Eco Institution Online Training for a New Generation of Energy Auditors and Home Inspectors
While the political world is mired in environmental and energy debates far removed from the lives of everyday citizens, one organization is working on the ground to make a real difference in the use of energy and water resources by America’s homeowners. The Eco Institution, a San Diego-based environmental education firm, is training the next generation of “green home inspectors” and “energy auditors”—men and women who help families and businesses in their communities to cut their energy and water use in innovative and cost-effective ways.
The Eco Institution’s Certified Green Consultant training program could not come at a better time, as it meshes perfectly with a recent call by the White House's “Recovery Through Retrofit” Middle Class Task Force for greatly accelerated training of environmental professionals. The October 2009 report noted that “there are currently not enough skilled workers and green entrepreneurs to expand weatherization and efficiency retrofit programs on a national scale.” The Eco Institution’s training programs will service, as a major stepping-stone for building this needed army of green workers.
And the workers themselves are most excited about the possibilities. Students who have completed the Eco Institution’s online training program are enthusiastic about their ability to help friends, neighbors and local businesses to cost-efficiently reduce their energy and water use. William Manning, a newly certified Green Consultant in New York City notes that he has long been determined to do all that he could to help make not only his own home, but those in his community as well, as green as possible. “However,” he explains, “I really didn’t know where to begin. Once I discovered the Eco Institution I was excited to find one education company that offered what seemed to be a one-stop shop for not only the education I desired but in addition all the marketing tools I needed to set up and run my new 'green' consulting business.”
Turning A Passion Into A Living
The secret to the success of the Eco Institution’s training courses lies in a principle that the institution calls “Saving Green by Living Green.” In the past, many environmental training programs have focused most heavily on recommendations, like installing rooftop solar panels and wholesale replacement of appliances, that are very expensive and take years to generate a positive financial payback. But while such steps can be appropriate in certain circumstances, Eco Institution trainees emphasize “green improvements” that cost clients little or nothing to implement—and that can start saving clients money right away.
But for Eco Institution Certified Green Consultants, there is another side to this “green equation”—not just “saving green” but “making green.” For it’s one thing for a green-oriented professional to be passionate about recommending green improvements to friends, neighbors and local businesses. It’s quite another to be able to make a living by doing so. But with its rich, practical curriculum and its compelling, suggested service packages, the Eco Institution makes it easier than ever before to turn a green passion into a good living.
Numerous Eco Institution trainees have found this to be just the case. Joyce Donald, a Certified Green Consultant in Orlando, Fla., says that the Eco Institution’s “comprehensive certification program has opened the doors that I needed in order to find a career that meets my passion. The information, resources, and support enable me to create a business that meets the ‘green’ demand, with the training and integrity that I require. The possibilities are open-ended as to the direction I can go.”
Marketing & Sales Assistance
Perhaps most importantly, the Eco Institution’s Certified Green Consultant Training Course also includes a professionally designed business “Start Up Kit” intended to help Green Consultants to rapidly build their professional practices. Among the Kit’s more than two dozen components are a suite of home consulting, workplace consulting, and marketing and promotion tools that will enable Green Consultants to focus more time on the vital matters of client service and follow-up and less on the mechanics of running a business. The centerpieces of the Start Up Kit are the comprehensive Green Home Survey and Green Workplace Surveys and Reports that will enable Green Consultants to quickly begin auditing homes and workplaces and to deliver their findings in a cost-efficient and consistent manner.
Nellie Day, an Eco Institution-trained Certified Green Consultant in Orange County, Calif., is especially enthusiastic about the benefits of the Start Up Kit. “The Eco Institution seemed to be the only school that provided insightful material to assist with marketing my services and generating business. After all, it’s no good having the education if my phone isn’t ringing with clients’ calls. The Start Up Kit provided just the tools I needed. I would have found it extremely difficult to write my own web site, press releases, or Power Point presentations. But the Kit includes all of this—as well as survey forms, contracts, and even posters that I can give to homeowners and businesses to promote the services that I offer.”