Thursday, February 27, 2014

Featured Training: Power Industry Courses

Electricity training for electrical safety, solar installation, electricity basics and more.
GreenEDU is excited to announce a new line up of online training for power industry training. The courses, developed and provided by APT Corporate Training Services, are designed to provide premier online training for the telecommunications and electric power industries. Let's take a look at some of the courses now available:

Basic Electricity and Electronics
Description: This interactive online training provides an comprehensive overview of the fundamental concepts of electricity that are the basis of any technical industry. In the course students will learn to determine voltage, current, resistance, and power values for electrical circuits in any configuration, for DC and AC power, and will have an understanding of the operation of the main electrical and electronic components. 
Who's it for: Professionals who want to learn the basic electrical and electronic concepts needed to advance their career or promote business opportunities in the telecommunications or electric power industries.


Description: The Electrical Safety and Grounding course is designed to give industrial and commercial field operations personnel, including those from the power company field operations, a comprehensive understanding of the theory behind safe electrical practices. Emphasis is on working around equipment commonly found within industrial, commercial and electric utility industries in both the energized and de-energized conditions. The course also covers "equipotential grounding" used for safe work activities on overhead and underground power lines.
Who's it for: Electrical engineers, field operations personnel, and safety specialists who require a full understanding of the theories, concepts, and proper procedures needed for safe electrical practices.


Dispatcher Training
Description: The online Dispatcher Training provides students with an overview of the electric power system, overhead and underground distribution facilities, protection concepts, consumption considerations, safety, and briefly discusses distribution planning, reliability and power quality.
Course Benefit: Students will obtain a working knowledge of the power system operations from a service reliability and troubleshooting perspective and will be able to provide guidance in repair and operating recommendations.


Description: This online training presents an introduction to power plants and their basic water and electrical systems. The different types of power plants are discussed including fossil fuels, renewable energy, nuclear, combined cycle, geothermal, and others used and their characteristics regarding power production are compared. The air-pollution ramifications, control process and environmental monitoring equipment are presented as they apply to regulatory statutes. The key factors and operating parameters regarding the generation of electrical power from steam or other turbines are discussed in this course.
Who's it for: Individuals who are interested in pursuing job positions in the power production industry.


Description: The Introduction to Solar Photovoltaic webinar provides an overview of small size, or residential, solar photovoltaic systems. The course will cover the basic electrical principles as they apply to photovoltaic systems, and will explore the fundamental solar energy concepts.
Who's it for: Students who want an in-depth understanding of Solar Photovoltaic systems and are interested in pursuing job positions in the solar industry. It is also appropriate for individuals considering adding solar power to their homes. 
About APT Corporate Training Services
APT has gained the reputation as being the premier technical training provider for the telecommunications and electric power industries, and recently added renewable energy training to its repertoire. APT not only offers professional certificates and college degrees, but also offers career-oriented courses designed to enhance employee knowledge, skills, and abilities and proctors industry certifications related to both current and emerging technologies. Learn more at http://www.greenedu.com/apt-corporate-training-services!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

News Release: EPA Takes Action to Protect Public From Harmful Lead Exposure

EPA Accredited Training Provider for Certified Renovator for the RRP Rule
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FROM THE US EPA
February 18, 2014

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced enforcement actions that will require 35 home renovation contractors and training providers to take additional steps to protect communities by minimizing harmful lead dust from home renovation activities, as required by the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Standards. These standards provide important, front-line protection for children and others vulnerable to exposure to lead dust that can cause lead poisoning.“Families deserve the peace of mind that home renovations occur without harming children,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Businesses that play by the rules deserve to compete on a level playing field. EPA will continue to enforce the nation’s lead rules to protect the public from illegal and dangerous lead exposure.”

The settlements, issued between May 2013 and January 2014, include 17 contractors that failed to obtain required certification prior to performing renovation activities on pre-1978 homes, where lead is more likely to be present. In addition, 21 settlements involve violations for failure to follow required lead-safe work practices, and three cases involve general contractors who failed to ensure their subcontractors followed the RRP standards.

The enforcement actions, which all require contractors to certify compliance with the RRP standards, led to more than $274,000 in civil penalties.

Three of the companies agreed to fund environmental projects to benefit communities. Haren Laughlin Construction and Exterior Energy Consultants will fund lead abatement work at local properties, while the New Jersey Council of Community Colleges will provide tuition-free, EPA accredited training courses to renovators expected to work on projects impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

The RRP standardswhich are part of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act, are intended to ensure that owners and occupants of housing built before 1978 and child-occupied facilities receive information on lead-based paint hazards before renovations begin, that individuals performing such renovations are properly trained and certified by EPA, and that, during renovations, specific work practices are followed to reduce the potential for lead-based paint exposure.

Contractors that are certified under EPA’s RRP standards are encouraged to display EPA’s “Lead-Safe” logo on worker’s uniforms, signs, websites, and other material, as appropriate. Consumers can protect themselves by looking for the logo before hiring a home contractor. 

Between May 2013 and January 2014, EPA has settled enforcement actions with the following companies:
  • Environmental Engineering & Technology, Inc. of Newport News, VA
  • The Training Network, Inc. of Oak Hill, VA
  • Professional Training Associates, Inc. of Duquesne, PA
  • The Home Hero, LLC of Philadelphia, PA
  • Thermo-Twin Industries, Inc. of Oakmont, PA
  • Samuel M. Lewis of Columbus, OH
  • Midwest College Painters, LLC of Bloomfield, MI
  • D&S Construction of Western Ohio, LLC of Sidney, OH
  • M&J Environmental Institute of Maple Grove, MN
  • Hannegan Construction Company of St. Charles, MO
  • HarenLaughlin Construction of Lenexa, KS
  • Jason Madura of Warsaw, MO
  • Nezerka Enterprises LLC d/b/a Certa Pro Painters of Shawnee Mission, KS
  • James L. and Dona D. Jungers of Lincoln, NE
  • Dennis Barker of Fairbury, NE
  • Painting Done Right of Lincoln, NE
  • Prudent Technologies, Inc. of Kansas City, MO
  • Rothers Inc., d/b/a Rothers Design/Build of Kansas City, KS
  • Ritchie Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Puroclean Emergency Restoration Services of Sullivan, MO
  • Exterior Energy Consultants, Inc. of Gladstone, MO
  • Philip Thornton and Stanley Thornton of Marshall, MO
  • Van Dyk Construction of Littleton, CO
  • Devex Construction LLC of Greenwood Village, CO
  • Thomas Breuer Construction of Sioux Falls, SD
  • Alaska Commercial Contractors, Inc. of Juneau, AK
  • VanPool Painting, Inc. of Juneau, AK
  • Kachina Contractor Solutions, LLC of Elkins Park, PA
  • Collegiate Entrepreneurs, Inc. of Braintree, MA
  • Bill Vizzo Contractors, LLC of Shelton, CT
  • James J. Welch & Co., Inc. of Salem, MA
  • New Hampshire Plate Glass Corp. of Portsmouth, NH
  • Dura-Plex, Inc. of Brick, NJ
  • Hernandez Painting of Hempstead, NY
  • Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development / New Jersey Council of Community Colleges of Trenton, NJ
  • Schryer Thompson Construction, Inc. of Concord, CA
More information about the settlements: http://www2.epa.gov/enforcement/lead-renovation-repair-and-painting-rule-february-2014

Learn more about the RRP Rule and how Contractors can become certified at www.GreenEDU.com/epa-lead-rrp-overview.



Keep Your Georgia Lead-Safe Renovator Certification Current

Georgia environmental protection division for lead and asbestos regulation
Georgia requires renewal of the Lead-Safe Renovation Certification every three years. The state took over the EPA program in December 2010, meaning many contractors will be due for renewal this year.

On December 9, 2010, Georgia passed additional requirements for its contractors and painters in the state for compliance with the EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule. Then in July, 2011, Georgia officially became an EPA Authorized state, with permission for its Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to administer and enforce the RRP Program in Georgia in lieu of the EPA.

Many contractors who were certified between December 2010 and July 2011 do not realize that they must comply with the Georgia renewal requirements, which state that renewal training must be completed every three years, rather than the EPA renewal requirements which are every five years. In addition to attending a refresher course, Certified Renovators must pay a $150 renewal fee, and the Certified Firm that they work for must also pay a $300 registration fee every three years.

Certified Renovators who fail to complete the Georgia refresher training within three years of their initial course must pay twice the normal renewal fee to receive a one year extension to complete the refresher training requirements. 

Refresher training can be completed at any time prior to the Certified Renovator's expiration date, so GreenEDU recommends registering early to make sure you avoid additional fees or any lapses in your certification. A full schedule of Georgia refresher courses is available at www.greenedu.com/lead-renovators-certification-refresher-courses?state=ga.

A Summary of Georgia's RRP Rule

Applicability
The Georgia RRP Rule applies to the following renovation, repair and painting (RRP) work: 
  • Renovations completed for compensation; 
  • In residential houses and apartments built before 1978; 
  • In child-occupied facilities such as schools and daycare centers built before 1978; 
  • When disturbing more than 6 square feet of lead painted or coated surfaces per interior room; or 
  • When disturbing more than 20 square feet of lead painted or coated surfaces on exteriors. 
  • When replacing windows of any size; or 
  • Partial demolitions of structures, walls, or components that are not entire structure demolitions. 
In addition to residential homes, these guidelines also apply to work performed on child-occupied facilities, such as schools or daycares.

Firm Certification
Renovation firms and contractors that wish to perform work that would fall under the RRP rule must be certified with the state of Georgia as of December 9, 2010. The certification fee for the firm is $300 for 3 years, or $125 if paid annually. Firms register by completing a Georgia Renovation Firm application, and they must employ a Certified Renovator who can supervise the firms renovation activities.

Certified Renovator Requirements
Certified Renovators must be trained and registered with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) as of December 2010. The fee to register is $150 for three years. Before one can register, you must complete an 8-hour initial Lead Renovator Training course with an approved Georgia training provider.

Certified Renovators are required to renew their certification every three years from the date of their initial training, including Renovators who received EPA Certified training prior to December 2010 who wish to continue working in Georgia. A 4-hour refresher training course is required, along with the $150 registration fee to the state. Certified Renovators who do not attend the refresher training within three years of their initial course must pay two times the renewal fee ($300 total) and will then have one additional year to complete the refresher trainingIf renewal is not completed within the four years, individuals must retake the initial 8-hour Renovator training if they wish to continue performing lead-safe renovation work.

Clarification for EPA Certified Contractors
Technically the Georgia EPD will honor the EPA RRP Certification for five years for those contractors who were EPA certified prior to December 9, 2010. However, if an EPA certified contractor wishes to continue performing RRP work in Georgia, they must either renew their certification with the state within three years of their initial RRP training, or else at the end of the five years they would need to attend a Georgia 8-hour initial training course and re-register with the state at that time. For those opting to renew, Georgia EPD has announced that it will waive the additional fee for EPA certified contractors who missed the three year deadline if they attend refresher training within four years of their initial course.

Information on Georgia's RRP Rule provided by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

Monday, February 24, 2014

BPI Partners with DOE to Launch National Home Rating Program

Building Performance Institute and DOE launch national home rating program for energy efficiencyToday, the Building Performance Institute announced the launch of their national rating program using the Department of Energy's Home Energy Score as a rating tool. The Department of Energy has recently partnered with the Building Performance Institute to allow customers an easy, comprehensive way to view their home energy audit. Customers will be able to see how energy efficient their homes are "like a mile-per-gallon rating." This BPI Program is currently available in Florida and is set to launch nationwide later on this year. BPI is expected to play a crucial role in Florida's building performance market in the upcoming year.

"There is increasing demand in the marketplace not just for a score of the home, but for a low cost, easily understood rating that, when added to a routine energy audit, increases the likelihood that the customer will go ahead with the proposed improvements," Larry Zarker, BPI CEO recently reported in their announcement.

"Like Florida, now is the right time for other states and programs to open up the ratings market to competition. BPI certified professionals are highly qualified building analysts, already in customers' homes throughout the country performing energy audits. Customers deserve the benefit of BPI certified professionals' expertise when getting their homes rated," Zarker said.

The program will allow users to view their home energy performance and compare it to other homeowners nationwide. BPI will present a score from 1-10 (1 being the lowest) and will let the user know whether or not their home is in need of energy improvements. Customers will also be able to use this information for real estate listings and appraisals. The BPI administration reported: "Home Energy Score evaluates homes based on their expected performance, even if they were built before building codes existed, and shows how they can improve their score with prioritized energy conservation measures."

As the program launches in states nationwide, building raters will be increasingly demanded to provide their expertise and rate customers' homes. Raters can become certified by becoming certified as a BPI Building Analyst, Envelope Professional, HEP Energy Auditor or HEP Quality Control Inspector. Candidates may also hold a RESNET HERS Rater certification during their first year in the program. After their first year, BPI Raters will be required to hold BPI certification.

Become certified by registering for a BPI energy auditor course with GreenEDU!

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Truth About Renewing Your Massachusetts CSL

This post was originally published by LeadSMART Training Solutions:

Massachusetts contractor supervisor license renewal continuing education CSL
There are a lot of myths out there about renewing your Construction Supervisor's License (CSL) in Massachusetts. Hopefully this will clear some of them up and give you the leg up!

Question: I heard my CSL renewal form had to be in to the state 60 days before my license expires.
Truth
: You have a one-year “grace” period to renew after your expiration date without penalty.
However, you will not have a valid license when your license does expire. The grace period mentioned only provides relief should you have missed or forgotten to renew it.

Question: So is it 2 years or 3 years to renew?
Truth
: You have 2 years to renew your license to maintain a current status and be able to apply for building permits and stand inspections. If you are into the “grace” period you cannot submit building permit applications or stand inspections.

Question: Can I take the continuing education course while my license is expiring?
Truth
: Sure! You will receive your certificate from LeadSMART on the second day of class and you will make a copy of the cert and attach it to your renewal application you send into the state. There is a 4-6 week turnaround with the state. You can bid on jobs in the interim, but you cannot pull permits once your license expires.

Question: If I let my CSL expire can I work?
Truth
: You can always perform your work but it will be needed for a site to be inspected by a building official. The inspection will not happen without a permit in place. If you were working for a CSL, then he/she would be the responsible party to the permit inspection.

Question: I just renewed my license. Can I carry over extra CEU points for my next renewal?
Truth
: Yes, but only if you didn’t use any part of them towards the prior renewal. Meaning, if you have a certificate with 8 CEUs and you used only 2, then you CANNOT use a portion of a certificate for future use. HOWEVER, if you have a certificate for 8 CEUs and did not need to use them at all for this renewal, then YES you can use this entire CEU certificate towards your next renewal.

Question: My license has been expired for a year. Do I have to retake the test?
Truth
: No. After one year the fine is $100 to renew. After two years, you will need to re-test and pay the additional fine.

Question: Can I use any class I take to fulfill CEU points?
Truth
: No. Only BBRS approved courses, like those at LeadSMART, will be accepted by the Dept. of Public Safety for license renewal.

Question: How do I know if my class is approved?
Truth
: There should be a CS# on your certification. Go to the BBRS website and confirm the number is approved.

Question: How do I get the application to renew?
Truth
: You should receive one from the state approximately 60 days prior to its expiration. However, there are many reasons why you may not receive one (you have moved and failed to notify BBRS, you changed your email and failed to notify BBRS, etc). It is up to you to be proactive and contact the state:

Kim Spencer
Dept. of Public Safety
617-826-5236
kimberly.spencer@state.ma.us

Remember to provide: 1) CSL Number, 2) Current Address and 3) Current email address (if available)

Question: Should I just mail my application and proof of class in to the state?
Truth
: No. This is your livelihood. Make copies and pay the extra few bucks to send it certified mail, return receipt requested. And sleep well knowing you are all set!
What do I need?
Depending on your license, you require the following total hours:
You need to attend at least one hour of Continuing Education Unit (CEU) in each of the five mandatory topics. Once you have one hour (CEU) in each category you can fill in the remaining amounts as you wish using other electives or by having more hours in any subject.

What are the required topics? According to 780 CMR- eight edition, 110.R5.4.3, (this is the MA CODE) here are the topics:
  • Code Review - one hour
  • Workplace Safety - one hour
  • Business Practices/Workers Compensation - one hour
  • Energy (except Demolition Specialty License) - one hour
  • Lead Safe Practices (only first renewal cycle) - one hour
The information above was obtained right from the BBRS website – for information as to where to purchase your required books, go to: Code Books

View the upcoming schedule for Massachusetts-approved CEU courses at http://www.greenedu.com/leadsmart. Several of LeadSMART's OSHA and RRP classes also contain CEU’s which have been approved by BBRS and can be applied to your requirements.

About LeadSMART
LeadSMART Training is different. We're contractors training contractors for EPA certification in Lead-Safe Renovating. We are renovators, remodelers, painters...we've been in the field, on the job and know how important this stuff is to protect yourself, your family, your customers and your business. We've been using these techniques on our own jobs for ten years. We can show you how to work this law on your sites without losing everything you have worked so hard for.

Monday, February 17, 2014

How To Report an Education Activity for LEED Credential Maintenance (CMP) Hours

LEED Credential Maintenance (CMP) Reporting Instructions for Education Activities

Participation in the LEED Credential Maintenance Program (CMP) is required for accredited LEED Green Associate and LEED AP+ professionals. One way to fulfill the renewal requirements is to participate in education activities, such as live or online courses. Once you complete these activities, you may need to report the hours to USGBC if the education provider does not automatically do so. Below are the instructions for reporting your LEED CMP education hours to USGBC.

Note: You have 90 days from the end of your reporting period to submit your hours to USGBC for approval & to renew your credential.

Login to your Credentials Account at http://www.usgbc.org/cm
  1. Click the gray button that says “Report CE Hours”
  2. Select “Education”
  3. ID: Enter the course GBCI ID if applicable (usually located on your course certificate)
  4. Title: Enter course title
  5. Provided by: Green Education Services (or your education provider)
  6. When: Enter the start and end date(s) of your course
  7. Description: Provide a brief description of the course content
  8. URL: Provide a URL of where to find information the course on the provider's website, if applicable
  9.  LEED Specific: Select if the course is pre-approved for LEED specific hours. This should be indicated in the course description and/or certificate of completion. Select "None" if the course is only worth general hours.
  10. CE Hours: Enter the total hours of the course.
  11. Click "Submit"
You should now see the course reporting history, and total number of hours remaining to be eligible for renewal. Once you have all of your hours completed, be sure to click the gray "Renew My Credential" button to process your renewal, and you will be prompted by USGBC to pay a $50.00 biannual renewal fee to finalize the process.

Green Education Services has a number of pre-approved LEED CMP courses provided as live webinars or on-demand programs, including courses approved for LEED-specific credit. Visit http://www.greenedu.com/leed-continuing-education to view our CMP education options!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Green Building Industry Worth $36 Billion and Expected to Double in Value by 2016

McGraw Hill study shows green building will increase market share in 2014
According to a recent report by McGraw Hill Construction, green building will continue to grow worldwide throughout 2014 and is expected to double in value by 2016. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that a McGraw Hill Construction--part of McGraw Hill Financial--study found the green building industry is currently valued at $36 billion. Findings from the Green Home Builders and Remodelers Study at the National Association of Home Builders demonstrated that green homes are continuing to grow in popularity. McGraw Hill has predicted that green building industry will be valued at $83-$105 billion by 2016.  Additionally, they posited that green building experience and knowledge helped builders succeed during the housing downfall in the recession.

The McGraw Hill study found that:

  • The green market share will account for 23%-33% of the residential construction market share by 2016
  • 51% of green builders and remodelers found marketing green homes is easier than traditional homes
  • 84% of remodelers and 68% of builders found customers were willing to pay 3% more for green remodeling and 5% more for green homes
  • 62% of green builders expect over 60% of their projects to be green this year

Last summer, McGraw Hill released a study on the impact of green building on the hospitality and retail industry, finding that not only did these industries experience significant ROI by going green, but customers also tended to value green industries more. Customers are willing to pay more to engage in what they believe is healthier, more-environmentally friendly behavior. Customers also place high value on being able to shop or stay in green buildings as 41% of retail shoppers and 70% of hotel customers reported that they valued shopping or staying in green buildings.

A report recently published by Jerry Yudelson, a major green building industry leader, found that green buildings accounted for 30% of new buildings in 2013 in America and 20% of new buildings in Australia, and that the green industry will continue to grow worldwide.

Yudelson predicted that green trends of energy efficiency, water efficiency, and solar power will contribute to the growth of green remodeling and building this year, and that the demand for these certifications will rapidly increase. Schools, nonprofit organizations, hospitals, and federal buildings are at the forefront of the green building initiative. Additionally, he suggests that there will be a higher demand for green remodeling, rather than new green buildings, in the future. The federal government has already begun plans for reconstruction and redesign on its buildings to ensure that they are energy efficient.

The Sourceable article on Yudelson went further, stating that ENERGY Star ratings and efficiency certifications can give a competitive advantage for companies, but these ratings are almost too commonplace, and the new goal is zero-net energy buildings. Builders will need to have a complex understanding of green building certifications such as LEED.

View the McGraw Hill study here: analyticsstore.construction.com/GreenHomeKeyFindings14

Gain a competitive advantage in the building industry by becoming LEED certified! GreenEDU offers a variety of LEED exam preparation courses: http://www.greenedu.com/leed-exam-prep