May 2013
The IREC Report


from the President & CEO
Jane Weissman




Even a good model needs an occasional remodel


When IREC became one of the lead groups to start the PV-COMPACT in 1993, we weren't going to let geography get in our way of setting the policy that would commercialize solar electricity.  We were on the hunt for talent and signed up the best and the brightest without letting a stationary office model get in the way of action.  This gave IREC the chance to work with Tom Starrs from a small island off of Seattle; Shimon Awerbuch from Nashua, NH; Bill Brooks from Raleigh; and many other solar industry innovators spread across the country. We honed our skills and became a well-oiled, virtual organization long before the virtual workplace became routine. 


IREC is at a similar crossroads again as we shake off other outdated organizational and operational models. IREC's Board of Directors has been busy for the past 20 months taking a hard look at how we, as a nonprofit organization, operate and how we can better keep our focus on shaping policy and practices for a growing clean energy economy. We continue to run by our own rule of disciplined agility. 


So what does this all mean?  For starters, as of May 1, IREC is no longer a membership organization.  The Board believes that IREC's membership model is no longer the best way to operate, to reach our goals. We never had thousands of members, we do have thousands of supporters.  During past membership drives, we always struggled with the question, "What do I get for my membership?"  The answer was mostly that you get the same benefits and access whether you are a member or not, but your membership supports our work. Similar to the NPR model - you can still listen to our "programs" but your membership supports what you listen to.


The story doesn't end here. We need - and want you to continue to be a part of what we do. You can do that in a number of ways. Continue to be among our 6,500 newsletter subscribers. Get the information you need to know about regulatory reform, workforce preparedness, credentialing, and other policy news.  Join us in Chicago in October when we gather to bring you the most up-to-date national and state trends and discuss why they are important. Check in often with our website; continue the conversations on our social networks...and please support our work. You can do so in a number of ways. 


Our new website gives you an easy way to make a donation.  Your contribution makes a difference. It keeps us moving forward. You can also sponsor one of IREC's events or publications. This sponsorship is more than showing your logo - it's making a statement that you're at the table with IREC on regulatory rules, on workforce issues, and that you're keeping an eye on what matters.


There are other things on our new IREC docket. We're shifting our annual innovation awards into a much higher gear. Better named IREC's i-Awards, they represent innovation, ingenuity and inspiration. Competition is going to be tougher and national acknowledgment will be widespread. We hope you apply. If you've got a special project with a remarkable result, get recognized. Take a look at our new categories, and encourage other extraordinary clean energy leaders and programs to apply by July 1st.


This spring, IREC also filed an application to become accredited as an American Standards Developer.  This is not a step we took lightly.  We've been in the standards business for quite a while, providing a quality framework for workforce training, ensuring workforce competencies and safeguards for consumers.  We have been following ANSI's general requirements for developing standards and now we're going after third-party recognition.  We've been through an open comment period. Our application is going through the review stage. I'll keep you posted as we move through the process.


You'll be hearing from us a lot over the next few months with news for you to use. As always, we consider this a two-way street, so please keep us informed about what's happening with you.


A million thanks for your continued confidence and support for IREC. 


Talk with you soon.


JMW sig 

Regulatory Reform | Blog
by Laurel Passera



Shared Solar: Do You Pre-Qualify?

Do you have a shaded roof or one that is not structurally designed to bear load? Do you rent or share your roof with other households or businesses? Is your home or business in an historic district or one with strict aesthetic building codes? Do you have little interest in maintaining an on-site solar energy system? If you answered yes to any of the above questions - Congratulations! - you are officially pre-qualified to participate in a shared solar program. More.

IREC Credentialing Program 

by Pat Fox

The recent group of trainers and organizations awarded the IREC Credential have successfully completed a rigorous assessment process for their curriculum, administration, facilities, tools and hardware, personnel, safety practices. Four instructors in this round of awardees attained Master Trainer status. More


Solar Instructor Training Network

by Joe Sarubbi


Joe Sarubbi

Solar Thrives in Sunny Maine: a conversation with Dana Doran, KVCC

Solar in Maine? It's not as much of a stretch as you may think. Dana Doran, Director of Energy Programs at Kennebec Valley Community College, talks with IREC about KVCC's solar activities in Maine. More 

Small Wind News
by Larry Sherwood
Larry Sherwood  

Interview with Brent Summerville

The day Brent Summerville graduated from the Mechanical Engineering program at North Carolina State, he picked up a copy of Home Power magazine at a friend's house and was immediately hooked on renewable energy. Larry Sherwood sat down with Brent, technical director of the Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC), to discuss current trends and developments in the small wind industry. More 

SolarOps logo
ICLEI's Solar Outreach Partnership 

Solar Outreach Partnership Trainers from Meister Consultants Group, the Solar Foundation, and the North Carolina Solar Center, will provide actionable information on creating a local-level solar program at three up-coming half-day workshops in Dallas, TX (5/20), Blacksburg, VA (5/23), Oklahoma City, OK (6/10). Workshops are free, but you must register to attend. More
of note...


The non-profit, Association for Energy Affordability (AEA), performs energy efficiency upgrades for affordable, healthy housing for low and moderate-income families. AEA's staff of energy efficiency engineers and project management professionals offers training, technical support and energy services in New York and California.  AEA recently was awarded the IREC ISPQ Training Program Accreditation for its Residential Energy Auditor training program. IREC visited with Executive Director David Hepinstall and Director of Curriculum and Accreditation Anna Sullivan about their work, and why AEA went after the IREC ISPQ credential. Read our conversation.
TSF state solar jobs map
Recently released from The Solar Foundation, the State Solar Jobs Map reveals solar jobs numbers for each of the 50 states. Each state contains information on: state jobs figures, rankings of industry subsectors by employment, key state policies supporting solar, and much more. Thousands of data points from a combination of high-quality sources including TSF's National Solar Jobs Census 2012 and the Solar Energy Industries Association's National Solar Database were analyzed via a dual methodology to develop the jobs estimates that are the focus of this unprecedented effort. More 

award instrument

IREC is reaching out across the U.S. for nominations to recognize the nation's Best of 2013 - Innovation, Ingenuity, Inspiration in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The prestigious awards will be presented during IREC's October meeting, on the floor of Solar Power International in Chicago, with more than 10,000 expected participants. More

First developed in 2005 and updated in 2009, the 2013 edition of IREC's Model Interconnection Procedures includes several important evolutions in best practices.

solar permitting checklist
Checklists, an integral part of the permitting process, provide a simple list of required information for either the permit application or inspectors. This two-pager introduces these checklists to permitting staff and offers tips on how to draft effective versions for your own community. More


get in the game banner

The message is simple. As the RE/EE industry grows, so does the demand for quality training. Quality training programs that meet the highest standards and result in marketable, job-related skills stand out from the rest. The IREC Credentialing Program offers that distinction. More
Read IREC's Newsletters

The IREC Report
Connecting to the Grid
Small Wind News
The Credentialing Chronicle
The SITN Quarterly


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About IREC
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) is a non-profit organization accelerating the use of  renewable energy and energy efficiency since 1982. IREC's programs and policies lead to easier, more affordable connection to the utility grid; fair credit for renewable energy produced; best practices for states, municipalities, utilities and industry; and quality assessment for the growing clean energy workforce through the credentialing of trainers and training programs. Visit us at

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product or process that is referred to or linked to in this newsletter. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply IREC's endorsement or recommendation.