by Jane Weissman
March 4, 2013

JW-114x150On February 10, IREC hit its 31st year.  We did the birthday cake and candles thing last year when the speedometer rolled over to 30 years.  This year we’re taking stock and making changes.  We are asking ourselves what are our successes; what issues are still relevant; and how can IREC the organization remain current and responsive to wide swings in markets and policies?  We know we’re busy – very busy – but we want to make sure we continue to be productive, effective and accountable.

Over the past three decades, we have steadily focused on promoting rules and policies to support market growth and the companion underpinning for a competent workforce.  We’ve seen mutual gains for all segments of the industry and IREC is proud to be a leading force in moving things forward.   But are we moving fast enough?  Is patience the best course for action or do we enter into the next decade stepping up our pace?  I vote for speeding things up a bit.

It’s hard to be patient when slippage occurs.  Two topics come to mind.  In one very sunny state where solar energy should be a no brainer, there is surprising contentiousness brewing taking aim at progress that has been made.  One step forward and two steps back is not a dance I enjoy.  When it comes to setting quality assurance programs for the workforce, all partners need to be at the table.  The renewable energy and energy efficiency industries have an impressive list of safeguards in place through workforce and products credentialing schemes.  Let’s make sure these measures stay strong and resilient.  Reversal is not an option.

To ground my impatience in productive action, IREC remains committed to our operating principles of consensus strategies, objective analysis, and best practices and standards formed with transparency and inclusive stakeholder input.  These tenets remain firm.

Over the course of the next few months, we’ll be announcing changes at IREC.  Right now, I’d like to give you a sneak preview of a very exciting staff addition.  Larry Sherwood, who has been on the IREC Team for many years, is now IREC’s Chief Operating Officer and second in command.  We’re in very capable hands with Larry on board.  We’ll spend the next four months transitioning and will keep you posted on how things are going.

Keep your eye on additional IREC announcements.  I think you’ll be pleased with the changes we’re making and the value we bring.