November 2013
The IREC Report

Jane Weissman





From the President & CEO
Jane Weissman


A Game Changer

(and I'm not speaking of my beloved Red Sox)


IREC has been a change-maker for three decades. Yet change is always uneasy until we experience the results. So when we decided last year that in October 2013 we would roll our annual meeting into a more active and visible partnership with Solar Power International (SPI) in Chicago, we dug in, worked hard to create an exciting new model, and secretly hoped for the best. And that's exactly what we got.


As you look through this issue of the IREC Report, you'll see so much news, so many noteworthy reports, announcements and accomplishments, and all of it was released and discussed at SPI, before an audience of some 13,000. 


A number of people said: "IREC is everywhere this week." What a great thing to hear - not to wave the IREC flag but as recognition of all we are doing, how our partnerships and thought-leading work continue to shape our nation's clean energy future.


Hundreds of industry representatives, educators, and  stakeholders interacted with our experts over the week. We shared our insight, forecasts and recommendations on the hottest clean energy topics during our 30-minute 3iForum sessions. They shared their questions and perspectives, both on the SPI floor and in smaller, subject-specific gatherings IREC hosted. We listened. And some of what we learned will help shape our own plans and initiatives moving forward.


Also while in Chicago, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), announced IREC's new role as national administrator with the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) of a new initiative to build a training and education framework that grows the expertise and preparedness of current and future electric utility sector professionals - specifically to accommodate high penetrations of solar and other distributed technologies. Filling this workforce need is paramount to the success of solar and other distributed energy technologies. More under the acronym GEARED in this issue.


We released IREC's 2013 Annual Updates and Trends Report from SPI, and with our partners at the Vote Solar Initiative, we announced the 2013 results of Freeing the Grid. This annual report grades all 50 states on two key policies: net metering and interconnection procedures and helps policymakers and other stakeholders make better sense of best practices and what needs to be done in their own state to clear the way for a 21st century approach to energy.


In front of a full house in the center of the SPI floor, we honored an impressive group of national award winners for the Best of 2013 in renewable energy and energy efficiency. In celebration of 20 years of recognizing exemplary people, projects and programs, this year the competitive awards were renamed the IREC 3iAwards. Please join us in celebrating these national trailblazers, whose passion to change the status quo enables and inspires others to transform communities with lasting solutions. (Read more on the 3iAward recipients and our special recognition awardees here).


One more exciting announcement from Chicago is the creation of the Clean Energy Credentialing Coalition (CECC), and our campaign to promote the importance of credentialing for people, products and programs. The strength of this group is that its founding members are all well-established, nationally accredited credentialing organizations with a collective commitment to better workmanship, products and training. A new landing page introduces the coalition and the campaign. 


We want to thank the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Solar Electric Power Association for welcoming IREC to SPI.  Special thanks goes to Stephen Miner and his staff at Solar Energy Trade Shows.  And, a special note of appreciation for the incredible visibility and work that Jim Callihan, Jennifer Runyon, Stephanie Kolodziej, Meg Cichon, and the entire Renewable Energy World staff accomplishes.


Talk with you soon.


JMW sig  



SPI 2013: IREC's Leadership in Action

IREC's first 3iForum, with three days of insightful 30-minute sessions from solar thought leaders in the Solar Industry Trends booth on the exhibition floor, was, by all accounts, a huge success. 
If you missed SPI and IREC's 3iForum this year, we've got the presentations from each of the eight sessions. 
3iForum Presentations 

Jane Weissman, IREC

Patricia Fox and Laure-Jeanne Davignon, IREC

Jason Keyes, IREC & Keyes, Fox & Wiedman LLP

Joe Sarubbi, Mary Lawrence, IREC

Sky Stanfield, Keyes, Fox & Wiedman LLP

Sky Stanfield, Keyes, Fox & Wiedman LLP

Larry Sherwood, IREC

Erica Schroeder McConnell, Keyes, Fox & Wiedman LLP




Each year, IREC celebrates the nation's most exemplary people, programs and projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency. 
This year, recognition was broader than ever, with the 3iAwards ceremony in Renewable Energy World's Solar Central multi-media booth. IREC also recognized several extraordinary individuals who give so generously of their time and talents to help IREC. Heartfelt congratulations to our 2013 awardees!
State & Local Government Project of the Year 
California Public Utilities Commission - for its Rule 21 Interconnection Tariff that offers simplified interconnection for distributed generation (DG) projects. Rule 21, now emulated in numerous states, saves DG customers time and money and improves utility/customer communication. 
Community Renewable Project of the Year
Solar San Antonio for its Bring Solar Home campaign, a collaboration between City Public Service (CPS) and the local solar installation industry, that combines public outreach, marketing strategies and financing options into a program that makes going solar easy and affordable.  
IREC Accredited Training Program of the Year
Energy Coordinating Agency/Philadelphia (ECA) helps people conserve energy and promotes a sustainable and socially equitable energy future for all in the Mid-Atlantic region.
IREC Certified Trainers of the Year


IREC Special Recognition Awardees


Roy Swift, Ph.D., American National Standards Institute (ANSI) senior program director of  Personnel Credentialing Accreditation Program, honored for his deep commitment to building a competent workforce.  


David Clements, International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI) CEO and executive director, honored for ensuring safety and quality training for inspectors of solar photovoltaic (PV) installations. 


The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, recognizing commissioners Hermina Morita, Lorraine Akiba and Michael Champley, who shepherded a path-breaking plan to enable more rooftop solar systems to connect to the grid, despite skyrocketing penetrations on the islands' electric grids. 


The County of San Bernardino, California, for reinforcing the need for credentials that demonstrate clean energy training is in alignment with industry-identified skills. 


More detailed descriptions of our 2013 awardees can be found here. 

of note...  


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected IREC to work as national administrator with the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) to build a training and education framework that grows the expertise and preparedness of current and future electric utility sector professionals - specifically to accommodate high penetrations of solar and other distributed technologies.

The announcement was made during SPI in Chicago.




A group of well-established, nationally accredited credentialing organizations, including IREC, has joined together to demonstrate and promote the collective importance of third-party quality assessment, and the value it brings to building strong and competent renewable energy and energy efficiency markets. The announcement was made at SPI. A quality credential is a mark of excellence that can boost consumer confidence in renewable energy and energy efficiency professionals, products and programs. For more information, visit the CECC website.  


From the pressroom at SPI, IREC and the Vote Solar Initiative announced the 2013 results of Freeing the Grid, a report that grades all 50 states on two key policies: net metering and interconnection procedures. Together, these policies empower American energy consumers to use rooftop solar and other small-scale renewables to meet their own electricity needs. Find Freeing the Grid 2013 online


With heightened attention to the future of net energy metering (NEM), comes a new IREC report that addresses the need for a standardized approach to determe the benefits and costs associated with distributed solar generation (DSG). The authors 
offer lessons learned from 16 regional and utility-specific DSG studies summarized in a recent review by the Rocky Mountain Institute. They then propose a standard valuation methodology for public utility commissions to consider implementing in future studies.

Released at Solar Power International, IREC's annual Updates & Trends report offers an expansive collection of updated models, new best practices, and higher-ground training standards. "It provides independent insight on the latest issues that face stakeholders as we respond to the tremendous growth throughout the renewable energy and energy efficiency marketplace," says IREC President and CEO Jane Weissman.
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
IREC believes clean energy is critical to achieving a sustainable and economically strong future. To pave this clean energy path, IREC works to expand consumer access to clean energy; generates information and objective analysis grounded in best practices and standards; and leads programs to build a quality clean energy workforce, including a unique credentialing program for training programs and instructors. Since 1982, IREC's programs and policies have benefitted energy consumers, policymakers, utilities and the clean energy industry. As of July 2013, IREC is an accredited American National Standards Developer.

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.