Rick Haley, 60-year-old veteran of the contracting industry, has reinvented himself by accessing stimulus funds to get re-trained in green building technology and using those new skills to create a new venture, Delta Energy Auditing.
“I lost everything after. 35 years of being in the industry, and I was back to where I was at 18 years old,” Rick Haley, formerly of Haley Construction, a spec home builder in Marble Hill, TX, said recently. He and his wife, formerly of NASA, sat down at their kitchen table to figure out what to do next. “You can either pout, or utilize what you have,” Haley stated. “I definitely have managerial skills. I know building and contracting. We wrote down all of my skills, and talked about building green.”
The CleanEdison Building Analyst course instructs students in the nuts and bolts of energy auditing.
This process led Haley to CleanEdison, leading green training company, who in turn introduced him to the Colorado State Energy Sector Partnership scholarship program. Like 25 other states, Colorado was awarded $6 million from the Department of Labor as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Realizing the economic potential for green business development, particularly in the energy sector, Colorado directed this money toward training its workforce in residential energy efficiency, sustainable building and renewables like solar and wind. To do so, the State of Colorado granted scholarships of up to $3000 for individuals to gain these valuable skills and earn the certifications they need to succeed in this promising new sector.
Recognizing this was a great fit for Mr. Haley, a CleanEdison representative suggested this little-known program to him. Three weeks later Rick was approved by the local workforce center to receive a scholarship to take the CleanEdison Building Analyst Course. Rick Haley enrolled in the CleanEdison Building Analyst Course, an intensive, week-long program that teaches students to perform energy audits and prepares them for the Building Performance Institute (BPI) Building Analyst exam. The BPI Standards, which the course is based upon, emphasize the importance of energy efficiency, comfort, and safety in homes, and include hands-on training in performing an energy audit using equipment like a blower door, manometer, smoke pen, and carbon monoxide detector.
Armed with these tools and the knowledge gained in the course, a building scientist can assess the air-tightness of a house, including exactly where air leakage is coming from, and make recommendations for improved home performance. Many, like Haley, also offer the retrofit work that follows the audit, which often consists of additional caulking and insulation, but may be more extensive and encompass measures like improved duct design, replacement windows and doors, or updated EnergyStar appliances. “People think there’s nothing to this auditing, but I can tell you,” Haley said, “the least I’ve gained has been 30% in energy savings for the homeowner. I got a call from a guy recently, 11 o’clock at night, I was so angry because I go to bed early, but a guy I did a retrofit for called and said, Rick, I have never been this warm in my master bedroom in 9 years of being in this house.”
Hands on field training of tools like the blower door and manometer.
“Call me a poster child if you want,” said Haley, “because that’s what I am. People are wondering where all this stimulus money went and did it work. In Colorado, I can tell you that it went to help me get back on my feet again and I couldn’t be more appreciative. Because of this program and CleanEdison, we’re able to do something that helps save our planet gives us a little bit of income, saves other people some money and I’m getting to hang out with my wife. How many things are there out there that are good for everybody? And the planet.”
Since its inception in 2008, CleanEdison has provided best-in-class training nationwide, in live, on-line, classroom, and field formats that fit a variety of budgets and schedules to thousands of experienced professionals and novices in energy auditing and retrofitting techniques (BPI and RESNET), commercial green building (LEED), solar photovoltaic design, sales, and installation, small wind, geothermal. Contact CleanEdison to find out if there are state incentives in your area and to find out more at 888-513-3476.