Stephen Michael Self, Sustainable Ideas Consulting
There are 130 million homes in the country that need to be retrofit, but not nearly enough auditors. Auditors get training and buy tools but don’t know what the next step is. Mentoring provides experience with real-world examples that give them confidence to sell energy efficiency.
The Community Energy Exchange (CEE) gets protégés from community colleges and training programs. Nonprofits provide the facilities to be audited. The audit includes the usual tests and helps protégés go through the different challenges they might encounter. There is also some job placement.
At Easter Seal Camp, CEE audited 22 buildings and found gas leaks and venting issues. Phase 2 involved air sealing and insulation. That was followed with a mechanical and electric system evaluation. The final phase was a renewable evaluation.
The group also worked with Rebuilding Together Metro Denver to audit 15 low-income homes. Rebuilding Together performed the actual retrofitting.
CEE may have to charge protégés a nominal fee. Nonprofits may provide in-kind materials donations.