EERE Success Story — A Trained Workforce in Georgia is Reducing Building Energy Use and Yielding Cost Savings

September 23, 2019

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Building Operator Certification scholarship recipients present their Energy Action Plans during the final class of the eight-course program. Photo credit: Kelly Cutts, Georgia Environmental Finance Authority Program Manager—2016

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) supports the Administration's commitment to educate and train American workers and equip the future workforce with skills to succeed in a modern economy. Training and education leads to jobs, and in the energy sector, it can lead to significant cost savings and waste reduction.

With financial assistance from EERE's State Energy Program, Georgia's State Energy Program provided Building Operator Certification (BOC) training and education to building operators in state-owned buildings. The goal was to provide state employees with the tools and resources to better understand how to reduce energy waste in their facilities, which can lead to energy-cost savings. BOC provides classroom-based learning and hands-on projects that educate facility personnel on how to run buildings more efficiently.

In 2016, the Georgia State Energy Program, in partnership with Gwinnett Technical College, provided scholarships to state agency facility managers to participate in level-one BOC classes that covered efficiency measures for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, electric, and lighting systems. Trainees compared 12 months of energy use data before the BOC classes and 12 months of the same data after the classes to measure the success of the training.

After completing the training, seven facilities decreased their energy use more than 2,000 million British thermal units, saving an average of $3,300 per year on energy costs.

EERE's State Energy Program provides funding and technical assistance to states, territories, and the District of Columbia to enhance energy security, advance state-led energy initiatives, and maximize the benefits of decreasing energy waste. The State Energy Program emphasizes the state’s role as the decision maker and administrator for program activities tailored to their unique resources, delivery capacity, and energy goals.