How to Choose Energy Training Courses
Becoming an energy audit professional will position you in the job market, for the coming explosion in different energy technologies. You’ll be able to learn about different areas specializing in various types of testing equipment that should include carbon monoxide analyzers, specialized equipment for testing blower doors, and combustion gas testers.
You’ll be able to choose a course that offers professional certification from the Building Performance Institute or the Residential Energy Services Network, and you should be aware of any prerequisites before signing up for a course. Both BPI and RESNET are leading organizations for certification for home performance energy experts and certification helps in any job search or promotion.
Types of courses that a “professional organization” will offer should include the BPI Building Analyst Professional, BPI Insulation and Air Sealing Technician, BPI Envelope Professional, BPI Multifamily Building Analyst Professional, BPI Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Professional, BPI Heating Professional, RESNET HERS Rater and the NATE Certification course.
Below is a general outline of what to expect in each course, and will ensure you are making the best choice in the energy school you choose. BPI Building Analyst Professional Built around BPI standards, this course involves energy auditing, and will give you instruction on how to analyze energy efficiency, using the approach of a house as a system. This course should provide you with the necessary knowledge, that will allow you to give homeowners a comprehensive overview of their current energy consumption, and offer options that will allow the homeowner different ways to save money through energy conservation and efficiency.
BPI Insulation and Air Sealing Technician
This course should provide you with the necessary skill set to be able to insulate a home properly, and ensure it has the necessary air seal. Learning the weatherization steps, that need to be used to fully protect a home or large building structure from outside elements, is an important part of this course. Taking sunlight, wind and different types of precipitation into account, and looking at how to effectively weatherize a structure against these, will offer homeowners and building owners significant cost savings. You should receive hands on training in this type of course, in order to be certified by the Building Performance Institute.
BPI Envelope Professional
In order to take this course, most institutions will ask you to first complete the BPI Building Analyst Professional certification course, as part of your admission to this course. Students who complete this short course will have enhanced skills, that will help both you and your company to stay in front of the competition. This course usually requires 24 hours of training, and should be set in a classroom and in field training. This course specializes in residential buildings, and should focus on enhancing the pressure and thermal envelope’s boundaries, by the use of air sealing.
BPI Multifamily Building Analyst Professional
This course offers training for you to learn how to conduct energy audits for buildings that are deemed to be multifamily housing. This is an advanced course, and will teach students the fundamentals of what building science is, and then teach them how to apply those concepts to the uniqueness they’ll find in multifamily housing in residential areas. Schools offering this course should require that you have a certification from the BPI Building Analyst program and be experienced in HVAC systems. You should be able to choose either in-class courses or webinar courses. Final testing will be conducted in a classroom environment.
Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Professional
This course will ensure that as a technician you will be able to demonstrate competency, knowledge, and the skills that are needed, to ensure energy performance is at its peak in any HVAC system. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to understand the different systems inside a home, and should be able to diagnose problems, and correct them so that the homeowner can achieve peak performance in their energy systems. You should look for a course that will include health and safety, service and repair, installation, and diagnostic testing, that include heat pump configurations and air conditioning configurations. When completed you should be able understand how systems need to be designed, maintained and serviced.
BPI Heating Professional
If you’re considering this course you should ensure that the school you choose, insists that students have first taken the BPI Building Analyst Certification, and have experience with HVAC systems. This is an intensive course and you should ensure that it includes both field training and classroom instruction, with testing in both areas. You’ll want a course that covers ventilation, system sizing, installation, system diagnostics, and the science of heating systems.
RESNET HERS Rater
RESNET is the Residential Energy Services Network, that is a system for inspecting and calculating the energy performance in a residential home. Recognized nationally RESNET created the Home Energy Rating System, and when certified by them, you’ll be considered a Home Rater, who has been trained to perform home evaluations as well as calculating energy scores for the home. Energy ratings are important to residential homes, as it’s an indication of the how well the home is rated, and offers a way for homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their dwelling, thereby offering energy cost savings. When you’ve completing this course you will hold a national designation, and will be able to offer homeowners and home construction developers, professional advice on ways to improve their rankings.
You should be taught strategies that will allow you to give professional advice to architects and builders to improve a home’s energy efficiency rating. This course has no prerequisites and participants range from the average homeowner to the energy professional.
This short course will allow students to become certified in NATE Core Services, NATE Gas Furnace Service, and NATE Air to Air Heat Pumps. NATE, the North American Technician Excellence is the largest organization for certification in ventilation, air conditioning, and heating. This is a governed body and is supported by the HVAC industry. The prerequisite for this course is the Core Service test and will include a specialty exam in gas furnaces or air to air heat pumps.
The above will guide you in choosing energy courses offered by schools in your area and online. You can also look at the courses offered online by Everblue, a leading name in Energy Certification courses. They offer a wide range of courses that also include new solar technology, sustainability management, green building and LEED Certification courses.