By Michael Mock
As local, state and federal governments mandate increased energy efficiency, Washington, D.C. Electrical Alliance contractors are prepared to meet the demand for the “Fifth Fuel.”
Energy efficiency, often referred to as the “Fifth Fuel,” has joined the four traditional sources used to produce electricity in the United States: coal, natural gas, nuclear, and renewables. Maximizing energy efficiency is a major consideration for building designers and owners as they evaluate plans for new projects and project retrofits, and as the government mandates increased energy efficiency.
U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has ordered energy efficiency in all new federal building construction projects. Future projects must now achieve LEED® Gold certification, the second-highest rating from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. Similar standards are also in place for federal building retrofits.
GSA reports that commercial buildings account for nearly 40 percent of the United States’ primary energy use and GSA owns nearly 182 million square feet of office space nationwide. GSA’s plan to meet the requirements of President Obama’s Executive Order 13514 includes a goal of reducing energy consumption in federal buildings by 30 percent by 2015.
Electrical Alliance contractors and their electricians complete alternative energy systems training courses, such as photovoltaic array install, through the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC). The JATC, sponsored by the Electrical Alliance, was the first in the Washington, D.C. metro area to offer the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program and Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment installation training. Journeyman electricians can earn a Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Certificate of Knowledge if a renewable energy course is completed. The JATC is one of only a handful of NABCEP Certificate of Knowledge test sites in the country. The Interstate Renewable Energy Council also named the JATC an ISPQ Accredited Training ProgramTM. This highly sought after, rarely achieved credential is granted by a globally recognized authority in the area of renewable energy training, the Institute for Sustainable Power, Inc. TM.
All sustainability installations are subject to the same workmanship and safety requirements as traditional electrical work. To hire an Electrical Alliance contractor for your professional electric installation, visit www.electricalalliance.org.