Electrical Contractor to Become Energy Contractor?

Created:
Sat, 2010-02-27 10:56

I recently read this article that absolutely blew me away. The article asserts that “electrical contractor” will not be a suitable job title for electricians, as they will have to adapt to the growing green market. A more suitable term will be “energy contractor.” I think this is a very astute prediction for the future. The green movement will be affecting many, so it will be important that we all prepare for it and embrace it.

Houston Neal of Software Advice describes this phenomenon as a “coming renaissance.” I can’t think of a better phrase to describe the increasing interest in green building and renewable energy. Sustainability has become a rebirth, of sorts, as millions of jobs are being created to maintain the movement. A study by the American Solar Energy Society projects renewable energy jobs for electricians to grow approximately 900% by 2030, just in the state of Colorado. With a prediction like that, it seems sensible for electrical contractors to jump on board and “green” their skill set.

There has been much discussion over how many green jobs are actually going to be created. According to a 2009 Booz Allen Hamilton study, green construction will skyrocket over the next five years. I think we are already seeing this, as the number of LEED projects is dramatically increasing each year. Some states, like California, are experimenting with ways to mandate green construction. As more green projects abound, there is going to be an increasing need for individuals with the proper skill sets. LEED benefits electricians because many LEED credits are electric- and energy-related. In order to win LEED projects, electricians must enroll in a LEED exam prep course, pass the exam, and become a LEED Green Associate, or preferably, a LEED AP with Specialty. Neal highlights the credits that will be most useful to electricians.

My favorite part of the article was about electricians having to market and promote their new green credentials. The LEED Green Associate and LEED AP titles go a long way, in terms of distinguishing yourself from your competition. These credentials indicate your hard work and proficiency in the LEED rating system. Having a LEED AP title shows clients that you have a competent understanding of the green building movement and thus can provide your customers with what they are looking for: an energy-efficient building.

It would be wise for an electrical contractor to learn more about the LEED rating system and enroll in a green training course. As Neal suggests, the green movement is not going away; in order to stay ahead of the curve and gain new business for years to come, electrical contractors should embrace the green changes in their industry. Set the trend and become an energy contractor today!