U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Building Technologies Office – Run a Program
Key DOE Resources
LaborWorks@NeighborWorks Provides Vermont Contractors With Help When They Need It. This partner interview examines NeighborWorks of Western Vermont's nonprofit temporary labor pool and contains key lessons learned for program administrators considering a similar approach.
Guidelines for Energy Upgrade Professionals. These guidelines include standard specifications for quality work, critical tasks and core competencies for effective training programs, and a framework for professional certifications.
Building America. This research and development initiative provides building upgrade professionals with integrated energy efficiency tools, case studies, and best practices designed to dramatically reduce energy use in new and existing homes.
All building energy efficiency upgrade programs across the country rely on a local skilled workforce to deliver high-quality services to home and building owners in their areas.
The partnership between a program administrator and local energy professionals is designed to:
- Generate and meet consumer demand for energy upgrade services.
- Create jobs within the energy upgrade industry.
- Ensure that consumers are realizing expected energy savings within a safe and healthy indoor environment.
By recognizing the critical roles of your workforce and deliberately approaching workforce development, you can ensure that your program enhances homeowners' confidence in the professionalism and quality of the work and the installation of their chosen energy upgrades.
Following the lead of many Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partners, you can use the following seven key steps to develop and maintain a robust and skilled workforce of energy professionals:
Step #1: Understand Your Community
Step #2: Determine How Energy Professionals Fit Into Your Program Model
Step #3: Know Your Existing Workforce
Step #4: Establish Baseline Quality Workforce Standards
Step #5: Ensure That Your Workforce Is Trained, Certified, and Equipped
Step #5a Partner With Existing Training and Education Providers
Step #5b Help Program Contractors Obtain the Necessary Equipment
Step #6: Make Your Workforce True Partners
Step #7: Motivate Your Workforce for Continuous Improvement
Energy Upgrade Professionals
A home energy expert, frequently called an "auditor" in the energy efficiency field, is a trained professional who uses analysis tools to diagnose energy loss and develop recommended solutions. After installation, the energy expert also verifies that the improvements were made correctly and do not pose any health or safety problems. In some cases, an energy expert will "rate" a home for its efficiency. An energy rating will indicate how efficient the home is relative to a standard new home.
The energy improvement workforce also includes professionals in air sealing; insulation; windows; and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). These specialists, often referred to as contractors, implement the recommended energy upgrades that are chosen by the homeowner. Learn more about the workforce of energy professionals supporting the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program in communities around the country.