Federal Energy Auditor Program Strives to Create Jobs, Save Energy

Throughout the United States people are greatly concerned about two things, a lack of jobs and saving money. A new program to train energy auditors addresses both of these issues as it can create jobs and save Americans millions of dollars. An energy auditor has the ability to perform detailed building inspections and make cost effective recommendations about improving a building’s energy efficiency. In turn, this can create jobs for HVACR service technicians and others.

Making American homes and buildings more energy efficient presents unprecedented opportunities for saving American communities millions of dollars and creating new jobs. Despite the economic and environmental benefits of improving energy efficiency, a major barrier has prevented energy auditing on a national scale. The current work force does not contain enough experienced auditors to meet the current marketplace demand.

In order to meet the current work force demand for energy auditors, the federal government worked with industry to develop a training program designed to increase the number of energy auditors nationally.

This program utilized the nation’s First Americans, the Native Americans to pilot test this program. This was the first time in U.S. history that Native Americans were chosen to be the first to be trained in any area.

On Nov. 5, 2009, President Obama met with over 400 leaders of federally recognized tribal leaders, congressional leaders, and members of his cabinet. This was a unique and historic event as it was the largest and most widely attended gathering of tribal leaders in the history of the United States.

The President stated, “I am very proud that with Secretary Salazar’s leadership we’ve established an energy auditor training program that could prepare Native Americans for the green jobs of the future. And that’s going to be absolutely important.”

The energy auditor training program was developed under a Department of Interior grant to the United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the United States and Canada (UA). The UA, working with their partner HVAC Excellence, developed and implemented an 800 contact hour energy auditor curriculum.

On Jan. 4, a group of students from 14 different tribes and eight states gathered at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota to begin training in the specialized green collar field of energy auditing.

The commencement ceremony for United Tribes Technical College was conducted on May 9. During this ceremony, graduates from 19 career technology programs earned their diplomas or certificates, including a group of 18 dedicated graduates who had the title of Certified Residential Energy Auditor (CREA) conferred upon by the Green Mechanical Council.

The opportunities for the first Certified Residential Energy Auditors are abundant as all of them were offered positions by the United Associations contractor employer partners. These Certified Residential Energy Auditors have the ability to perform detailed inspections and make cost effective recommendations, thus saving money for homeowners. Their recommended energy efficiency corrections will create new jobs.

Energy auditing is part of the growing industry of green and sustainable technologies. There are currently 8.5 million U.S. jobs in green and sustainable technologies. This is expected to grow to as many as 40 million by 2030. The National Renewable Energy Lab has identified a shortage of skilled and trained professionals as a leading barrier to green and sustainable technology growth.

Publication date: 05/31/2010

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