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Why Your Contractor Training Program Should Always Focus on Energy Efficiency by Kaitlin Krull

In the contracting world, “energy-efficiency” is a term that has professionals from all specialist backgrounds talking. There are several reasons that energy efficient contracting practices have increased in popularity in recent years, including the introduction of new government standards for energy use as well as the development of building technologies. At Home Improvement Leads, we are committed to helping both homeowners and building professionals stay up to date with current residential developments and energy efficient building practices. If you’re thinking about undertaking or leading a contractor training program, here are some of the reasons you should always include energy efficiency in your preparations.

Energy efficiency is the future of the contracting industry

While the world population increases and we consume more and more energy, our carbon footprint is irreparably damaging the earth. Governments around the world are attempting to mitigate this increased energy use by introducing efficiency goals for industries, businesses, and homes. The United States, for example, has an evolving clean energy program that focuses on the development of renewable energy and lowering the carbon footprint of the country—find out more about this initiative here.

The contracting industry is central to the fulfilment of these kinds of energy efficiency goals. The specialist techniques required to implement energy efficiency in the home can be taught in and implemented as a result of contractor training programs, allowing homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint and have a more energy efficient life.

Homeowners love energy efficient homes

An energy efficient home is of particular interest to young (especially millennial) buyers and other environmentally conscious homeowners because of the recent world news supporting renewable and sustainable energy. Even if clients aren’t particularly up to date on current energy affairs, energy efficient products are an easy sell to most homeowners because they will save them money on their monthly energy bills—while helping the environment at the same time.

Vermont has some of the oldest buildings which are often drafty and expensive to heat. Families often find themselves spending more on heating fuel in the winter than they can afford. By partnering with training programs like ReSOURCE YouthBuild in Barre and Burlington, homeowners and landlords can create a more secure and affordable place to live. Energy efficient homes allow families the peace of mind that comes with an increase in the quality of life.

Technologies behind energy efficiency are complex

The technology behind energy efficiency is complicated and rapidly developing. For this reason, regular specialist training is required in order for professionals to install energy efficient products in the home. This is particularly true with solar power, including rooftop photovoltaics and solar water heaters, as the specifications for these kinds of installations need to be followed to the letter in order for homeowners to achieve maximum energy savings. Keeping up to date with energy efficient technology is essential for contractors because failing to do so will cause you to fall behind on current tech trends and you can risk giving your clients outdated and less efficient products.

Training is accessible and readily available

Finding training resources for energy efficient contracting is easier than you might think: there are many sources from both national and local authorities that can help you to access the tools you need to complete energy efficiency training. As far as national resources are concerned, the U.S. Department of Energy has webinars and articles that link to energy efficient training opportunities, and the Association for Energy Affordability has similar distance learning education programs as well as contractor links and tips.

There are several local agencies that also support energy efficient contracting practices and training. Efficiency Vermont links contractors to other professionals trained in energy efficiency, while ReSOURCE YouthBuild’s job training program offers young people between the ages of 16-24 the opportunity to learn energy efficient and green technologies in construction practices while earning their high school diploma. YouthBuild is a national training and education program for youth and ReSOURCE operates the only two in Vermont, in Barre and in Burlington. The national YouthBuild program is particularly exciting for the next generation of contractors because they leave the program with the basic certifications needed in construction today, including OSHA 10 and the Builders’ Institute’s Green Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT). YouthBuild empowers young people to take control of their future while learning valuable skills and encourages students to become leaders in their communities.