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MEEA Wins Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award

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On November 1st MEEA was presented with the Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award for work done in 2015 on the Building Operator Certification (BOC) program. During 2015, BOC was able to continue the success of the veterans program and fill a gap in the market by offering a new pilot BOC training for operations and maintenance staff of large multifamily buildings.

BOC Veterans Training

BOC is dedicated to helping veterans and active duty military personnel in Illinois attain free career development training through full tuition scholarships for a BOC Level 1 or 2 series. Within the scope of providing veterans with free career development training, BOC also provides underemployed or unemployed veterans with a travel stipend to defer the cost of getting to class, a mentor to help with homework assignments and job placement assistance from employment partners and veterans agencies. This effort is made possible with funding from the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.

Partners in Saving Energy

Along with the continued success of the veterans program, MEEA was able to partner with Elevate Energy and USGBC to offer the first ever pilot BOC Level 1 Multifamily series, placing a particular emphasis on this sector. MEEA partnered with USGBC to offer an extra training, Green Professional Building Skills Training (GPRO), so at the end of the series the participants were awarded two certifications. The GPRO certification by USGBC focuses solely on residential buildings, allowing students to receive a well-rounded, multifaceted training program.

Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance

With large residential buildings required to start energy benchmarking in 2015 as part of the Chicago Benchmarking Ordinance, MEEA wanted to provide residential building operators with the same training that commercial building operators have been offered for years. A day of the BOC Level 1 series is dedicated to measuring and energy benchmarking with an emphasis on learning to use ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager and creating the first benchmark of a student’s facility. Part of the Benchmarking Ordinance requires buildings to have a professional come verify their energy data every 3 years to ensure accuracy; BOC is one of the few professional certifications an individual can have to qualify as a data verifier. The inclusion of BOC graduates as energy verifiers allows facilities to benchmark and verify their own data without having to hire an outside professional, further reducing the barrier to comply with the benchmarking ordinance.

Looking to the Future

With continued funding for 2017 from the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, BOC is looking to expand the veterans program and issue up to 18 full tuition scholarships for veterans or active duty military personnel and at least 6 of those scholarships will go towards underemployed or unemployed veterans. BOC will also be offering a more robust multifamily Level 1 offering, with the first one taking place in Wisconsin and another in Chicago. The Level 1 curriculum has been fully adapted by our expert instructors to be the most relevant information for operators of multifamily buildings. The BOC team looks forward to bringing this multifamily series to the region while continuing to improve upon this new program offering.