NYSERDA Announces Workforce Training Contract to Increase Involvement of Oil Heat Industry in ‘Whole House’ Energy Efficiency Assessments

Training to Expand Skills of Oil Heat Technicians to Meet Energy Efficiency Needs
of New York State’s Oil Heat Customers

August 01, 2012

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced a $290,000 contract with Community Power Network of Olmstedville, Essex County and Oil Heat Associates of Long Island to develop and deliver energy efficiency skills training to oil heat technicians across the state.

The training is designed to fill the gaps between HVAC and oil industry certifications and the Building Performance Institute (BPI) certification, which is a requirement for participation in NYSERDA’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program.

“Home Performance with ENERGY STAR has been a way for residents to lower their energy use, reduce costs and increase the comfort of their homes for more than a decade,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “This training program will give technicians the skills they need to provide more comprehensive home assessments and a higher level of service for oil heat customers.”

More than 2 million housing units in New York state are heated with fuel oil or kerosene, according to the latest edition of NYSERDA’s “Patterns and Trends” report. That is almost 30 percent of all occupied household units statewide.

Among the 39 most populated counties in the state, those with the largest percentage of housing units heated with oil are located in:

  • Long Island (Suffolk, 60 percent of households are heated with oil; Nassau, 44 percent)
  • Hudson Valley (Putnam, 66 percent; Sullivan, 60 percent; Dutchess, 54 percent; Ulster, 53 percent; Westchester, 45 percent; and Orange, 36 percent)
  • North Country (Clinton, 42 percent).

The training will include 24 sessions on whole building science, energy efficiency, combustion efficiency, advanced oil tank installation, and combustion and air venting. Training will begin this summer and continue through the fall, resuming again in the spring at the end of heating season. Upcoming training sessions are scheduled in the following locations:

  • Rochester at Superior Plus Energy, 1870 South Winton Road, Suite 200 on August 14 and 15
  • Syracuse at F.W. Webb, 158 Syracuse St., Syracuse on August 16 and 17
  • SUNY Canton, September 6 and 7
  • Albany at Sid Harvey Industries, 8 Jupiter Lane, September 11 and 12
  • Suffolk Community College, September 14 and October 5

“We are very excited about this statewide training initiative for oil heat technicians,” said Sue Montgomery Corey, President, Community Power Network of New York State, Inc. “In many New York communities, oil heat is the predominant home heating source. Helping oil heat technicians boost their professional skill will help oil heat customers to achieve greater efficiency with their heating systems, which will help them reduce their carbon footprint and improve the affordability of their home energy.”

The training contract, which was awarded via competitive bid, comes on the heels of a decision by BPI, a national developer of standards and credentials for Home Performance contractors, to recognize certifications by three industry groups -- North American Technician Excellence (NATE), the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) and the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES).

BPI has established new eligibility criteria for HVAC contractors to achieve BPI Accredited Contractor status. To obtain BPI accreditation, the company must employ at least one person who has both the BPI Building Analyst certification and one of the recognized industry certifications, or have two employees, one with a BPI Building Analyst certification and another with one of the recognized industry certifications. This move by BPI has been welcomed by the industry because it simplifies the requirements for HVAC contractors serving the oil heat industry to become BPI-accredited contractors.

“This program will benefit oil heat customers by improving the technical competence of service technicians throughout the state,” said John Levey, President, Oilheat Associates Inc. “The professional training that is being made available will enable technicians to adjust heating systems for maximum safety and efficiency.”

For information or to register for training, please contact Community Power Network of New York State, P.O. Box 46, Olmstedville, NY 12857, phone: 518-251-2525, fax: 518-251-2524, email: oilheattraining@gmail.com.

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975.

Last Updated: 11/26/2014