[BOULDER, CO] – The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) has recently partnered with the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) to join the EMPOWERED program, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-funded initiative providing free education and training on clean energy safety and installation to building professionals. SWEEP’s participation in the project will accelerate the adoption of energy efficient and clean energy technologies as we build an affordable, sustainable, and resilient energy future.
“There has never been a more impactful or exciting time to advance clean energy technologies, and we are delighted to partner with IREC and others to ensure the building community has the necessary resources to deploy at scale,” said SWEEP Buildings Program Associate Christy Bolognani.
Fact-based education is critical to the safe, widespread, and rapid deployment of technologies that reduce energy usage and make the grid more sustainable and resilient. These include grid-interactive energy efficient building technologies, solar, energy storage systems, and electric vehicles. The EMPOWERED program unites and informs stakeholders across the country on the implementation of energy efficiency, clean energy codes and standards, and innovative adoption of technologies.
“Giving building and safety officials the tools they need to work with distributed energy resources is essential to the clean energy transition,” said Larry Sherwood, President and CEO of IREC. “We are excited to have SWEEP join the EMPOWERED program; by connecting their regional networks with its valuable educational resources, they will further expand the already significant reach of this important initiative.”
The EMPOWERED program has already created widely-accessed resources that are in active use across the nation. Over 75,000 professionals in all 50 states have utilized the resources found on the program’s two websites: CleanEnergyClearinghouse.org and CleanEnergyTraining.org. Downloadable guides and checklists as well as webinar recordings are housed on the Clearinghouse. CleanEnergyTraining.org hosts on CEU-bearing permitting and inspection courses. All resources are free to the public, vetted by industry professionals, and designed for practical application in the field.
SWEEP joins a roster of expert organizations working collaboratively on the program. In addition to IREC, which leads the initiative, that includes the International Code Council; International Association of Electrical Inspectors; National Association of State Fire Marshals; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Florida Solar Energy Center; Southface Institute; New Buildings Institute; Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance; South-Central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource; Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships; and the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.
“Historic investments in clean energy and energy efficiency projects coupled with an urgent need to develop the next generation of building professionals means we have an unprecedented opportunity to make a real impact. The benefits to our region will be exponential,” said SWEEP Executive Director Elise Jones.
EMPOWERED stands for Educational Materials for Professional Organizations Working on Efficiency and Renewable Energy Developments. It is a collaborative grant program funded jointly by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, Building Technologies Office, and Vehicle Technologies Office.
SWEEP is a public interest nonprofit organization advancing energy efficiency, beneficial electrification, and clean transportation in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. In collaboration with utilities, state and local governments, environmental and community groups, businesses, national laboratories, federal agencies, and other energy experts, SWEEP promotes programs, policies, and funding to help mitigate climate change and its impacts, lend support to underserved and disadvantaged communities, and save people money on energy bills and transportation costs. swenergy.org
IREC builds the foundation for rapid adoption of clean energy and energy efficiency to benefit people, the economy, and our planet. Its vision is a 100% clean energy future that is reliable, resilient, and equitable. IREC develops and advances the regulatory reforms, technical standards, and workforce solutions needed to enable the streamlined integration of clean, distributed energy resources. irecusa.org