Around the web: Western’s Equipment Loan Program

AroundTheWebOne of the great things about the Internet is that, unlike hard copy resources, you can update it in minutes with a few keystrokes. Another handy feature is the ability to create a network of resources around a specific topic—that’s why they call it the web. The new training resources page in our Equipment Loan Program is an excellent example.  The latest addition to the Equipment Loan site offers videos and fact sheets to help Western customers get the best results from the tools they borrow from the program.

Pre-screened by Energy Services
As with any topic, there are hundreds of posts related to energy audits and the equipment used to do them. We combed the web to find the most relevant, informative resources so you don’t have to.

The Department of Energy, the Building Performance Institute Redirecting to a non-government site, Southface Institute Redirecting to a non-government site and Montana Weatherization Training Center Redirecting to a non-government site are among the organizations that produced the resources. Some videos came from equipment manufacturers like the Energy Conservatory and Fluke. The Energy Services team, and especially Equipment Loan Manager Gary Hoffmann, reviewed them all for accuracy and clarity. “We were looking for training resources that explained the basic operation of a piece of equipment in a way that the user doesn’t have to be an engineer to understand,” said Hoffmann.

Crash courses
The resources are organized by tool—blower doors, infrared (IR) cameras, duct testers and power meters. Under “Other resources” are links to training libraries that contain presentations covering several types of equipment.

Most of the videos are available free of charge and run from a few minutes to half an hour. These resources are for brushing up on how to set up or operate a tool, or get a quick overview of a model you may not have used before. Online training is not a replacement for auditor certification, but it can be a helpful supplement for trainees who have not had a lot of field experience.

Speaking of the field, the best thing about online training is convenience. You can access the resources from your smartphone, or pad if you have wireless network access. The resources are available any time of the day or night in your office or home, as well.

Web keeps growing
New resources pop up on the Internet every day, and we will be on the lookout for additions to the new page. It is a big web, though—worldwide, in fact—so we are counting on our customers to alert us to resources they find valuable.

Better yet, Energy Services would love to post training resources created by our own customers. Nobody understands utility needs like utilities. We are looking for concise “how-to” videos that demonstrate tool operation, or unique uses for diagnostic tools. Post them on your own website, YouTube or another sharing site, and provide us with the link. As a bonus, Energy Services Bulletin would feature a story on your utility’s foray into film (video) making.

Contact me, Kevon Storie with your suggestions for equipment training videos and links to your own efforts.