PORTLAND, ORE. –(April 7, 2014) – Across the country, states and cities are implementing policies that require commercial buildings to be benchmarked based on energy usage. Progressive cities like New York and San Francisco are now going one step further and requiring periodic energy audits. These policies are creating a new demand for energy auditors, which PECI, a nonprofit leader in the energy efficiency industry, is helping to meet with a new Energy Auditor Training program.
Specific mandates for energy audits are being adopted, most notably in New York and San Francisco, with other cities expected to follow the trend. Local Law 87 (LL87) in New York City mandates that buildings over 50,000 gross square feet undergo periodic energy audits and retrocommissioning as part of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP). San Francisco’s Existing Commercial Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance requires an energy efficiency audit once every five years to identify specific cost-effective measures that would save energy.
The expansion of energy efficiency-related policies is widely seen as a positive progression, not only for the environment, but for owners and managers of commercial buildings who stand to benefit from lower energy bills. Even before these recent policy changes, energy auditing was regarded as a best practice for optimizing building performance and occupant comfort. Policy mandates will see energy auditing shift from best practice to standard practice, driving unprecedented demand for the services of energy auditors.
An energy auditor assesses the energy performance of commercial buildings and recommends improvements that will reduce energy use and provide other benefits such as improved occupant comfort. Increasing the workforce will require training on the energy auditing process, building systems, and the ability to diagnose problems in existing buildings. Historically, commercial energy auditor training has focused on the process rather than providing a comprehensive technical training experience. PECI identified the need for more comprehensive training and created a program that fills that gap.
The Energy Auditor Training program, which is now offered alongside PECI’s Commissioning Authority Training program at learn.peci.org, will help energy efficiency professionals (and aspiring energy efficiency professionals) develop industry-leading skills. The curriculum combines online coursework with in-person instruction, and covers audit process knowledge, building equipment, and systems analysis. The training was co-funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the California Energy Commission, the California Commissioning Collaborative (CCC), and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA).
PECI is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to creating the new energy economy. With expertise in designing and implementing energy efficiency programs for utility and government agency clients, their work helps millions of residential, commercial and industrial utility customers reliably save energy and money.