While solar power, energy storage, and electric vehicles are not brand new, their increased presence is undeniable. Across the country, these technologies are contributing to the resiliency of communities while providing thousands of jobs for community residents. Trained workers will be needed to permit, install, and inspect the hundreds of thousands of electric vehicle charging stations and solar-plus-storage projects to support building and transportation electrification.

At the same time, working with new technologies also raises questions and can require learning. Building owners and managers as well as municipal staff need accurate information to make educated decisions on investments. Additionally, code officials who permit and inspect installations need technical training about current building and electrical code requirements. Sometimes a quick answer, a graphic, or an example is a great introduction to a complex topic. Other times you need technical details and practice, and those details still need to be understandable and practical. 

To improve our communities and reach climate and energy goals, several organizations are working together to provide fact-based information about emerging clean energy technologies. This collaborative effort is resulting in accurate and accessible education that can be used by code officials, contractors, municipal employees, architects, designers, engineers, and first responders. Tens of thousands of users have already accessed the information.

Collaboration Builds Credibility

Experts from the International Code Council (ICC), the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI), and the National Association of Fire Marshals (NASFM) as well as Slipstream, New Buildings Institute (NBI), Southface Institute, the Florida Solar Energy Center, and national laboratories like the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) provide their knowledge, research, and practical experience on these technologies. That’s a lot of acronyms! It is this combination of inputs that results in a balanced and practical perspective on the safe integration of distributed energy resources like solar and energy storage. These national experts represent thousands of people across the country who care about safety and doing things the right way. Together with IREC, these organizations offer information that aligns with the current industry trends. This expertise is then delivered in a wide variety of formats to meet the needs of different learners: short videos, interactive mini-courses, webinars, downloadable checklists, and even CEU-bearing courses

Clean Energy Question of the Week: Your New Go-To for the Answers You Need 

To keep pace with these fast developing technologies, the latest addition to the available educational resources is a growing knowledge base that contains the most frequently asked questions about solar, storage, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and efficient building technologies. Each week you’ll find a new question and an answer in plain language. Each straightforward answer links to a more detailed resource designed to help you perform your job efficiently: an informational video, a checklist, or a mini-course to reinforce the new information. 

The educational materials are in direct response to what building safety officials need right now. Concise, fact-based information that can be digested over a lunch break can go a long way to keeping our buildings, workers, and communities safer and cleaner. An efficient, well-trained workforce familiar with clean energy will improve inspection compliance, expedite permitting, reduce liability and insurance costs, and increase consumer confidence. Visit the Clean Energy Clearinghouse today and let us know your questions.