Up Front: The IREC Blog

Pay it forward: supporting those who give so much  

Thanks to your feedback and numerous candid conversations with you about the value you’ve realized from your credential, we have a number of initiatives underway to improve your experience and position instructor certification with stakeholders as crucial to the success of our industry.

6 Trends to Watch for in 2015

Fall is when IREC releases its annual report, Trends Shaping Our Clean Energy Future. These 35 pages are not just a litany of our activities but dig into deeper reasoning of what we’ve done over the past 12 months; why it’s important; who we’ve touched; and where it leads. Do take a look. From both our national workforce and regulatory experience, here are six trends we see heading into 2015.

Talking heads sometimes bark

IREC premieres our new industry-targeted video this week in Las Vegas at Solar Power International (SPI), Accelerate Your Success: Quality is quiet. Mistakes are not. With thanks to ACT Foundation funding, through the National Network of Business and Industry Associations, the film clearly traces why credible credentials count and reduce costly mistakes. You’ll see we employed a bit of cartoon humor to bring home the message that “the best new technology is only as good as the workmanship around it.”

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

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.

Tagged with: ,

The intersection of two worlds

I’ve been asked quite a few times about the National Network of Business and Industry Associations. IREC was invited to join the National Network a year ago and I just got back from Austin where it celebrated its first-year anniversary. A few facts. This National Network goes way beyond the clean energy industry as many major business sectors participate – manufacturing, retail, healthcare, energy, construction, hospitality, transportation and information technology sectors.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

A Bounty of Shared Solar

I always enjoy learning obscure terms for collective nouns (a convocation of eagles, a bloat of hippopotamuses) so I wonder if we could coin a good term for a collection of shared solar programs? A ‘bounty’ perhaps? Whatever we call it, the collection of programs continues to grow year after year. If you’ve been following IREC for some time, you may have seen the collection we maintain online, IREC’s Shared Solar Program Catalog.

Tagged with: , , , , ,

We’ll do our part

Across the US, more than 150 training providers and trainers credentialed by IREC are doing their part to grow the clean energy economy. They offer or teach high quality courses that prepare students for real clean energy jobs. They collaborate with industry partners to ensure training reflects current and safe practices. And they focus on learner-centered instruction.

Tagged with: ,

As the Present Now Will Later Be Past*  

Trying to fit today’s realities into an old mold doesn’t work for the electric grid business. There is a need to understand and act upon a changing marketplace, as new technologies, grid and bottom-line benefits of distributed resources, and customer participation and expectations are prompting shifting tides. The solar industry can’t ride on past ways when market penetration is climbing, bumping into business models and rate designs. Pillar policies need to be looked at with a critical eye. That doesn’t mean throwing them out, but it does mean a collective, rational review can hopefully accommodate a transformational market.

Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Not Just Another Brick in the Wall

In the summer, I tend to listen to music more often than during the rest of the year. During my formative years, I was a fan of the rock group Pink Floyd, and yes, I still enjoy their music today. One of their more famous songs, “Another Brick in the Wall,” was released in 1979, the same year I started teaching, so it has special meaning to me. I made a pact with myself that I would never be just another brick in the wall, and I’d like to think that over my 32-year teaching career, I’ve made a difference.

Tagged with: , , , ,

But are there jobs?

In a July 8 news release, the National Association of Counties (NACo) cited the workforce skills gap as THE top barrier to economic development in the U.S. With the national unemployment rate still hovering over 6 percent (and much higher in some areas), this is a sobering observation. NACo’s release focuses on collaboration as a key to this conundrum, and IREC couldn’t agree more.

Tagged with: , , , ,
Laure-Jeanne Davignon
About Laure-Jeanne Davignon
 

Laure-Jeanne serves as Director of Credentialing Program, assisting with management and expansion to serve the weatherization and home energy retrofit communities. She also supports IREC’s standards development and revision activities. Her experience spans education and nonprofit management, first in higher education and then as an association executive supporting the residential building supply industry. During her association tenure, Laure-Jeanne worked to promote sustainable and energy efficient building practices to a 400+ company constituency spanning the northeastern US through education and outreach, including the inception of the industry’s first green building policy. She resides in rural upstate New York.

 

For the next 24 hours, you can download any IREC report without having to fill out this form again!