Green Building Creates an Opportunity for Electricians

Two years ago Software Advice predicted that electricians would be one of the best-suited construction trades to capitalize on the growth of green construction. It appears that prediction is coming true. Since 2005, the green construction industry has grown from close to three billion dollar industry to one worth roughly $48 billion. And a recent report by McGraw-Hill Constructionstated that electricians are among the trades in highest demand today.

Individuals with electrical skills are needed to fill a wide range of green constructions jobs today--from renewable energy installations to building management projects. To capitalize on the green construction opportunity, individuals in the electrical trade will need a to obtain a green skill set. Below is a break down a few of the jobs--and corresponding skills--that electricians need to fill secure a job as green construction expands.


Skills Related to Renewable Energy Installations

While there are multiple types of renewable energy projects underway, electricians are well-positioned to fill jobs in solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind turbine installations. To fill these positions, electricians will need to following skills.

  • Solar PV - Naturally, these projects require a deep understanding of photovoltaic materials, equipment and codes--particularly article 690 of the electrical code which gives safety standards for dealing with photovoltaics. In addition to these skills, electricians need to know how to reconfigure panels while maintaining proper wiring. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners’ provides detailed skills information on their site.
  • Wind Turbine - Wind turbines require electricians that are capable of working at high altitudes and understand how to distribute power from low, medium and high voltages. Beyond these skills, electricians working on these projects need knowledge of hydraulics, torquing and gearing to properly set up the turbines to capture the maximum amount of energy.

Skills Needed for Energy Management Projects

A complementary set of skills in high demand is around the field of energy management. These projects are based on making an existing building more efficient or creating an energy-efficient building for the onset. These projects require a slightly different skill set.

  • Energy Auditing - Energy auditors need strong analytical abilities as well as an understanding of how lighting and HVAC impact overall energy consumption. Additionally, it's important to have an understanding of how to integrate electrical systems with communications systems.
  • Familiarity with Building Management Systems (BMS) - This role is dictated by a knowledge of computer systems such as programmable logic controls and motion-activated sensors. This means that electricians in these roles will need to know how to configure computerized systems.
  • Familiarity with LEED - The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) estimates that up to 40 percent of LEED certification is done by an electrical contractor. In addition to knowing LEED standards, these individuals need to know how to accrue (and track) LEED credits and coordinate renewable energy installations with energy management projects. The US Green Building Council publishes a comprehensive set of LEED certification information that can get electricians started on this path.

This is just a sampling of the types of green jobs that electricians can move to take advantage of. As the green construction market grows, more and more types of jobs will surely surface. Until then, what skills would you recommend electricians obtain to land a job in green construction?

Views: 185

Tags: LEED, audit, electricians, energy, management

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Twitter

Latest Activity

Yaniv Yonatan Abitan is now a member of Home Energy Pros
26 minutes ago
Nickie Irvine commented on Paul Scheckel's blog post Gas vs Induction Cooking Energy Comparison
"Comment to Tauren on costs of natural gas vs electric induction.  Because of the extremely…"
31 minutes ago
tedkidd liked Paul Scheckel's blog post Gas vs Induction Cooking Energy Comparison
34 minutes ago
jackie harsha posted a blog post

Phoenix, AZ Residents Get an Electric Rate Cut in Middle of Peak Season

Thanks to low natural gas prices and renewable energy sources, Salt River Project (SRP) customers…See More
34 minutes ago
tedkidd liked Paul Scheckel's blog post Gas vs Induction Cooking Energy Comparison
35 minutes ago
John M. Morgan commented on Paul Scheckel's blog post Gas vs Induction Cooking Energy Comparison
"My cooking has been all induction for several years (2 Max Burton countertop units), with the…"
41 minutes ago
Empower Efficiency added a discussion to the group Job Board
Thumbnail

Position Opening: Local Community Outreach Specialist, Energy Efficiency (San Carlos, CA)

Local Community Outreach Specialist, Energy Efficiency (San Carlos, CA) Job Title: Local Community…See More
Friday
Amber Vignieri posted a blog post

Elevate Energy Mythbusters: Windows & Attics Edition

This blog post is guest written by former staff member Eric Keeley.Great enthusiasm for home energy…See More
Friday

© 2016   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service