Why do energy efficiency program designers include training interventions in their programs? Because, after they identify lack of knowledge as a market barrier, they hope that training will eliminate knowledge gaps and increase energy efficient practices. Unfortunately many programs face problems like poorly attended trainings, difficulty in measuring effects of training, or only a small amount of market behavior change after implementing training programs.
The state of training in the energy efficiency industry is a mixed bag - excellent programs exist, and so do ineffective programs. Some training programs inspire lasting behavior change, and some seem to have no impact at all. The Energy Center has developed a systematic model for education and training that delivers consistent, measurable and significant results in terms of lasting energy efficiency behavior change. This system includes six key elements that are replicable for other market transformation programs: curriculum design founded on established adult education principles, rigorous evaluation, deliberate integration into other program elements, a focus on verifiable benefits, a solid business model, and an emphasis on quality.
This paper examines these six principles in detail and demonstrates their long- and shortterm effects over the past nine years in programs like the Industrial Best Practices training series and the Wisconsin Building Operator Certification program.