Unique Partnerships Across Clean Energy Leaders and Department of Energy Offices Advance Clean Energy Workforce Nationwide

The organizations are working in concert under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s EMPOWERED program, which is funded by three technology offices within the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy.

Washington, DC and Albany, NY (June 3, 2022) – Three leading clean energy organizations have formed a unique partnership to provide educational resources and training on clean energy technologies for building operators, managers, and safety officials. The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), New Buildings Institute (NBI), and Southface Institute are collaborating to provide these timely and industry-vetted resources on safe and effective deployment of distributed energy resources (DER) in buildings across the country.

With each passing month, more clean energy resources are coming online at an exponential clip and a highly skilled U.S. buildings workforce is needed to manage and support this growth. Federal, state, and local climate and greenhouse gas reduction goals are accelerating this transition, and meeting these ambitious goals requires building operators, managers, and safety officials to understand their roles in this transition. To meet this need, IREC, NBI, and Southface Institute have launched CleanEnergyClearinghouse.org, an interactive learning resource providing unbiased educational resources on solar photovoltaics, electric vehicle supply equipment, battery storage, grid-interactive technologies, and highly efficient building materials. 

The organizations are working in concert under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s EMPOWERED program, which is funded by three technology offices within the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy: Building Technologies Office (BTO), Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO), and Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO). The partnership is a first-of-its-kind arrangement among the offices that leverages the unique skills and strengths to deliver comprehensive resources that support safe and effective distributed energy resource deployment. 

“IREC is enthusiastic about this innovative collaboration under DOE leadership, which is consistent with our history of convening diverse stakeholders to tackle complex clean energy challenges,” says Larry Sherwood, IREC’s President and CEO. “Our collective action to accelerate clean energy adoption is needed to reach climate and equity goals.”

Since the launch of the clearinghouse in April 2021, more than 25,000 professionals have accessed educational resources and training courses. To develop these and forthcoming resources, hundreds of stakeholders participated in a series of forums hosted by Southface to elicit feedback on the most critical educational and training needs associated with these technologies.

“Building the infrastructure that a net zero future requires depends on a prepared and trained workforce,” commented Peter Carpenter, Education Project Manager at Southface. “Relevant, accessible, timely educational materials and training will accelerate the adoption and implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency in new and existing buildings, leading to the advancement of the nation’s energy security and efficiency goals.”

The three project leaders unite almost 20 clean energy organizations* as additional collaborators. This effort facilitates knowledge sharing and will improve the implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies in communities across the U.S. Professionals and industry benefit from access to fact-based, industry-vetted educational resources and training that are relevant and responsive to the rapid advancement of distributed energy technologies. 

“When diverse and committed organizations collaborate, the combined effort exceeds expectations, and we all move closer to a 100% clean energy future that is reliable, resilient, and equitable,” said Madeline Salzman, the partnership’s manager at DOE.

“Working collaboratively with such a wide network of partners and stakeholders to close training gaps and other barriers to implementing distributed energy resources is allowing us to be agile in responding to changing industry needs,” said Diana Burk, project manager at NBI. “By cooperatively working to develop, test, and implement education and training, we are able to not only learn from each other, but also capitalize on the breadth of experience and knowledge across technologies and markets,” Burk said.

Together, the organizations have developed interactive courses and resources about emerging clean energy technologies. This year the group will produce a searchable model codes database and permitting and inspection guides and training for solar, storage, and EVSE, all accessible within the clearinghouse. To stay up to date with resources and information about the Clean Energy Clearinghouse, sign up here.

*Project Partners


International Code Council (ICC)


International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI)

National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM)

Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL)

Florida Solar Energy Center


International Code Council (ICC)

Forth Mobility

Earth Advantage

Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP)

Metropolitan Area Planning Council


International Code Council (ICC)


American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA)

Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA)

Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA)


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. IREC has been trusted for its independent clean energy expertise for nearly 40 years, since its founding in 1982. For more information, visit www.irecusa.org or follow IREC on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.


New Buildings Institute (NBI) is a trusted, independent nonprofit organization with a mission to push for better buildings that achieve zero energy, zero carbon, and beyond—through research, policy, guidance, and market transformation—to protect people and the planet. For more than 20 years, NBI has worked collaboratively with industry market players—governments, utilities, energy efficiency advocates and building professionals—to promote advanced design practices, innovative technologies, public policies and programs that improve energy efficiency.


Southface Institute is a sustainable building nonprofit that strengthens equity and the environment by transforming residential and commercial structures at every stage of the building life cycle. We are headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with a new satellite location in Sarasota, Florida, at the Florida House green demonstration home and gardens.  

Since 1978, Southface has collaborated with other nonprofits, businesses, builders, developers, universities, government agencies, and communities to deliver practical solutions with tangible results for the planet and all its inhabitants. Together, we are building sustainably for life.