Contractor education and training programs increase contractor awareness and knowledge of building policies, programs, and other energy-saving opportunities. Constructing a building correctly at the start eliminates several places for efficiency and performance loss one it is occupied.
Contractor education helps contractors understand building requirements and options, while training teaches contractors how to implement these requirements and take advantage of available programs and opportunities. Education and training programs can be offered online, by computer software, or through in-person courses. While mostly voluntary, education and training programs can be made mandatory depending on the jurisdiction.
Establishment of contractor education and training programs acts as supportive policy for other policies-like building codes, labeling programs, and financial incentives. Contractor education and training ensures and increases compliance with building codes or required labeling programs. It also increases awareness of opportunities for participating in voluntary labeling or rebate programs. Indirectly, education and training programs may also influence manufacturer behavior to increase efficiency of building components. Programs that inform contractors of the best product options for improving energy performance can also support manufacturers that increase their products' energy performance, making them more desirable to contractors.
Contractor education and training programs should take a "whole buildings" approach-discussing buildings as a dynamic system, rather than a sum of its component parts-when teaching methods for improving building performance. Concluding the program with a final examination and certification increases performance. Finally, certificates ought to be renewed periodically to confirm that contractors have retained their knowledge and are informed of policy updates or new efficiency programs and opportunities.