Energy Center of Wisconsin | Education and Training Research
     
  Energy Center of Wisconsin  

Friday, Apr 18, 2014

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STAFF

Ingo Bensch
Ingo Bensch
Principal Researcher

what we do :: ENERGY EFFICIENCY RESEARCH

Education and Training Research

The Energy Center of Wisconsin conducts research to prove the value of education and training in furthering energy efficiency in our economy. While the education side of our organization is busy training thousands of professionals, our researchers conduct market research to ensure our training will be useful and evaluations to measure our impact.

Education & training offerings

We are a training provider for the American Institute of Architects, the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED AP program, and Focus on Energy. In fiscal year 2007-08, we trained over 3,000 professionals on diverse topics related to energy. On average, attendees evaluated these offerings with an average grade of B+ (4.42 out of a possible 5 points). Visit Energy Center University, our gateway to event and online learning experiences hosted by the Energy Center of Wisconsin.

Market research

Market research and needs assessments provide essential direction for new training offerings we develop. For example, in 2007, we asked hundreds of LEED APs in the upper Midwest about their training needs and preferences. Survey results provide insights for our training program, including:

  • Most LEED APs work primarily on non-LEED buildings. Only 15% said that half or more of their projects were designed to LEED standards.
  • Training topics of greatest interest included building material choices, building material reuse, daylighting, and energy performance.
  • LEED APs obtain their continuing education from multiple sources, but prefer to meet their CE requirements through lunch & learns and short presentations.

Measuring the value of training

In addition to evaluating every training opportunity we organize, the Energy Center engages its own research team to study the impact of education and training. We have published two of these studies in peer-reviewed papers for international conferences.

How much is that training program worth? (PDF, published 2006) is a study of the return on investment of the Better Buildings-Better Business conference. We found that self-reported changes in practices by conference attendees yielded large energy impacts, and we challenged the energy efficiency evaluation community to take notice of the potential savings from training events.

E&T evaluation that changed a program (PDF, published 2003) is a study of the training-intensive Daylighting Collaborative. We found that participants were changing their designs as a result of our training, but not in the most energy efficient ways.

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For more information, contact:
Ingo Bensch, Senior Project Manager
Energy Center of Wisconsin
608.238.8276 x145 | email me