Friday, August 29, 2008

State in dire need of energy professionals

With the price of home heating oil over $4/gallon, and winter just around the corner, energy efficiency has never been more important for Mainers.

WCSH reporter, Don Carrigan, featured a spot last night on Richard Burbank, of Evergreen Building Science, at a home in Thomaston, talking about the need for energy professionals in Maine.

Burbank was at the home of Paul Scalzone, a workforce colleague of mine. Scalzone has been helpful in getting me up to speed on the need that Maine has for professionals like Burbank, to perform the necessary work of tightening up the building envelope of homes and other buildings that have energy loss issues identified from the performance of an energy audit.

Recognizing the need for trained energy professionals, Burbank has embarked on creating his own training program, which will turn out Building Envelope Technicians. Individuals that complete Burbank's program will receive a national certification from the Building Performance Institute, and will be able to perform the kind of post-audit work that many homes and businesses in Maine need, to be energy efficient. According to Carrigan's report, Burbank is quoted as saying that there is $3 billion worth of work here in Maine, needing to be done. Additionally, Burbank claims that he is the only certified Building Envelope Technician in the state. Carrigan confirmed this information with Efficiency Maine.

Obviously, there is a pressing need to address this issue. Training programs are vital to getting energy auditors trained and into the field. After that, candidates need to be put through the BPI program to certify professionals to weatherize homes, and eliminate energy losses, which only compounds the problem for people stuggling their homes.

FMI about training, you can contact Burbank at 594-2244. Additional information can be found here.

2 comments:

Richard Riegel Burbank said...

I happened to catch this blog regarding my interview with Don Carrigan. I just wanted to clarify that I am not currently a certified building envelope technician. I hold currently hold a Building Analyst certification from BPI (www.bpi.org). No one in Maine currently is certified. The training our company is offering will lead to the first building envelope specialists to be certified in Maine.

More info regarding the dire need for the workforce development can be found at my blog post at www.evergreenbuildings.blogspot.com

- Richard Riegel Burbank

Peter Troast said...

Thanks for covering this. Like so many other of the impacts of $100+/barrel oil, it appears we've been blindsided. Energy auditing and retrofitting is a significant employment opportunity in Maine for which there is demand now. Unfortunate that we weren't able to predict this and be ready for it. The best auditors, like Richard Riegel Burbank, have waiting lists lasting months.

Hope you'll continue to write on this topic.