Energy efficiency makes good business sense, especially with rising energy costs and tighter budgets. Consider partnering with other local building owners and managers to take advantage of collective knowledge and resources. In addition, engaging other area businesses, schools, hospitals, government agencies, and other organizations will help the broader community to reduce energy use, thereby contributing to the success of efforts by many local governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within their jurisdictions.
Orange County, Florida
An important aspect of transforming the market for energy efficiency is ensuring there are workers who are trained and ready to fill green collar jobs. Training future workers in these jobs is essential to maintaining a healthy local economy while continuing to support environmental health.
CFEEA’s largest educational component is the Energy Specialist Training Program. Designed in conjunction with the University of Central Florida and ASHRAE Central Florida, the program was created to benefit businesses participating in the Kilowatt Crackdown Challenge as well as students participating in the 12-week program. Engineering students at the University of Central Florida provide technical assistance at local businesses where they learn how to benchmark buildings using Portfolio Manager. The program also offers participants valuable access to experts in their field, potential employers, and a community of like-minded individuals who share the goal of being good stewards of the environment and of energy dollars. The Energy Specialist Training Program consists of four phases:
Phase 1 – Students are introduced to Portfolio Manager and the Kilowatt Crackdown Challenge.
Phase 2 – Students begin online training and data gathering and attend a series of labs to work with real building data while receiving hands-on assistance from the program’s coordinator.
Phase 3 – Students prepare mock presentations and participate in mock site visits to imitate the experience of going out into the field and interacting with real business owners.
Phase 4 – Students conduct on-site visits with local businesses to help them benchmark their buildings and problem-solve energy use issues. Students have the opportunity to interact directly with CEOs, facility managers, chief engineers, and decision-makers.
CFEEA works to make sure the students have a valuable experience, and tries to place them into an energy management position or related position after completing the course. One-third of the graduates from CFEEA’s first Energy Specialist Training Program session have continued working in the energy management field.