How have other programs invested in contractors to meet their program’s needs for a skilled workforce?

Residential energy efficiency programs depend on the skills and professionalism of participating contractors to install a variety of energy-saving measures and interact with customers. Investments to develop workforce technical and business skills not only helps contractors succeed, but also sets expectations about a consistent definition of quality work. Some programs have partnered with organizations offering classroom training such as community colleges, universities, or weatherization training centers, while others have found apprenticeships offering accredited, on-the-job training to be a value. By investing in workforce development, programs have experienced enhanced assessment quality, more effective sales approaches, increased rates of conversion from assessment to upgrade, more comprehensive upgrades, more effective and efficient installation processes, improved quality control, and increased revenues for contractors. Supporting workforce development is one strategy to retain dependable and qualified contractors. Learn more about strategies to retain contractors here

Learn more with the following resources:

Topical Resources

  • This guide assists with developing an implementation plan for a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. It covers key elements of the plan, including the scope and objectives of the program and the policies and procedures that will ensure its success, including co-marketing and brand guidelines (section 1), workforce development and contractor engagement (section 3), assessment and report requirements (section 4), installation specifications and test-out procedures (section 5), and quality assurance (section 6).

  • These standard work specifications define minimum requirements for upgrade work and can be used as an industry guide for workers, training instructors, and program administrators involved in the home performance industry.

  • This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focuses on how mentoring on sales skills and business management helped one contractor increase sales and become more profitable. The call also covered top tips for supporting contractors, such as helping contractors develop systems to be more efficient in completing projects and creating a service plan with customers for additional improvements in the future.

  • These training materials include over 30 lesson plans for high school and college students, building and trade professionals, and clean energy employers. Topics include energy efficiency measure installation and best practices in developing train-the-trainer programs for construction trade programs at vocational schools, to programs for undergraduate and graduate students that address the engineering, business, and economics of clean energy.

Examples

  • Efficiency Maine created a code of conduct for contractors to follow when working in homes. The code is available for download on the Efficiency Maine website, and dictates guidelines for respecting homeowners' property and communicating with the homeowner about appropriate information. Users on the Efficiency Maine website can search a list of vendors that have agreed to follow the code.

  • The AZ Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program (AZHPwES) requires that participating contractors demonstrate a high level of building science knowledge and maintain the highest standards of technical performance and customer service as described in the contractor requirements.

  • The Energy Efficiency Learning Center offers a selection of trainings and resources to enhance participation in utility energy efficiency programs. It allows users to undertake trainings on the latest home performance standards and best practices on their own schedule.

Handbooks

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