Helping people go green in their energy consumption could create as many as 100,000 Maryland jobs in the next two decades, according to information from the Maryland Energy Sector Partnership.
The state has workforce training grants for eligible individuals seeking a career in renewable energy, environmental protection, green manufacturing, and green building. To find out if you are eligible for a grant, visit the state’s Jobs for a Healthy Planet website.
Tom Boyer of Infrared Tools Energy Services in Crofton experienced the growth the green jobs industry is causing first-hand. A few months ago, Boyer was approached by a local insulator who needed someone to perform a home analysis before he could begin insulating the home.
Boyer, a veteran and a mechanical engineer, owns a company that provides night imaging accessories for the military. The insulating contractor thought Boyer could easily transfer his expertise in infrared and thermal imaging to energy leak home analysis. Thus the Energy Services Division of Infrared Tools was born.
While Boyer was aware of the training grants, he did not take advantage of them. “Other people needed the money a lot more than we did,” he said.
Boyer’s new specialty of home energy auditing “is very much a growth field,” he said. Eventually, many small one-man companies are going to disappear as the industry consolidates, Boyer predicted.
He is betting that ever increasing energy costs will cause more consumers to want to go green to find ways to save money. The Department of Energy says in most cases a homeowner can cut their energy bills by 20 percent to 40 percent by making their home more energy efficient, Boyer said.
Infrared Tools Energy Services will differentiate itself by “taking a very holistic approach,” Boyer said. His company will perform a home energy audit, and they will also monitor those changes to make sure they work as intended. We are interested in being “green in reality, not just in name,” Boyer said.
When consumers look for a home energy auditor, they should seek someone who has received certification from The Building Performance Institute, Inc. as a building analyst. BPI has certified Infrared Tools Energy Services.
The Maryland Energy Administration is offering rebates for selected home performance improvements, but funds are dwindling fast. For updates on the available funds, visit Infrared’s Facebook page or the MEA Home Performance Rebate website.