What is an Energy Advisor?
Energy Advisors evaluate household energy efficiency by taking measurements of homes and identifying how they are constructed and what systems they use (ex. type of heating system). This information is used to produce a report that calculates the energy performance of a home and makes recommendations for reducing energy use and improving comfort and safety. The reports (see example here) provide homeowners with valuable information about how to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and access funding to make upgrades.
There are currently very few Energy Advisors working from the north end of Vancouver Island, and the Central, and North Coast regions of BC. This means homes in these regions do not have regular, affordable access to Energy Advisor services.
What is the opportunity?
Five participants will complete 6 months of part-time training, studying, and exams in 2022, and then become a Certified Energy Advisor working across your region in 2023 and beyond. Become part of a small team of Coastal Energy Advisors and work on your own schedule.
All costs for the program are covered, including for training, studying, mentorship, exams, travel, accommodation, and equipment. Honoraria will be provided for completion of each major component during the training and studying period.
Who can apply?
Anyone who lives in or can relocate to Northern Vancouver Island, Central & North Coast, Northern Sunshine Coast, and Haida Gwaii can apply. People from underrepresented groups in the Energy Advisor profession, including Indigenous Peoples, women, persons with disabilities, racialized individuals, and individuals who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+, are highly encouraged to apply and will be prioritized in the selection process.
A background in building science, construction, and energy are assets, but are not required to apply. Anyone interested in learning a new skillset and working in home energy efficiency will be considered.
Successful candidates will possess: math, computer (Microsoft Office), and analytical skills; interpersonal communication, time management, problem-solving and decision making skills; and, have attention to detail.
Northern Vancouver Island, Northern Sunshine Coast, Central & North Coast, and Haida Gwaii.
See below for more information about this opportunity.
What is the timeline for the program?
Who is running the program?
Ecotrust Canada is a charity that works with rural, remote, and Indigenous communities based out of Vancouver and Prince Rupert, BC – the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Coast Ts’msyen Peoples. CoEfficient Building Science is an Energy Advisor company based out of Nanaimo, BC – the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw Peoples.
Together, Ecotrust Canada and CoEfficient Building Science are running the program, which is funded by Natural Resources Canada.
What is required to complete the program?
- Commit at least 5 days of training/studying per month from June – December 2022, including:
- Attend all online group trainings and in-person workshops (likely Prince Rupert area, with potential for elsewhere in the Central/North Coast region)
- Study for, write, and pass two required exams
- Complete ‘probationary files’ to become a fully certified Energy Advisor
- Be available to start Energy Advisor work from January 2023 onwards
- Hold a valid driver’s licence (Class 5 – passenger vehicle) and have regular access to a vehicle
- Be willing and comfortable to work on your own
- Be able and willing to regularly travel for work
- Be based in, or willing to relocate to, one of the following regions:
- Northern Vancouver Island (Kwakwaka’wakw territories; e.g., Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Alert Bay, and other communities north of Campbell River)
- Northern Sunshine Coast (Tla’amin territories; e.g., Powell River and qathet region)
- Central Coast (Haíłzaqv/Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation/Nuxalk/Wuikinuxv territories, e.g., Bella Bella, Bella Coola) Kitasoo/Xai Xais & Git Ga’at
- North Coast (Ts’msyen/Haisla/Nisga’a/Tlingit territories, e.g., Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat)
- Haida Gwaii (Haida territories)
- Important skills:
- Basic math, computer (Microsoft Office), and analytical skills
- Interpersonal and communication skills – be able to interact well with all people
- Able to manage your own time
- Independent problem-solving and decision-making skills
- Attention to detail
If any of the needed skills or requirements present an obstacle, please let us know in case it is something we can help resolve.
How much can trainees expect to earn?
During the program, trainees will receive honoraria at the completion of each major project stage. There will be two payments of $1,500 upon successfully passing each exam, and one payment of $3,000 at program completion.
Once fully certified, Energy Advisors will work as independent contractors with support from CoEfficient as a certified service organization. Annual earnings for an Energy Advisor can range widely depending on the amount of time invested, amount of travel required, and demand for evaluations. By completing 2 evaluations a week (14-16 hours of work/week) an EA could expect to make around $50k per year. By completing 5 evaluations a week (40 hours of work/week) an EA could make over $100k per year.
What type of work is involved in being an Energy Advisor?
- Relationships with homeowners:
- Includes travel to interested households. An Energy Advisor meets with homeowners at the beginning of an Evaluation to understand their needs and interests.
- Hands-on work throughout a home:
- Completing home evaluations includes taking detailed measurements and assessments of a house. This includes going into attics and crawlspaces to measure ceiling heights and insulation levels, setting up a fan system to test the home’s air pressure, and much more.
- Building computer models:
- Once all the data from the home is collected, and Energy Advisor inputs the information into a computer software that builds an energy model of the home. This involves detailed recording and interpreting of household data.
What interest, skills, and knowledge will be developed working as an Energy Advisor?
- Communication, computer, and math skills
- Building science and construction principles
- Building safety
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
- The house-as-a-system concept – how all components of a house (insulation, heating, cooling, windows, doors, ventilation, walls, foundation, siding) work together as one system
- Understanding and using the EnerGuide Rating System to measure a home’s energy performance
- Understanding and using the HOT2000 energy modelling software
- Conduct home airtightness testing and thermal infrared scanning