Opportunity for Weatherization Staff to take Free Home Energy Professional Certification Exams at AEA to Expire December 14th

AEA is offering pilot exams for the new Home Energy Professional certifications, offered by the Building Performance Institute and National Renewable Energy Lab, funded by the US Department of Energy.

For a limited time the Retrofit Installer and Crew Leader exams are free to current and former Weatherization Assistance Program personnel and contractors. (The standard price for the pilot exams is $250 for the written exams and $500 for the field exams.) Once a minimum number of pilot exams have been given, free exams will no longer be available, so WAP personnel that would like receive this cutting-edge certification should contact AEA today.

Each certification covers one of four job categories: energy auditor, quality inspector, retrofit installer, or crew chief. All focus on the knowledge, skills, and abilities of staff who work on small homes and who have several years of field experience. The certifications are a good way to document that they have the advanced skills needed to do the job in the field.

Developed by a broad, national committee to capture real world scenarios for professionals in the home energy industry, the NREL certifications are national in scope and recognition. While there are currently many different certifications offered in and required by various states and utility programs, the new Home Energy Professional certification will be more uniformly recognized across the nation for both weatherization program staff and market-rate energy upgrade professionals. We expect this will enhance incumbent workers’ job security and advancement opportunities as well as transferability of credentials to new positions or in new locations.

Although BPI is implementing the pilot testing, the new certifications do not replace BPI certifications. They are voluntary, but they provide a unique opportunity to strengthen skills and credentials to meet the emerging national standard represented by the new Home Energy Professional certifications. WAP employees who participate in the pilot will be among the first to earn core credentials to help them and their agencies advance in the home energy profession. Qualifying WAP staff may take the exams for free – but only by signing up during the early pilot period.

Home Energy Professional certifications are intended for experienced professionals. Each has its own set of prerequisites. For example, the Energy Auditor certification requires the candidate to have completed 15 audits and 1,000 hours of relevant experience. For more information, please visit http://www.bpi.org/tools_downloads_pilot.aspx.

To qualify for the free exams, applicants must meet the following criteria: an applicant must have been employed by a WAP agency, contractor, or state WAP office for at least six months, during the period between March 31, 2009 and March 31, 2012; the applicant must provide BPI with proof of that employment (a letter from the employer, or pay stubs covering a 6 month period); and the employer must provide BPI with proof of their association with the Weatherization Assistance Program.

To find out more about the certifications and free exams, and to register, contact Anna Sullivan at 718-292-6733 ex. 8021, or Adam Romano at ex.8225. [Note: The opportunity to take free Home Energy Professional exams under this offer has expired.]

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