Step 1: Understand Your Community
It is important to get a good handle on the age, quality, and condition of your community's existing building stock. By conducting this research at the start, it will be easier to design a program to meet the partnering and training needs of your community's workforce.
Determine the Extent of Work in Your Community
Knowing the number and characteristics of buildings likely to be served by the program―as well as the types of upgrades that will likely be performed―is key to building your workforce. To determine the potential for energy efficiency upgrades in your community, you will need to estimate:
- The number of homes/buildings that will need to be evaluated and upgraded to meet your goals.
- The types of energy improvement measures that will likely be implemented in your community's homes and buildings.
- How long it will take for the target buildings to be identified, analyzed, scheduled for work, and ultimately upgraded.
- The number of energy professionals required to complete the anticipated work.
After gathering this information about your community, you will be able to:
- Identify the types of skills required for contractors.
- Gauge the type of training and/or qualifications that might be needed.
- Estimate the number of contractors needed to perform the work.
Boulder's Pilot Program
Boulder Colorado's EnergySmart program launched a pilot program to evaluate its approach and identify future workforce needs for completing building energy improvements—or energy-saving "tune-ups"—in the Boulder area. EnergySmart program managers gathered the following types of data to identify a sample of buildings for the pilot that would best represent the city's building stock:
- Building use
- Building size within specified ranges (e.g., smaller than 50,000 square feet to avoid overlap with a local utility program)
- Type of cooling, heating, and air-handling equipment and the systems used to control them
- Decision-makers for the energy upgrades (e.g., building owner, tenant, property manager).
Based on an analysis of the sample of buildings, Boulder established a set of specific energy efficiency upgrades appropriate for similar buildings within the city. Boulder found that all the buildings included in the pilot benefited from the energy-saving tune-ups. As a result of the pilot, EnergySmart administrators had an idea about the types of upgrades likely to be implemented and subsequently identified the type of workforce training that would be needed to meet their goals.