DOE energy efficiency centers to train building operators

DOE energy efficiency centers to train building operators

Building image via Shutterstock.

It's one thing to build green, it's another to understand how to optimize its efficiency once built.

Commercial building operators are about to get the training they need to optimize building efficiency while reducing energy waste and saving money.

"Improving energy efficiency in business and manufacturing is critical for helping American businesses keep costs down and stay competitive in the global economy," says Secretary of Energy Steve Chu. "The first step is ensuring we have well-trained buildings and facilities operators that know how to boost building performance and keep commercial facilities from wasting energy."

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Commerce are jointly funding three Centers for Building Operations Excellence for $1.3 million to create and deploy programs that train current and incoming building operators.

The Centers are part of the Obama Administration's Better Buildings Initiative, which has a goal to increase energy efficiency in commercial buildings 20 percent by 2020, while lowering energy bills by $40 billion per year. The initiative will support more than 100,000 construction jobs over the next two years as it upgrades more than 1.6 billion square feet of public and private buildings.

The three centers will work with universities, local community and technical colleges, trade associations and DOE's national labs to create the training programs.

The centers, chosen through a competitive grants process, are:

  • The Corporation for Manufacturing Excellence in California, partnering with Laney College and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 39
  • Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center in Pennsylvania, partnering with Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania College of Technology, and Drexel University
  • NY State Department of Economic Development, partnering with City University of New York and Rochester Institute of Technology.

Specifically, the funding will help the three centers develop curricula and pilot training programs for building operators, managers and energy service providers, focusing on building re-tuning, energy management and building operations in commercial, industrial, and educational buildings.

The training will outline steps building operators can take to reduce energy consumption, save money and drive continuous improvement in a broad range of commercial buildings.

This article originally appeared at and is reprinted with permission.

Building image via Shutterstock.