Energy auditor training underway in N.D.

BISMARK, N.D. – A pilot program for the training of energy auditors kicked off in early January at the United Tribes Technical College here.

The development of the Energy Auditor Training Program was granted to the United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry. The UA, working with its 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 conferred on them by the Green Mechanical Council.

The Federal Government in its 234-year history has never before selected a group of Native Americans to pilot test any program.

Making American homes and buildings more energy efficient presents unprecedented opportunities for communities, building owners and the mechanical trades. The Federal Government used the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to authorize 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 shortage of trained, credentialed workers has prevented energy auditing on a national scale. A nationally recognized worker training and certification standard for comprehensive energy auditing training needed to be created that provides assurance that a worker is well qualified to properly complete energy audits. Therefore, an 800-hour curriculum has been developed to produce professionals that are able to stand on their own upon graduation.

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. Additional information is available at www.greenmech.org or www.hvacexcellence.org.