PETE Community Energy Efficiency Initiative

Article excerpt

PETE has received a grant from the US EPA Energy Star Program to establish a nationwide network of PETE member colleges to deliver short term training in energy efficiency and eventually, in-facility energy assessment services. Under this project, PETE will develop and implement the Community Energy Efficiency Initiative in order to accelerate energy efficiency market transformation to a higher level. The fiscal year 1998 program includes the following tasks:

Conduct a National Assessment of Energy Efficiency Programs;

Establish a Pilot Energy Efficiency College Network;

Develop Instructional and Promotional Materials;

Conduct Energy Efficiency Workshops and Audits;

Design a National Energy Management Certification Program.

In November/December the six PETE Regional Executive Directors mailed out surveys to almost 1000 community and technical colleges throughout the country. The surveys were returned to the regional offices in January and results were compiled. The survey revealed that formalized training in the area of energy efficiency is minimal. Only a handful (2%) of responding colleges offer two-year Associate Degree or one-year Certificate programs in the field of energy management. Slightly more colleges offer classes (26%) or incorporate modules (31%) which involve energy efficiency or energy management into other curriculum. Most of these classes were within the fields of Blueprint Reading, Air Conditioning Fundamentals, or HVAC Systems and Controls. Very few colleges currently reach out to businesses in their service community through workshops (6%) or energy audits (2%).

However, many colleges and their advisory boards have identified energy efficiency training as one of the top areas into which they need to expand. More than two-thirds of respondents to the survey indicated an interest in developing and offering workshops to the business community. …