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NRCERT First Weatherization Training Center to Become Nationally Accredited

Christiansburg, Virginia – As of June 7, the New River Center for Energy Research and Training (NRCERT), a division of Christiansburg-based Community Housing Partners (CHP), is the first U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) weatherization training center in the nation to obtain IREC (Interstate Renewable Energy Council) ISPQ Training Program accreditation. This accreditation allows NRCERT to teach its Retrofit Installer curriculum for weatherization and home performance professionals and provide nationally-recognized, portable certifications to trainees who successfully complete the course.

“NRCERT is proud to represent the national network of weatherization training centers as the first to complete this accreditation process. But this is just the beginning with IREC. NRCERT plans to become accredited to teach and proctor exams for all four new-home energy professional certifications: Retrofit Installer, Energy Auditor, Quality Control Inspector, and Crew Leader. These certifications are nationally recognized industry credentials that are both portable and transferable between the public and private sectors,” said NRCERT Vice President Mark Jackson.

Benjamin Goldstein, the project lead for the National Residential Retrofit Guidelines with the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program wrote about the implementation of national weatherization training standards, explaining that the recent proliferation of energy efficiency workforce training programs has shown “the need for an objective third-party assessment, so that workers may distinguish between different quality programs and providers as they seek to invest in their career development. Accreditation enables this kind of independent assessment, and the IREC accreditation based on its ISPQ International Standard 01022 is unique because it focuses exclusively on energy efficiency and renewable energy training. While the accreditation is voluntary, it is an effective way for the DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program to assess the progress of its weatherization training centers…as an objective means of demonstrating the quality of their programs and differentiating themselves in the training marketplace.”

IREC Director of Operations Pat Fox stated, “We are so pleased to reach this milestone in our efforts to bring third-party accreditation to the energy efficiency and weatherization industry. It is our hope that NRCERT will be the first of many DOE Weatherization Training Centers to demonstrate the quality of their training and commitment to continuous improvement by successfully undergoing the application and assessment process.”

About the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC):
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has been a leader in the renewable energy community for 30 years. A nonprofit corporation, IREC works with industry, government, educators and other stakeholders to ensure that the broader use of renewable energies is possible, safe, affordable and practical for us all.

The IREC Credentialing Program lays the foundation for a competent workforce for the clean energy economy. Using robust standards and a detailed process of application and assessment, IREC’s credentialing program drives quality workforce training and increased consumer confidence in the industry.