New & Notable

July 01, 2010
July/August 2010
A version of this article appears in the July/August 2010 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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The 2010 Training Guide

Home Energy magazine’s Annual Training Guide for Home Performance Professionals—published in past years in print and as a downloadable PDF file on our Web site—is now perpetual. And searchable. Every two years we have published a resource of training programs in the United States and Canada, connecting trainers to students, and students to trainers. Last year, the Guide went from a list with a short description of each trainer organization and its offerings to a grid showing the list of trainers next to a table of various certification types (“2009 Guide to Training Programs for Home Performance Professionals,” HE July/Aug ’09, p. 31). With the growing demand for certification from professionals and the explosion in the green-collar jobs market, that matrix rapidly outgrew our pages, until it looked like the big board at the New York Stock Exchange.

Thanks to the crackerjack programming of the Home Energy Web crew, we now publish this complex information in a three-dimensional format. Trainers can register, list their information, purchase optional logo space, and provide their course information, updatable at any time. Students can visit the site, plug in their search criteria, and receive a custom, printable listing of only the programs they are looking for. No magnifying glass required.

Saving the Planet Starts at Home

Green For All is a national organization working to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. It works in collaboration with the business, government, labor, and grassroots communities to create and implement programs that increase high-quality jobs and opportunities in green industry. Based in Oakland, California, it reaches far and wide to span the United States, and deep, to touch the most vulnerable people at the center of its agenda.

The work that Green For All does includes

  • creating workforce development agencies;
  • training young community leaders to be world-class spokespersons for the clean-energy economy;
  • developing business tools for small green enterprises; and
  • advocating on Capitol Hill for green job training for vulnerable communities.

Along with the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS), Green For All recently published A Short Guide to Setting Up a City-Scale Retrofit Program. Available on the Green For All Web site, this very useful handbook addresses the need to scale up our existing models of home retrofits to realize real energy savings that can be plugged back into the economy, and to create substantial and sustainable green-collar jobs in home performance. The handbook covers four topics. These are

  • first, how to capture the financial savings that result from energy efficiency retrofits and use them to pay for the retrofits, so that programs are accessible to all—not just to those who are eligible for state and federal subsidies or those with enough money in the bank;
  • second, how to focus on job quality and training, so that any jobs created are good jobs that open the pathway to a career;
  • third, how to do this work on a city or regional basis, so that the program can achieve economies of scale and can eventually include both residential and commercial buildings; and
  • fourth, how to target the program to low-income communities, in terms both of where the work is done and of who is hired to do it, which will necessarily involve outreach and education.

Nine Minutes for Weatherization

The Association of Energy Conservation Professionals (AECP), which advocates for low-income energy users, energy conservation programs, renewable energy programs, and the advancement of green building principles, has a training component, as well. The Association of Energy Conservation Professionals/Educational Service (AECP/ES) has produced a new nine-minute DVD about DOE’s Weatherization Assistance program. The DVD can be used as a public relations tool; it is designed to be viewed by anyone who is interested in learning more about the nature and purpose of WAP. It focuses specifically on work in the field to highlight the fact that weatherizing a home is hard, gritty work that requires a sophisticated and technical diagnostic and building science approach. It requires training, experience, and the proper equipment, to weatherize a home, and this video makes that point.

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