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    Chris Freear

    In my work with the BRCT we have been working for almost 12 months now growing the ‘energy advice space’ in the greater Dunedin area.  I am about to start training a number of people in the skills needed to be able to carry out audits of homes in their communities.  I am planning to build this training on my experiences with the BRANZ developed Warm Home Energy Check and other approaches, any thoughts suggestions for how to do this in a way which is consistent with others would be most appreciated.

    Norman Smith

    Hi Chris,

    I have a memory of talking about this tangentially in a prevous Hub post about training, but perhaps not. Either way, this is based on work as the principal contractor to EECA/ECAN for the Warm Homes Energy Check (WHEC); collaborating with Lynda Amitrano at BRANZ. Can you believe its a decade since you and 12 others were the (willing ?) crash test dummies for that Chch pilot?

    More important than the teaching resources/manuals retained I believe is the insights and methodology we used (experiential taxonomy and all that) based on a former life in the teriary education sector.

    We developed what I thought was a pretty good training/accrediation/assessment/continuing education template, one which I believe is still relevant for the ‘qualification’ under consideration by CEN.

    As someone who has tried to keep abreast of developments since then, and developed other resources, I have been surprises at how much aspects of the WHEC content have dated. Sure the First Law of Thermodynamics seems to be standing up pretty well but new reearch and new technologies coming onto the market means quite a lot of aspects and focus will likely need to be re-worked.

    One of the most difficult aspects of any training is keeping up date – now we have the Hub which can play a crucial role in keeping practitioners/advisers in touch with the latest thinking and experience, theory and practice.

    The three-day Energy Efficiency Community Network workshop I developed in 2008 was the next step on from WHEC, but have just had a quick look at that now and there’s cracks if it was to be used in 2013. With the recent-ish departure of Sarah Free from the Sustainability Trust Phil Squire may be the only ‘survivor’ from that workshop of around 18; quite a lot of churn of home energy advisers. One of the outputs from that workshop was a reasonably substantial manual.

    So what does all this mean? Well one question is how your initiative to train Duneding people might fit into what CEN is up to and what will happen to others taking place such as C.A.F.E. in Christchurch where they trying to engage the banks, the training which has been developed by Home and Dry to deliver its home advisers contract for the Wellington City Council and what all the Warm Up NZ contractors are doing.

    I had some interesting insights into the latter when I made calls to Auckland providers while assisting my daughter select a WUNZ provider to retrofit her house. I was pretty impressed with the three I talked to; commercial companies yes but informed and professional. Then I talked to the guy at the Auckland Council who runs their targeted rates scheme and he sure knew his onions about emerging energy technologies. I wonder who ‘trained’ him and his team.

    Sorry folks, I’ve wandered off a bit here but I think my train of thought demonstrates the inerconnectedness of all aspects of training, in this case whatever Chris does in Dunedin will have an impact  …  well everywhere else.

    Regards, Norman


    Hi Chris, I suggest you get in contact with Jo Wills from CEN. She is doing some work at the moment to establish training and accreditation for advisors. There have been posts about this on the Hub here

    You might also want to get in touch with Vicki Cowan from Beacon.

    There’s a wealth of knowledge among practitioners on the site too (as you can see form Norman’s post), so hope you can tap into what you need.




    Jo Wills

    Hi Chris, you may have seen the CEN newsletter that went out yesterday afternoon, in there was a brief update on a project CEN, EMANZ and Beacon are working on, see below, and if you have the chance to talk about this on Thursday Chris I could give you a call.

    5. Energy Practitioner Certification
    There is a lot of activity happening in this space between CEN, EMANZ and Beacon Pathway. We are working collaboratively to bring CEN members a national training programme for energy practitioner certification, and hope to have something in place in the very near future (within the year).

    What we aim to achieve is a national certification training programme for energy practitioners which clearly articulates the competence requirements for being a recognized residential energy assessor. These competencies would align to the vision and values of CEN and be setting the standards for whole of house, best performance energy assessments in New Zealand.

    I hope to provide a much more detailed update before the end of May.

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