Energy workforce training offered through EcoAction Partners

· EcoAction Partners,Electrification,Employment,Energy Efficiency,SMPA
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For future heat pump, solar PV, & electric vehicle charging equipment installers and home energy efficiency analysts.


A local coalition has created a worker training opportunity "to support the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technology in our region."

EcoAction Partners recently announced a collaboration with the Telluride Foundation and San Miguel Power Association to offer a new Energy Workforce Development Program to train installers of cold climate air source heat pumps, photovoltaics, home energy performance measures, electric vehicle charging equipment, and more. Energy conservation training topics such as building science and energy auditing are also available.

An application form and other information is available at the training program webpage. Training courses are open to adults and students. Instruction will be both online-remote and hands-on. Those who complete a course of study will be compensated for their training time.


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Heat Pumps
U.S. Department of Energy


In this report

  1. About the training providers
  2. EcoAction Partners news release
  3. U.S. Dep't of Energy report: employers need qualified "energy efficiency" job applicants



1) About the training providers

The regional energy workforce coalition partnered with HVAC, solar photovoltaic and building science training organizations. Two training providers are based in Colorado.

Links to the trainers and curriculum descriptions are below, and may also be found at the EcoAction Partners Energy Worforce Development Program webpage: download Approved Course List PDF document.


Heat pumps

International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology
In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy - Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy.
• HQ: Denver CO

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Solar photovoltaics

Solar Energy International
• Training Facility: Paonia CO

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Building Science

Building Performance Association
A network of home performance energy efficiency, & weatherization contractors, energy auditors, manufacturers & distributors, utility energy efficiency programs, nonprofit & community organizations, and government agencies.
• HQ: Pittsburgh PA


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Wall Insulation

Photo by Erik Mclean
on Unsplash  


2) EcoAction Partners news release 


Telluride Foundation, SMPA and EcoAction Partners debut Energy Workforce Development Program

(December 8, 2023)

EcoAction Partners has partnered with the Telluride Foundation and San Miguel Power Association to create an Energy Workforce Development Program to support the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technology in our region. The Energy Workforce Development Program will serve applicants who would benefit from training opportunities to fill gaps in our existing regional energy workforce. Approved trainings include those on cold climate air source heat pumps, photovoltaics (solar power), home performance, building science, electric vehicle charging, RESNET HERS rater certification1 (note below) and more. Applicants for the Energy Workforce Development Program must live in San Miguel, Ouray, west Montrose County or the town of Rico. Program participants may apply to becompensated for the time they spend working toward approved certifications. The program is open to high school students as well as adults.

This initiative directly coincides with actions outlined in the Regional Climate Action Plan (CAP), published in 2021. The CAP covers eight thematic sectors, including Energy Supply, Building Energy Use and Transportation. Transition to renewable energy sources, increased electrification, and improving efficiency are key themes of these three sectors.

The 2020 Regional Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory identified that residential and commercial building energy use accounts for 45% of our region’s total GHG emissions, due to electricity, natural gas, and propane use. Vehicle use has increased significantly since our 2010 GHG baseline and accounts for another 23% of fossil fuel emissions. Transitioning our energy sources to cleaner and more local energy sources is one way to reduce our emissions. Other key strategies include increasing energy efficiency in new and existing buildings and electrifying our heating systems, appliances, and vehicles. This transition will not be possible without a well-trained workforce to provide the capacity and technical knowledge to upgrade existing infrastructure.

The Telluride Foundation and SMPA are providing funding support and EcoAction Partners will administer the program with the goal of increasing the depth of knowledge and resources in our regional energy workforce.

“We are thrilled to partner with EcoAction Partners on this program” said Elaine Demas, Vice President of Operations for the Telluride Foundation. “We have been working to get a renewable energy workforce program off the ground for a few years now, and the dedicated, knowledgeable staff at EcoAction helped make it happen. The Foundation is committed to supporting EcoAction Partners and the entire community as we work together to implement the actions identified in our regional CAP and this program does exactly that.”

To learn more about the program or to apply to participate please visit:


About the Partners

The Telluride Foundation is committed to enriching the quality of life of the residents, visitors, and workforce of the Telluride region. The Foundation does this through development and support of initiatives and making direct investments that maximize benefit to all, nurture self-reliance and create meaningful change.

San Miguel Power Association is committed to supporting our region’s climate action plan and sees this program as key to expanding energy efficiency and beneficial electrification options for our members.

EcoAction Partners works to provide data driven solutions and empower our partners to implement climate action and create more sustainable communities.

Kendra Held
Climate Action Coordinator, EcoAction Partners


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3) U.S. Dep't of Energy report: employers need qualified "energy efficiency" job applicants

The U.S. energy transition workforce is growing. The upward trend is not limited to solar panel, wind-turbine generator, electric vehicle and EV battery manufacturing and installation jobs. The U.S. Department of Energy 2023 Annual U.S. Energy and Employment Report  describes energy efficiency construction skills, including installation and repair:

Workers in the construction industry made up the largest segment of EE (energy efficiency) jobs, with 1,193,136 positions, which was up 23,729 from 2021.

However, employers report shortages of qualified worker applicants.

EE firms reported hiring challenges, . . . Construction firms reported the highest hiring difficulty, with 95% reporting that it was “very difficult” or “somewhat difficult” to hire qualified workers. Construction also had the highest percentage of employers indicating that it was “very difficult” to hire, at 62%.

Factors contributing to hiring difficulty:

  • competition/small applicant pool
  • applicants’ lack of experience, training, or technical skills
  • applicants’ insufficient non-technical skills (workethic, dependability, critical thinking)