BPI Certification

Why IREC Accreditation is Important for the Clean Energy Workforce

Why IREC Accreditation is Important for the Clean Energy Workforce

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) is a standard-setting and credentialing body that provides accreditation to individuals and organizations that provide high-quality job training in the building performance, energy efficiency, and renewable energy sectors.

IREC Accreditations are five-year credentials that can only be earned by meeting requirements set by IREC Standard 01023. Just over 200 training programs in the U.S., along with 100 instructors, have earned IREC Accreditation.

The IREC’s credential program offers clean energy job training providers the opportunity to set their programs apart from their peers, but there is a reason it is given out sparingly. Applicants must go through a rigorous application process and meet extremely high standards to successfully obtain accreditation.

Specifically, IREC Accreditation requires applicants to demonstrate that their training programs:

  • prepare students for a defined job,
  • are engaging for their students,
  • have a successful track record of delivery,
  • ensure an effective instructor-to-student ratio,
  • put systems in place for continuous improvement,
  • are responsive to changes in the industry,
  • cover a topic from a pre-approved list of IREC teaching topics, and
  • comply with all other Credential Program policies outlined in the IREC Handbook

State & Local Government Agencies Encourage IREC Accredited Training

As the demand for high-quality clean energy job training explodes around the country, IREC Accreditation enables training providers to stand out as industry leaders in an increasingly crowded training marketplace.

It is also becoming more common for federal, state, and local government agencies to require that individuals involved in government-funded clean energy projects be trained by IREC Accredited trainers. For example, the U.S. Department of Energy highly recommends that individuals training to become energy auditors (who can then get involved in DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program) get certified through an IREC Accredited training provider.

IREC Accreditation Promotes Training Safety and Equity

IREC Accreditation helps protect the public from unqualified, unsafe, or under-equipped training environments. It also helps ensure that training providers are responsive to customer complaints and appeals and have an adequate process for remediating them. Accredited providers also ensure that the training experience they offer is fair and unbiased for all learners.

Everblue’s IREC Accredited Training Courses

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Everblue, an industry leader in green job training, has earned IREC Accreditation on its Home Energy Professional HEP Energy Auditor and HEP Quality Control Inspector courses. These certifications directly prepare students for a defined job in the energy efficiency industry and qualify them to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) – which supports 8,500 jobs and provides weatherization upgrades to approximately 35,000 homes every year.  

In addition, when U.S. DOE officially releases new funding through its Energy Auditor Training Grant Program and related Contractor Training Program, it will be crucial for state energy offices and nonprofit organizations to partner with an IREC Accredited training provider to deploy those funds. IREC Accreditation serves as a nationally recognized, industry-backed, third-party acknowledgment of an organization’s high level of quality and sustainability.

Choose High Quality Training

The intent of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is to invest in and support a clean energy workforce that can competently contribute to and grow our nation’s economy. With unprecedented federal investment at stake, grant recipients must prioritize partnering with accredited organizations like Everblue that have a proven track record of success.

To learn more about Everblue’s IREC Accredited training, give us a call at 800-460-2575.

About Jason Pazirandeh

Jason is a project manager supporting multiple energy efficiency programs on behalf of the largest public utility in the United States - the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). He is also currently designing TVA's strategy for pursuing Inflation Reduction Act funds - specifically the HOMES program, the High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Program, and the $200M Contractor Training Program.