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Training and Equipping an Expanded Weatherization Workforce. 2006 NASCSP Mid-Winter Training Conference Washington, DC February 3, 2006. How do we train them? What do they need to know? What equipment do they need?. How Do We Train Them?. Conferences Training centers On-site training

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Training and Equipping an Expanded Weatherization Workforce


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    1. Training and Equipping an Expanded Weatherization Workforce 2006 NASCSP Mid-Winter Training Conference Washington, DC February 3, 2006

    2. How do we train them? • What do they need to know? • What equipment do they need?

    3. How Do We Train Them? • Conferences • Training centers • On-site training • Online training

    4. Conferences • Pro • Peer-to-peer exchange • Meet the experts • Many topics • New ideas • Current issues • Con • Travel cost • Production loss • Many may not be able to attend • Time constraints limit depth/detail • Hands-on opportunities are limited

    5. Training Centers • Pro • Comprehensive, standardized training on selected topics • Furnace labs & equipment set-up allow more hands-on training • Required attendance • Environment lends itself to certification if desired • Con • Time & expense building &/or setting up facility • Travel cost • Production loss

    6. On-Site Training • Pro • Local housing stock & tools • More hands-on action • Training site can count towards production • Less travel required • Con • Huge trainer effort, burnout worries • Training site can be less than ideal • A lot of scheduling & prep work required • May try to tackle too much • Class size very limited • Possibility of bad weather

    7. Online Training • Pro • Aside from bandwidth, there is no limitation on class size • No travel required • Content and instruction are consistent across country • Con • No hands-on component

    8. How Do We Train Them? • 10 Weatherization training centers listed on WAPTAC: • Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development, Ohio • CASE Training and Energy Services Center, West Virginia • Indiana Community Action Association Training Center, Indiana • PG&E Stockton Training Center, California • Weatherization Training Center, Pennsylvania • Montana Weatherization Training Center, Montana • Kansas Building Science Institute, Kansas • New River Center for Energy Research & Training, Virginia • Association for Energy Affordability, New York • Southwest Building Science Training Center, Arizona

    9. Other Training Centers • NYSWDA Training Center, Syracuse, NY • Mobile Home Training Center, Lynchburg, VA • Community and Economic Development Association (CEDA), Chicago, IL • Linn State Technical College, Linn, MO • The Learning Center at Sun Power, Denver, CO • Building Performance Center, Opportunity Council, Bellingham, WA • The creation of a few more training centers were being considered even before talk of ramp up • While not having official training centers, many states use local agencies to host standardized weatherization training courses throughout the year

    10. Training Centers • How much can existing training centers realistically increase capacity? • How many new training centers are needed? • Who establishes new training centers? • Existing training centers establish new satellite offices? • State uses T&TA funds to create new training centers? • Private, for-profit companies create new training centers?

    11. Training Center Ramp Up • Increasing production from 150,000 to 1,000,000 per year represents a multiplier of 6.7 • 16 existing training centers x 6.7 = 107 • Start-up costs • (107 – 16) x $180,000/center = $16,380,000 • Ongoing operating costs • 107 x $290,000/center = $26,390,000/year

    12. Training Centers • How large should a typical new training center be? • How many trainers does a training center need? • Where are new training centers most needed? • How long does it take to establish a new training center? • How much does it cost? • Facilities? • New construction, conversion of existing building, existing vocational tech facility? • What equipment and layout are best?

    13. Other Training Resources • Private companies and non-profit organizations that provide weatherization training: • R.J. Karg Associates, Topsham, ME • Saturn Resources Management, Helena, MT • Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, Burlington, VT • Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation, Madison, WI • A small network of independent trainers offer varying forms of on-site training • State technical monitors • Peer-to-peer trainers • Circuit rider • Local weatherization agency association trainers

    14. On-Site Training • What is the existing capacity of this delivery mechanism? • How many people new to Weatherization could the existing on-site training capacity get trained in 6 to 9 months? • How many traveling trainers could be added from the existing training network? • How much would this increase training capacity?

    15. On-Site Training • Where can we find new trainers capable of providing comprehensive, hands-on, on-site training? • How many do we need to hire? • How long will it take to train the trainers? • What do they need to be trained on? • What vehicles and equipment will traveling trainers need? • Fully outfitted crew truck or trailer and tow vehicle? • Multiple manometers and combustion analyzers so more than one student can push buttons and see screens at a time? • Training props

    16. On-Site Training Ramp Up • “Non-training-center” portion of the training infrastructure must also increase almost 7 fold • This crude estimation likely under-predicts need: • Existing training infrastructure is struggling to meet current need in some areas • Many new trainees will be starting from scratch instead of being on the job for several weeks or months

    17. Online Weatherization Training • Online Weatherization training has many advantages: • No travel • No limitation on class size • Many trainees can quickly become familiar with the Weatherization Program and whole-house weatherization basics • Subsequent hands-on training can start at an advanced level • Saturn Resource Management has developed online courses for Weatherization providers, BPI certification, and HERS raters • Based on core competencies developed by Weatherization Trainers Consortium • Available at http://srmi.biz/bpt/ • A separate, pilot online training module on zonal pressure diagnostics will be also be available online later this month

    18. Distance Learning • Pennsylvania’s Weatherization Training Center and others have offered distance learning on Weatherization and building science over the internet • Model could be used by other training centers and independent trainers to extend their reach and capacity

    19. Hands-On Training • Online training and distance learning are only part of the answer • Hands-on training and on-the-job apprenticeship are vital components to effective Weatherization

    20. What do they need to know? • Core competencies • Standardized curricula

    21. Core Competencies • Specialized knowledge and skills are required at the local, state, and federal level to run an effective Weatherization Program • While there is a general understanding of the competencies required, these had not been articulated on a national scale • The Weatherization Trainers Consortium published a set of core competencies to increase awareness and raise expectations • The competencies that a weatherization worker should possess depend on their position • For example, an auditor needs to conduct diagnostic testing that may not be required of an installer

    22. Core Competencies • The point of entry also dictates which core competencies are required • An entry-level installer requires a minimum set of competencies. • This installer must acquire additional skills to become a crew chief, and still more to become an auditor • A new auditor hired off the street must already possess auditor-level competencies as a condition of hire • These increasing levels of competency also provide a career or development path for agency and contractor personnel • The core competencies document and matrix is available on http://waptac.org/si.asp?id=1259

    23. Core Competencies • Provided for the following topical areas: • Basic competencies • Safe work practices • Building evaluation • Measure installation • Final inspection • Consumer education • Monitoring • Program management • Training

    24. Definitions • Competency means the possession of a minimum level of knowledge and proficiency required to collect appropriate information, make informed decisions, and physically take the needed actions to deliver the high-quality weatherization service in question. • Possess a working knowledge of means to: • Know how a particular topic impacts the weatherization process; • Have the relevant information committed to memory or be able to locate it in readily available sources; and • Use the knowledge to make informed decisions and guide weatherization work. • Demonstrate the ability to means to: • Physically conduct a test, procedure, or technique on an actual house, a prop, or in a training lab in the presence of someone qualified to assess the particular competency.

    25. Energy Auditor Competencies • Prerequisites • Possess Safe Work Practices, Installer, and Crew Chief competencies. • Possess a working knowledge of building science principles. • Inspection and Measurement • Possess a working knowledge of: • Air and heat flow in buildings; • Factors that affect building heat loss; • Construction features and critical junction points of common housing types; • Insulation R-values; • Different insulation materials and installation techniques; • Various air-sealing techniques and appropriate materials;

    26. Energy Auditor Competencies • Inspection and Measurement • Possess a working knowledge of: • Causes of and remedies for existing and potential moisture problems; • Causes of and remedies for other existing and potential indoor air quality problems; • Residential mechanical ventilation systems; • Minimum ventilation rates/building tightness limits based on the appropriate ASHRAE 62 standard; and • Electric base-load usage. • Demonstrate the ability to: • Measure the dimensions of floors, walls, ceilings, windows, and doors, and compute surface areas;

    27. Energy Auditor Competencies • Inspection and Measurement • Demonstrate the ability to: • Compute the volume of conditioned space of a building; • Define the thermal envelope of a building; • Assess the effectiveness of existing insulation and the effective R-values; and • Analyze utility bills including breaking out base-load usage from heating and cooling usage. • Diagnostic Testing • Blower door • Possess a working knowledge of: • Principles of air movement and how they relate to building heat loss;

    28. Energy Auditor Competencies • Diagnostic Testing • Blower door • Possess a working knowledge of: • Typical air leakage problems in common housing types; and • Minimum ventilation rates. • Demonstrate the ability to: • Set up a blower door; • Prepare a building for a blower door test; and • Take blower door reading and interpret results.

    29. Energy Auditor Competencies • Diagnostic Testing • Zone pressure diagnostics • Possess a working knowledge of: • The air barrier of a building and the importance of aligning it with the thermal barrier; and • Primary and intermediate zones of a house. • Demonstrate the ability to: • Conduct zone pressure diagnostics and interpret results; and • Determine the location and effectiveness of the air barrier of a house. • Duct testing • Possess a working knowledge of: • Problems associated with different types of duct leakage.

    30. Energy Auditor Competencies • Diagnostic Testing • Duct testing • Demonstrate the ability to: • Determine dominant duct leakage; and • Conduct pressure tests. Potential tests include: • Pressure pan • Duct Blaster • Delta-Q • Seal duct leaks with appropriate materials and good workmanship. • Measure room pressure imbalances in houses with forced-air systems.

    31. Energy Auditor Competencies • Diagnostic Testing • Steam and hot water distribution system testing • Possess a working knowledge of: • The components of typical steam and hot water distribution systems and the characteristics of their proper operation. • Demonstrate the ability to: • Test air vents, steam traps, thermostatic radiator valves, and hot water zone valves; and • Estimate the energy impacts of existing overheating problems. • Base-load systems • Demonstrate the ability to: • Meter electrical devices to determine their annual energy consumption.

    32. Energy Auditor Competencies • Combustion Appliance Safety • Possess a working knowledge of: • CO action levels; • Common code requirements related to: • Vent system sizing, materials, clearances, and installation; • Safety shut-off devices; • Gas line sizing; and • Combustion air; • Causes of and remedies to common vent system problems.

    33. Energy Auditor Competencies • Combustion Appliance Safety • Demonstrate the ability to: • Measure the CO level in ambient air; • Measure the CO level of vented and unvented combustion appliances; • Measure the CO levels of gas- or propane-fired cook stoves (oven and burners); • Understand the difference between as-measured and air-free CO readings;Detect natural gas, propane, and fuel oil leaks; • Conduct a worst-case draft test of a combustion appliance zone; • Measure the CAZ to assure sufficient volume for combustion air;

    34. Energy Auditor Competencies • Combustion Appliance Safety • Demonstrate the ability to: • Clock a gas meter to determine the actual input of a gas-fired combustion appliance; • Conduct basic temperature-rise and static-pressure-drop tests on forced-air furnaces; • Measure the steady-state efficiency of a vented combustion appliance; and • Assess the potential inadequacy of supply and return plenum and duct sizes for forced-air systems.

    35. Energy Auditor Competencies • Measure Selection • Possess a working knowledge of: • What materials are allowed to be installed based on 10 CFR 440 Appendix A; • The regulatory and policy requirements for selecting weatherization measures using DOE-approved energy audit software or priority lists; and • The interaction between typical weatherization measures (e.g., the impact of air-sealing and insulation measures on the potential savings of heating efficiency improvements). • Demonstrate the ability to: • Use a DOE-approved energy audit to input accurate building data and recommend appropriate, cost-effective weatherization measures;

    36. Energy Auditor Competencies • Measure Selection • Demonstrate the ability to: • If required, use a DOE-approved priority list to select appropriate, cost-effective weatherization measures; • Prioritize air-sealing efforts;Estimate the heating and/or cooling load of a dwelling to ensure proper equipment sizing if the heating or cooling system is to be replaced; • Select the proper CFL to replace an incandescent lamp while maintaining or improving lighting levels; and • Meter an existing refrigerator or locate its DOE tested usage in a database to estimate annual energy consumption.

    37. Energy Auditor Competencies • Work Scope Development • Demonstrate the ability to: • Accurately estimate the type and quantity of materials required to cost-effectively weatherize an eligible dwelling unit; and • Prepare clearly written work orders for work crews or contractors.

    38. Vehicles & Equipment • Approximately 12,000 new crews must be outfitted • 12,000 crews x $88,300/crew = $1,059,600,000 • A 7-fold ramp-up may strain equipment manufacturers, distributors, and vendors causing: • Delays in purchasing new equipment • Delays in getting existing equipment repaired or calibrated • Trouble getting parts • May need to explore alternate vendors • Effective Weatherization requires heavy-duty, commercial-grade equipment • Maintaining $1 billion in vehicles and equipment is no small endeavor

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