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In this issue | October 2014
Happy students with 17ft diameter wind rotor they designed and built. Midwest Renewable Energy Association class. Photo: Dan Fink, Buckville Energy Consulting LLC







by Laure-Jeanne Davignon, IREC Credentialing Program Director




Credentials to Value: Talking about the Intangible


According to market research conducted by the Shelton Group, 80 percent of Americans don't think they use more energy today than they did five years ago, and about half think their homes are already energy efficient. As misguided as this perception may be, it certainly throws a wrench in the works when trying to sell consumers on energy efficient products or retrofit work.


Our smart colleagues in the residential energy efficiency sector realized this some time ago, and started to sell things like comfort and health, instead of insulation, the fanciest new air exchanger or even saving money. Since the most impactful energy efficiency measures aren't necessarily the most cost effective, turns out energy savings may not be the key to selling most consumers on what EE can do for them. But who doesn't want a more comfortable home and a healthy family?


IREC faces a similar challenge when communicating about the importance of effective workforce development and credible credentials. Words like 'certification' and 'credential' are accurate, but don't convey the transformative role credentials play in improving employer profitability, the quality of work products and the prosperity of the clean energy economy. We've identified a need to move the conversation from credentials to value, and how the work we do can make all our lives better.


Shifting this message will be a team effort. Some of you have already heard from us, as we reach out about your experiences, and concrete ways we can build more value into the IREC credential. We are also working with our industry partners to identify metrics that can quantitatively support the impact of credible credentials on industry.


In addition, IREC is working to bring this value message to a broader audience than ever. We are continuing and expanding our outreach with employers and workforce investment boards. Our Kristen Ferguson presented with a panel at the recent Rocky Mountain Utility Efficiency Exchange, to share how valid industry credentials help utilities with quality assurance. She was heartened to hear about the utilities' genuine commitment to making clean energy programs more accessible to their customers, and the interest this crucial sector is developing in the work we do.


This month, the IREC team will be on site at the  Solar Power International conference, speaking with employers and visiting with credential holders to get your input on our program's direction. 


During IRECs 3iForum on the show floor, Joe Sarubbi, Cheri Faso and I will facilitate a discussion about IREC's national workforce solutions to increase employer profitability.

We'll continue this dialogue for as long as it takes for the intangible to become more concrete, and the value message to be recognized. 


We are open to your ideas and input on the most effective ways to accomplish this. Please stay in touch.

Las Vegas, NV

10/21-23 |
IREC 3iForum
Solar Power International
Las Vegas, NV
Solar Power International
Las Vegas, NV  


Visit IREC's online calendar for more events.

IREC Credentialing Program Accepts New Skill Profile

The Commercial Building Energy Analysis Skill Profile describes the knowledge, skills and abilities individuals need to successfully conduct energy audits of commercial buildings, building systems, or process systems, analyze designs for cost effective energy performance and conduct investment-grade audits of buildings or systems. The Skill Profile (posted on the IREC website courtesy of Edmonds Community College) can be used as a basis for curriculum by clean energy training providers applying for IREC accreditation. To find the Skill Profile, visit the Key Docs page, select the job task analyses drop down arrow, and scroll down to find this document. 

Can You Give IREC 3 Minutes?

Are you staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends - tell us how you do it!

Take IREC's three-question survey and help us effectively communicate with industry about the value of workforce development and credible credentials.


Follow this link to three questions that should take about three minutes to complete. In appreciation for your time, we will share the (anonymous) results from all respondents to provide fresh ideas on how your colleagues stay current with industry trends.


Thank you in advance for your time!  If you have any questions about this survey contact us at [email protected]

Take the survey NOW!

Training a highly qualified workforce while living off-grid: true story!

By Jane Pulaski
IREC Social/Web Communications
Photo: Dan Fink, Buckville Energy Consulting LLC
For more than 23 years, Dan Fink of Buckville Energy Consulting LLC, has lived off-grid. The office at 8,200 feet elevation in the northern Colorado Rocky Mountains is 11 miles from the nearest power line or telephone pole. It's powered entirely by solar and wind with vegetable oil and wood-fired steam for backup.  Dan, an IREC certified instructor/small wind installer, is a professional renewable energy system designer, installer and troubleshooter. Buckville Energy Consulting is an IREC Accredited Continuing Education Provider. How does he do it? More
Next week: Vegas!

*IREC's new video, "Accelerate Your Success: Quality is quiet. Mistakes are not," will be premiered during these 3iForum sessions! Watch for it online at next week.


Celebrating 21 years of recognizing exemplary people, projects and programs, this year's 3iAward winners in each competitive category were for the first time selected by you! 

We'll honor the winners, including IREC's Accredited Training Provider of the Year and IREC's Certified Trainer of the Year, at

the 3iAwards ceremony, 4pm PDT on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 in conjunction with 2014 Solar Power International (SPI), at the Las Vegas Convention Center. 

 Look for the award winners posted at Tuesday, October 22.

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The IREC Credentialing Program lays the foundation for a competent workforce for the clean energy economy. Using robust standards and a detailed process of application and assessment, IREC drives quality workforce training and increased consumer confidence in the industry.  
About IREC
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) is a non-profit organization that 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 renewable energy and energy efficiency training providers 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. 

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