Day 1: AEE CEA Training

Wow, don’t you just love all these acronyms? In short, AEE stands Association of Energy Engineers, and the CEA stands for Certified Energy Auditor. But wait, didn’t you just become certified by RESNET & BPI just last year? While, I was not planning on taking any classes during this year, with the exception of a mandatory ENERGY STAR® V3 class that all ENERGY STAR Verifiers must take, along comes an email about a Green & Blue Conference that I was told was worth looking into. So here, I sit in a room at the Hotel at Auburn University / Dixon Conference Center attending the ADECA sponsored CEA Class. (Picture of the hotel compliments of

So what is a CEA? In their own words, the CEA certification was “developed and added to the broad portfolio of professional certifications offered by the Association of Energy Engineers. Rising energy costs and inefficiency in plants and buildings is continually driving the need for trained and experienced energy auditors. The CEA certification is one that identifies professionals as having the required knowledge and experience needed to succeed in the growing field of energy auditing.”

The CEA training as mentioned above is sponsored by ADECA, but I would be remiss in not also thanking Andy Bell and the Alabama Habitat for Humanity for getting this all organized and put together. Unlike the other classes I have taken, communication was never an issue before attending this class, so a big thanks to Andy and everyone else associated with this. Our instructor is Barry Benator P.E. CEM of Benatech Inc. and you can tell, he knows his stuff.

Today’s class while mostly a review of items I knew, it was illuminating the differences between a residential audit where we use blower doors and duct blasters  and they eschew them in favor of a light meter. In many ways this is understandable, while in others it reminds me of this great video by Dr. Joseph Lsitburek on Don’t do stupid things.

Today we covered three main items;

  • Building Systems Overview and Auditing Procedures
    • Energy Typical Usage Profiles by Building types
    • Conversion Factors (Look for a post soon containing these & formulas for many of these items discussed)
    • Estimating Energy Usage
    • The Three Levels of Auditing per ASHRAE
      • Walk Through Cursory Inspection – Level 1
      • Full Building Survey & Energy Modeling Analysis – Level 2 (eligible for LEED points on EB O&M)
      • Investment Grade Audit aka Level 3 – includes simulations & also eligible for LEED Points
    • The seven steps of the audit process (Another article coming soon)
    • Audit & Safety Equipment List
  • Utility Basics – Wow, if you thought your energy bill was hard to read, or time of day usage was confusing, this might make your head spin. It’s not to hard to understand but it shows why some companies can save so much, while others just stumble along while thinking they are doing fine.
  • Lighting
    • Benefits of improved lighting
    • Measuring light, the efficacy, Kelvin, light color, lumens, etc…
    • The type of lighting available including induction lighting
    • One item I thought was interesting is not to much was covered or listed for LED, SSL, or even T5 retrofitting

A few other quick items – there are 23 students in this class, with quite a few from Alabama Power. Class started at 8:30 like promised, and was completed a little bit before 5 PM. Lunch was provided and had a nice selection of some pretty good sandwiches, salad, and desert. I would say my only WTF part was the lack of Sweet Tea – they had tea, but still – this is the south. Homework tonight, was 2 simple questions and only took about 10 minutes which was nice.

  • Ruby @ Underground Mapping

    Do you happen to have the schedule for this years training? Would sure love to try and make it this time around. Thanks!

    • SLS Construction

      Ruby, you can either take the course via the web or by finding one local to you. The best place to start is & choose “seminars” for the web based ones or for the classroom style – select the “chapter’s” tab & contact them directly.
      I hope this helps & good luck