As a part of the Obama Administration’s effort to support greater energy efficiency through the Better Buildings Initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institute of Building Sciences (Institute) have announced new Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines. The Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines, developed with feedback from industry experts, will help enhance and streamline commercial building workforce training and certification programs.
“As building technologies become more advanced, professionals need better training and certification options to increase the quality and scalability of our nation’s energy workforce,” said Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency. “Employers, building owners, and program administrators can also use these established guidelines to identify qualified workers who are trained to deliver energy savings.”
The guidelines provide a national framework for certification agencies across the country to roll out consistent programs. Up until now, there have been no national guidelines for energy efficiency-related professional credentials, posing a barrier to the quality, consistency, and scalability of this workforce.
The Energy Department and the Institute worked side-by-side with industry trade associations, governing credential boards, and energy efficiency advocates to develop the professional certification and certificate program guidelines for four key energy-related jobs: energy manager, building energy auditor, building operations professional, and building commissioning professional.
“The Institute established the Commercial Workforce Credentialing Council (CWCC) to help lead development and implementation of the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines,” said Institute President Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA. “The CWCC consists of private and public sector industry stakeholders, so we were able to have everyone involved provide input into the process. This is particularly important when the goal is training the next generation of skilled clean-energy workers, who will be responsible for leading the charge in optimizing commercial building performance.”
The Energy Department will recognize competency-based certification programs that successfully implement the new guidelines and achieve third-party accreditation. Currently, the Institute and the Department are working with industry stakeholders to strengthen outreach, education, and adoption of the guidelines, which are available on the Institute’s website at www.nibs.org/cwcc.
The Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines support the goal of doubling American energy productivity by 2030 while motivating corporate and public sector leaders across the country to certify professionals under a national framework. The guidelines also support the Better Buildings Initiative goal of making commercial buildings 20% more energy efficient over the next 10 years.