Up Front: The IREC Blog

From Startup to Success: The Solar Instructor Training Network Five Years On  

Building a national, highly-qualified, well-trained clean energy workforce takes time. And work. And vision. Now, after five years, we’re seeing stunning results from the confluence of the work of innovative instructors, supportive administrators at educational institutions, and long-term vision from DOE’s SunShot Initiative.

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Technology Advancements Alone Won’t Bring Energy Storage to Market – Regulatory Reform is Equally Important

It is widely recognized that distributed energy storage can offer a host of benefits to utilities, storage customers and ratepayers. It is particularly true that energy storage has enormous potential to ease the integration of high levels of renewable energy onto the electric grid. However, as it stands today, the regulatory and market policies in the electricity sector are not yet positioned to enable energy storage developers and customers to deploy the technology in a manner that ensures access to the full range of benefits it can offer.

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Don’t Wait for Them to Ask if You Hold the IREC Credential

Energized by the White House’s recent announcement of the America’s College Promise Proposal, over 600 community college presidents, administrators, instructors and partners assembled in Newport Beach, CA for the American Association of Community Colleges Workforce Development Institute at the end of January. IREC’s Credentialing Program was on hand and met over three days with numerous potential applicants for the IREC credential and workforce development partners at the IREC booth.

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Easing the Transition

What a week for energy news! And right in the middle of it all is what we believe to be a landmark paper. In the event you didn’t find time to take a look at it, here are the highlights.

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Balancing Consumer Protection & Industry Regulation: Five Trends in PV Codes and Standards  

Codes and standards don’t sound particularly sexy. But they are important consumer protections both for safety and quality of solar PV installations. There are literally hundreds of PV related codes and standards developed by many different code and standard development organizations. The challenge is to balance consumer protection with an appropriate level of industry regulation.

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Buyer be Aware: IREC Credentialed Training Providers Offer Better Value to Graduates

According to the College Board’s report, Trends in College Pricing, average published tuition and fee prices increased up to 3.7 percent in 2014, depending on sector. This increase is higher than the 2.0 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index during the same time period, and while lower than the average annual increases in the past five years, continues a concerning trend that has been highlighted in the educational and other media for years now.

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Take a Look at the New 2015 Models

I still find pulling out a yellow legal pad along with a few sharp pencils productive as a way of jotting down notes, ideas and doodles. Tis the season to do so as we start at the top of a new year. My top yellow pad one liner – it looks like 2015 will be the time for new models – refers to new policy, technical and operational ones. Things could be shaken up or at least stirred. Let me bring you into a conversation the IREC team had just a few weeks ago.

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Within the Walls  

When I worked as an electrician, I knew that most people had little idea how much effort went into installing a light and switch in a home. They only saw the end product – the light and switch – and didn’t always “value” the time and effort it took to install those devices. They rarely saw all my work accomplished within the walls.

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Moving Forward: regulatory trends shaping a clean energy nation

Along with the season’s time-honored traditions, comes time to pause and reflect on the past year and year to come. Here’s a closer look at what we can expect to play out in the national regulatory arena next year. It’s definitely shaping up to be an energetic year.

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Solar for All: Reaching Low-Income Customers

Heating and cooling are not “nice-to-haves” in most areas of the U.S. – they are a necessity. However, this basic need creates a disproportionate burden on low-income families. Statistics vary on how much low-income families typically spend on their energy bills, but it’s in the range of 6-20 percent of their annual income, much higher than the national average of 3 percent. As a result, government agencies and utilities have a long history of helping low-income customers meet their electricity needs.

 

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