Some of the nation’s most innovative clean energy educators will offer in-depth technical workshops as part of the fifth national Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference, November 13-15, 2012 in Albany, NY. Each designed for a specific audience in the renewable energy and energy efficiency fields, the first day’s workshops offer an opportunity to delve into a specific topic on a deeper level, a complement to the traditional multiple session format offered the following two days.

Considered the premier national platform for educating the renewable energy and energy efficiency workforce, the national Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference brings together more than 500 individuals to share the latest information and insight on instructional strategies, curricula development, credentialing and best training practices.

“These more technical workshops, led by leading experts in the field, offer thought-provoking information and insight on topics that aren’t presented elsewhere,” according to Jane Weissman, IREC executive director. This year’s workshops cover next generation technologies and workforce needs; details on IREC credentialing for quality training; updates on electrical and fire codes that affect solar installations; and using a zero energy demonstration home to teach about integrating multiple renewable energy technologies into the latest green home construction.

“The full-day and half-day pre-conference workshops provide an excellent opportunity for instructors to enhance their knowledge of specific topics from subject matter experts, while engaging like-minded faculty in an intimate format,” adds Joseph Sarubbi, project manager, U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Instructor Training Network, administered by IREC.

Highlights of the technical workshops include the following:

  • Critical Knowledge and Code Updates for Photovoltaic Systems.  How changes in the 2012 National Electric Code, International Building, Residential and Fire codes impact photovoltaic (PV) design and installation. Instructor Christopher Warfel, principal of Entech Engineering, Inc., will show common mistakes in PV installations, methods for identifying them, and how they can be avoided. Warfel has inspected more than 500 renewable energy systems in the past five years.
  • Designing Solar Heating Training Programs for General and Technical Audiences.  Solar water heating (SWH) has been used commercially for over 100 years, yet the technology is not well understood and is underutilized in the U.S. Attendees will learn best practices for SWH instruction, including multimedia approaches, training equipment for various instructional environments, and connecting educators with industry resources. Instructor Vaughan Woodruff is a well-recognized instructional leader and NABCEP-Certified Solar Heating Installer™ and educator.
  • Strategies for a Successful Energy Management Program – Tips and Tools.  Developing a world-class energy management program that goes beyond the residential sector – what it takes to produce solid, core courses that generate employable students.  The workshop will also identify the value of program accreditation. Instructor Roger Ebbage has been the Energy Management Program director at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon since 1992 and has made the program a national model for energy education. Ebbage founded and serves as director of the Northwest Energy Education Institute.
  • Zero Energy Demonstration Home with Monitoring System.  Highlighting a Zero Energy Demonstration Home that was certified “Gold” according to the National Association for Home Builders’ green standards, this Alfred State College demonstration home will be used as a model to explain how to integrate renewable energy and energy efficiency into training programs, including monitoring system installation. Instructor Craig Clark, P.E., is the dean of Applied Technology at Alfred State College.
  • The IREC Credentialing Process – What You Need To Know.  IREC is setting the standard for quality training in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Requirements for training programs and instructors to achieve an IREC Credential will be detailed, including tips for completing a successful application. Instructor Pat Fox is manager of IREC’s Credentialing Program.


The primary 2012 conference sponsor is The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). IREC is the conference organizer.

For more information about the conference, including a complete schedule of sessions and presenters, and to register, go to


The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) is a non-profit organization accelerating the use of renewable energy since 1982. IREC’s programs and policies lead to easier, more affordable connection to the utility grid; fair credit for renewable energy produced; best practices for states, municipalities, utilities and industry; and quality assessment for the growing clean energy workforce through the credentialing of trainers and training programs.