount of energy over the lifetime of the building.”
Smith says the specific techniques and methods of construction chosen by the building designer can minimize the impact of the construction process on the environment; in other words a LEED AP certification or a BPI standards building design (by a BPI analyst training certified professional) will take care of all ‘green’concerns of your building
Use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power (solar courses or solar certification and wind energy certification – professionals with these qualifications can aid you immensely with the correct environment-friendly choices) may be part of a green building design or a LEED certified building.
High efficiency water, waste and energy systems can reduce both the energy required, and lead to an environmental impact over the lifetime of the building.
A BPI certification usually provides ‘green’ minded home/building owners with a peace of mind as certified professionals work on it accurately and perfectly.
In spite of the recent global economic problems, sustainable building is projected to increase.
In part the ‘green’ growth or the ‘green building’ revolution is fueled by a growing number of government initiatives and by increasing public demand for green products and services.
More and more often the public prefers, and even expects, to do business with “green” companies. Hence the popularity of LEED courses and LEED training.
Dozens of green building standards currently exist due to the public demand for everything green. The best known of these standards, created by the US Green Building Council, is of course LEED (for the uninitiated LEED stands for – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
But more is necessary.
“The problem is that there is no national standard yet,” Smith says.
“The lack of a strong national green building standard has led to some problems. Some buildings that claim to be green are in fact not green at all. Some companies feel they cannot compete without a claim to one standard or the other. In the worst cases, the issue of sustainable or green practices and materials has never even been considered, much less implemented.”
The importance of green building design has taken many years to catch on.
But the question is – what happens next?
As a writer who follows green building & the building sciences closely, Smith knows it has now become an important global trend.
“Some experts believe the trend towards green buildings will continue to grow. Others say green building design and practices will become less discretionary and more mandated. I think it will become standard practice. We’re not there yet, but governments and the building industries are moving quickly in the right direction,” she concludes.
If you’re interested to know much more about ‘green’ buildings (a building science course or a BPI training maybe) or be a LEED green associate, then just come to our website –