Green Jobs in the Residential Energy Efficiency Industry


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The Home Performance industry perspective on training and workforce development.

Presentation by Gary Richardson at the Residential Retrofit Action Clinic on June 2, 2010.

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  • Conducted by : Efficiency First & the Home Performance Resource Center National non-profit trade association for home performance industry represents more than 800 companies across U.S. Resource center provides best practices & research Intent : Present industry perspective on workforce needs to trainers, educators, workforce development specialists, retrofit program managers, and policymakers
  • There may be some over lapping of information here with other presentations today.
  • Our mission is to be a voice for the Home Performance industry, and to advocate for policies that will create the foundation for a sustainable and scalable home retrofit market. We will accomplish these goals by promoting a combination of industry standards, financing and performance-based incentives, through collaborations with legislators, government agencies, public utilities and professional organizations. We believe that a public-private market must exist where programs drive demand to a well-regulated private sector that will compete on efficiency and innovation.
  • Residential efficiency improvements can reduce energy waste in most homes by 20 to 40 percent. Unlock significant reductions in building-related greenhouse gas emissions, improve national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and generate long-term energy savings for American consumers. Expansion of the Home Performance industry also represents a crucial path to economic growth in the face of historically high unemployment and unprecedented weakness in the construction and manufacturing Consumer demand for efficiency retrofits will create hundreds of thousands of high-paying local jobs that cannot be outsourced overseas.
  • Company leaders ask themselves these questions. Primary concern today is staying in business or finding new customers
  • How do we address our challenges? How does the industry promote itself to arrive our goals? Hard data was needed to get the attention of state and national policy makers.
  • One piece of the overall green economy is the home performance industry. This sector alone has a large potential to create green jobs. Home performance  comprehensive holistic whole-house approach to identifying and fixing comfort and energy efficiency problems in a home. Though most inquiries of home owners to my company are concerned about Energy use first, a very close second is lack of adequate comfort. Health and safety? What is the cause of that mold you may see in the bath? What is the source of the cough that is evident only when at home? Only through a good understanding of the “House As A System” can you attempt to solve these types of issues.
  • A lot is happening that will spur the growth of this industry. All Building Performance companies interviewed for this research & 95% of companies surveyed anticipate growth in the 1-3 years. Incentives and programs at all levels of government, utilities, etc. DSM= demand side management California First/ AB 811 examples of PACE financing Skinner AB 758 building retrofit requirement in CA- This bill would require the Energy Commission, by March 1, 2010, to establish a regulatory proceeding to develop a comprehensive program to achieve greater energy savings in the state's existing residential and nonresidential building stock. (Seventy-two percent of California’s 13 million residential buildings were built before the implementation of Title 24 in the early 1980’s). time of sale ordinance in Austin, TX Pending HOME STAR national legislation Legislation currently being considered by Congress with bipartisan support $6 Billion in incentives to homeowners for retrofits Gold Star & Silver Star tracks for performance/ prescriptive measures REEP-Funding will be made available through REEP to the State Energy Programs for state and local efforts, including audits, incentives, technical assistance, and training. States are permitted to choose funding mechanisms, with options including credit support, such as interest rate subsidies or credit enhancement, providing initial capital, and allocating funds for utility programs.
  • Home Performance Evaluation/ Assessment: Talking to customer, blower door test, infrared camera evaluation, duct leakage test, insulation assessment, utility bill analysis Basic Retrofit: Putting up vapor barriers, spraying foam for insulation, duct sealing, air sealing, fixing leaky light cans When sealing ducts are you aware you may be creating a potentially serious health problem? Skilled Work: electrical, plumbing, HVAC, mechanical, replacing windows Quality Assurance & Testing: test-in/test-out
  • *Type and work involved with home performance varies by company, building type, and the age of the building. Training requirements to participate may be discussed in another presentation. All Laborers will need some degree of additional training Industry experts assume 60-66% of building retrofit jobs are construction-related field positions. 12-20% of new jobs created in the Home Performance industry will be overhead jobs (administrative, managerial, etc.)
  • Home Performance is continuing to evolve and continued education is a must! Home Owners may do their own research online in an attempt to understand their home performance problems. Be prepared to answer some very explicit questions.
  • Contractors interested in adding home performance to their resume will find homeowners who are desperate for help. With the San Joaquin Valley having some of the highest energy cost in the Nation, promoting Home Performance can be exciting to those professionals with the requisite skills.
  • show progression/ career ladder for doing good work and having experience. Make sure titles give credit for hard jobs.
  • Some of the workers needed may be current employees or out of work construction workers who simply need some retraining. Attention to detail is critical for the successful Home Performance contractor.
  • Pay scales are regional specific with higher wages in some areas not unlike those in the current construction industry.
  • A good Home Performance Contractor MUST have some one in the office with some knowledge of what is going on in the field to manage every Item on this list. When a client or potential client calls with Home Performance issues the successful contractor must be prepared to say I have the solution you need. I can have our Certified technician perform some diagnostic testing which will allow us to arrive at the correct solution. Once we determine your needs we can then provide you with the method, the cost, the potential savings, rebates and/or tax credits available, and advise on financing any remaining balance. Financial advising - People who put together financial packages from PACE, rebates, private capital, etc.
  • Add short comments on each line item.
  • Short comments on each BPI, HERS, etc. and how they are tied to remaining line items.
  • BPI= Building Performance Institute HERS Rater, HERS II from RESNET Types of HERS Certifications and HERS Providers 5 types of BPI Certifications: Building Analyst –  go beyond a traditional energy audit to perform comprehensive, whole-home assessments, identify problems at the root cause and prescribe and prioritize solutions based on building science.  Envelope –  quantify performance and prescribe improvements to help tighten the building envelope (shell), stop uncontrolled air leakage and optimize comfort, durability and HV/AC performance.  Heating –  optimize the performance of heating equipment to help save energy and ensure occupant comfort, health and safety.  Air Conditioning and Heat Pump –  understand the role of these systems within the whole home and how to diagnose and correct problems properly to achieve peak performance.  BPI Field Tech Cert coming out soon (probably first week of April)
  • Ie. JobsNow subsidy, WIB subsidizes first 90 days. Train in the Field : Expose trainees to different circumstances and teach them how to safely deal with various types of residential energy and health problems. Classroom learning is not sufficient, nor is one week of lab & field training. Important skills include: equipment use and maintenance, air sealing, insulation materials and techniques, code compliance, HVAC, electrical work, plumbing, K & T wiring mitigation, moisture and mold abatement, asbestos removal, and lead paint protocols, among others.
  • Teach other Relevant Skills: Include instruction on other relevant skills and provide information that will help trainees be more effective on the job. These include modules on: Health & Safety, General politeness and punctuality, Sales & customer service, Problem solving, Software & Energy Modeling Programs, Local incentive or utility program rules and requirements, Basics of energy conservation, and Complementary skill sets, such as installation of PV or solar water heaters.
  • Approximately two-thirds of home performance companies today have three or less years of experience in the home performance industry and are currently retraining existing employees for work in this field or cautiously making new hires as their businesses grow. Funds are needed now to spur customer demand as well as offset the costs of getting the current workforce up to speed on whole home performance principles and best practices. Once policies and programs at all levels of government spur further customer demand, companies anticipate rapid growth. Their first hires will likely be former employees who were laid off due to the recession and unemployed workers with residential construction, remodel, home appliance repair, and weatherization experience. As an industry that relies heavily on subcontractors, growth will also likely increase the work that is farmed to underemployed “subs” or skilled tradesman. Finally, as the industry scales, there may be job opportunities for new entrants, especially those who have taken the time to invest in skills training and hold industry-accepted certifications. While it is important to lay the infrastructure now for the full range of occupations within the industry, workforce training funds should follow investments to increase customer demand for energy efficiency upgrades. Increasing customer awareness and improving the economics of home retrofits through incentives and financing are just as much a part of workforce development as the training programs themselves, since they are the first step toward creating new jobs. Since the training needs of companies will change as the industry evolves, reliable sources of long-term funding should be developed to provide a sustained source of support to the industry as it grows.
  • Personal comments?
  • Green Jobs in the Residential Energy Efficiency Industry

    1. 1. Green Jobs in the Residential Energy Efficiency Industry: The Home Performance Industry Perspective on Training & Workforce Development Presented By: Gary Richardson Presentation to Regional Residential Retrofit Tulare June 02, 2010
    2. 2. Presentation Outline <ul><li>Research Overview & Methods </li></ul><ul><li>The State of Industry </li></ul><ul><li>Job Types & Requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Employment Growth Projections </li></ul><ul><li>The State of Training </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul>
    3. 3. Who is Efficiency First? <ul><li>National non-profit trade association </li></ul><ul><li>More than 800 U.S. Home Performance contractors </li></ul><ul><li>Representing the Home Performance industry in public policy discussions at state and national level </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting the benefits of efficiency retrofitting </li></ul><ul><li>Helping grow the Home Performance industry </li></ul><ul><li>Key player in HOME STAR </li></ul>
    4. 4. The Challenge <ul><li>How do we connect workforce supply with employer demand? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Policy makers want to support economic development and a “green economy” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hundreds of millions of $ flowing into workforce development &“green jobs” training programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training orgs not always sure what industry needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Few certain about home performance industry employment growth expectations </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Industry Challenges & Concerns <ul><li>Today : How can we hire people if we don’t first increase customer demand? </li></ul><ul><li>As demand grows : How quickly will we be able to scale and find qualified workforce? </li></ul><ul><li>When economy rebounds : Will we be able to keep good employees in this industry when other construction jobs provide more pleasant working environments? </li></ul>
    6. 7. What is Home Performance? <ul><li>Looking at the whole home </li></ul><ul><li>Systemic approach </li></ul><ul><li>Identify and fix problems in a home </li></ul><ul><li>Goals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comfort </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Durability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health/Safety </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Energy Efficiency </li></ul></ul>
    7. 8. Drivers of Home Performance Industry Growth <ul><li>Comfort, environmental, energy cost & health concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Utility programs </li></ul><ul><li>State & local retrofit incentives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Retrofit requirements & time of sale ordinances </li></ul><ul><li>Proposed national legislation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance (REEP) as passed in ACES </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HOME STAR being considered by Congress ($6 Billion in incentives) </li></ul></ul>
    8. 9. How do you do a Home Performance Retrofit? <ul><ul><li>Find a Customer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify & Explain the Problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Home Performance Evaluation/Assessment “Test in” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Present the problems and possible solutions to homeowner </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fix the Problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Basic: Duct sealing, air sealing, insulation, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Skilled Work: HVAC, Mechanical or Electrical Work, Window & Door Replacement, Plumbing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality Assurance & Testing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Test Out” </li></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 10. Job Types & Requirements <ul><li>Home Performance Auditors, Raters and Estimators: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>evaluate the home energy usage & areas for improvement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Retrofit Technicians: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>conduct a basic retrofit or weatherization work </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skilled Laborers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>complete electrical work, plumbing, HVAC or mechanical system upgrades, and window and door replacement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quality Assurance Providers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>certify home performance improvements. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Office & Support Staff: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>provide administrative, managerial, promotional, and clerical support for the field workforce and customers. </li></ul></ul>
    10. 11. Home Performance Promotional Jobs <ul><li>Analysts/Auditors/Estimators </li></ul><ul><li>Business Development </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing & Customer Education </li></ul><ul><li>Inside & Outside sales staff </li></ul>
    11. 12. Home Performance Promotional Job Requirements <ul><li>Good interpersonal skills </li></ul><ul><li>Previous sales experience a plus </li></ul><ul><li>Home components & construction knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>“ Green” or sustainable life philosophy </li></ul>
    12. 13. Home Performance Field Jobs <ul><li>Entry Level: Field Technician </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimum Training Required </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crawl space & attic work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mostly Draft Sealing, Duct Sealing & Insulation Technicians </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Intermediate/ Advanced Level: Crew Lead </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Additional Training Required </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experienced Field Technicians </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crew lead or construction manager (2-3 person crews) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skilled Labor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Carpentry, Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC, Window Replacement </li></ul></ul>
    13. 14. Good Candidates for Home Performance Field Jobs <ul><li>Construction workers </li></ul><ul><li>Drywall or flooring </li></ul><ul><li>Remodelers </li></ul><ul><li>HVAC technicians </li></ul><ul><li>Athletes </li></ul><ul><li>Veterans </li></ul><ul><li>Day laborers </li></ul>
    14. 15. Home Performance Pay Scales
    15. 16. Home Performance Office Jobs <ul><li>Managerial/ Administrative (i.e., HR, IT, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Data Entry, Report Writing & Proposal Development </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Service </li></ul><ul><li>Rebate Processing </li></ul><ul><li>Financial Advising </li></ul><ul><li>Purchasing/ Inventory Management </li></ul><ul><li>Engineers </li></ul><ul><li>Project Managers </li></ul><ul><li>Construction Managers </li></ul><ul><li>Trainers </li></ul>
    16. 17. <ul><li>Previous experience with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Construction-related industries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Office administration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accounting: Quickbooks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engineers: Wrightsoft Suite </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer Service reps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Warehouse Management </li></ul></ul>Good Candidates for Home Performance Office Jobs
    17. 18. Accreditation & Quality Control Jobs <ul><li>Field certification/training (i.e., BPI, HERS, Build It Green, RESNET, CBPCA, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Third party verifiers & quality assurance inspectors (tied to incentive program requirements ) </li></ul><ul><li>Third party verifiers & quality assurance inspectors (tied to certifications) </li></ul><ul><li>Written/field exam proctors </li></ul>
    18. 19. Standards & Certifications <ul><li>Most common: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BPI (11 types) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RESNET/ HERS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CA HERS & HERS II </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Companies will need at least one certified contractor to perform or oversee each job connected to financing or incentive programs </li></ul><ul><li>Not yet generally required on hiring by employers, but good investment in future </li></ul>
    19. 20. Conduct Training in the Field <ul><li>Classroom learning is not sufficient </li></ul><ul><li>No house is the same – no substitute for experience </li></ul><ul><li>Important skills include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>equipment use and maintenance, air sealing, insulation materials and techniques, code compliance, moisture and mold abatement, asbestos removal, lead paint protocols, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most successful programs include fast-transition field work, internships, apprenticeships, or other “on-the-job” (OJT) training </li></ul>
    20. 21. Teach Other Relevant Skills <ul><li>Include instruction on other relevant skills and provide information that will help trainees be more effective on the job. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Health & Safety </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>General politeness and punctuality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sales & customer service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problem solving </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Software & Energy Modeling Programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local incentive or utility program rules and requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Basics of energy conservation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complementary skill sets, such as installation of PV or solar hot water. </li></ul></ul>
    21. 22. Conclusions <ul><li>Increasing demand is first step toward workforce development </li></ul><ul><li>Once demand increases, companies will grow </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Re-hire/Retrain incumbent workforce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase use of subs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Train & hire new entrants </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Important to lay the groundwork now and get the training infrastructure right </li></ul><ul><li>Established standards, OJT, and partnerships between training providers & employers will support quick industry scaling </li></ul>
    22. 23. Green Jobs in the Residential Energy Efficiency Industry: The Home Performance Industry Perspective on Training & Workforce Development By: Elizabeth Redman, [email_address] Full report will be available On Home Performance Resource Center website: