Logo: The Northwest Water and Energy Education Institute at Lane Community College
Logo: The Northwest Water and Energy Education Institute at Lane Community College

Education & Training for Energy & Water Professionals

Education & Training for Energy & Water Professionals

Resources & Materials

Article Index

Every year we come in contact with an increasing amount of amazing resources that can be used within the classroom, training facilities and even our personal lives.  The difficulty of course is, how do we share some of those resources without overwhelming folks? How can we organize things into useful categories and keep things up to date without spending an exhaustive amount of time and effort?

We're still examining a couple of ways to accomplish this including custom plugin's that would allow a rating system, user comments, searchable categories, tags... and the list goes on.  Until then: Use the Article Index (visually located to your RIGHT) to jump to a different section you might be interested in.

Better Bricks Newsletter November 2022.



NWEEI Developed

pdf Compact Energy Management Auditing Toolkit - V2
The selection of tools for this kit have been built upon our experiences with students and feedback from energy auditor professionals within the industry. It is by no means a complete exhaustive auditing kit but is comprehensive enough to accurately measure, verify and demonstrate energy usage within buildings.

pdf Energy Management Auditing Toolkit - V1 Multichannel Datalogger
An older version of the tool kit above, this kit is also designed to provide the tools necessary to accurately measure energy flow within a building. The major difference is in the switch of technology from a multi-channel serial device datalogger to a smaller footprint USB datalogger.  There are some advantages to using the HOBOPro dataloggers namely the ability to use many different sensor types along with the amount of channels available.

pdf Basic Energy Auditing Tool Bag
A bare minimal field toolkit for taking out on audit (pre-datalogging).  It doesn't include a lot of handy items but is a starting point for most basic conditions.

pdf Sample Summer Workshop Agenda for Energy Educators - Example schedule for multiday training

pdf Sample Workbook for Energy Educators -- a comprehensive 2yr EM Program Overview
What is this workbook/guidebook for? One of the difficulties in creating a quality degree program is selecting the collection of classes that not only teach students specific skills but also provides them with an understanding of their targeted industry. We have the expertise and the historic perspective of successfully running these types of Energy and Water programs since 1980. This booklet provides an example and not the definitive rule of what a comprehensive 2-year AAS Degree program should contain.

Magnetic Ballast Flicker Checker - Bruce Alford demonstrates the flicker checker and the observed visual effect when viewed under a magnetic ballast with T12 lamps.  The flicker checker can potentially be used to detect a bad driver component within LED lighting as the visual strobing effect operates under the same principals (see: http://www.envisionlighting.com). An quick informational help sheet can be downloaded from e3:  e3 FlickerChecker Helpsheet

Penthouse HVAC Tour - Roger walks students through an air handler as part of their lab activities required for class. The Penthouse is located atop one of the buildings on Lane Community College campus and is also a location for datalogging activities. ** Note: In assisting program start-ups around the country, we encourage the use of campus buildings as learning laboratories because they typically contain many (if not all) of the system types that students find out in the field.**

Oakridge Elementary School - Biomass Boiler Visitation with Bill Krei
Oakridge Elementary school has recently installed a new biomass boiler system to run as the principal source of heat for the building. The system is expected to save the school over $20,000 a year in heating bills. This video was created to give a quick look behind the scenes at how the system is setup and installed as well as some of the technical details of the project.

Project completed in 2012.

NSF Grant Related

Mediasite Video Presenation: 5min Intro to our NSF Grant
Introduction to the LANES NSF grant using Mediasite. Presentation by Roger Ebbage
note: you must have Microsoft Silverlight player to view this content

Presentation Slides: Grant Approach
Below are the slides from the presentation using google embedded docs.

5 minutes of Fame - Moodle & Online Classes
A quick video summarizing efforts in creating online classes for Energy Management.

Simplified Cooling Load Calculation

Curriculum Resources

Professionally produced Weatherization Videos for Residential Energy
WxTV is a national weatherization training show that uses a blend of expert advice, how-to techniques, innovation, and reality TV to create entertainment-based learning. The show was developed in 2010 by the Montana Weatherization Training Center, part of Montana State University – Extension Housing and Environmental Health, with funding support from a partnership between Exxon Mobil and the National Community Action Foundation.

Episodes range 12-15 minutes in length and are filmed around the country by WxTV film crews and often by weatherization crews themselves, in the field, showcasing their know-how. WxTV brings together differing techniques from hot, cold, humid, and arid environments, opening a dialogue for crews to debate the best way to accomplish weatherization tasks under varying conditions.

NTER - the National Training & Education Resource
is an easy-to-access, open source, web-based learning platform that enables learners, instructors, and organizations to be part of an education community. It currently has several energy specific offerings and materials that can be used in class including: Process Heating, Photovoltaic Online Training For Code Officials, (WXOT) Weatherization Installer Course, (WXOT) Weatherization Crew Chief Course, Sustainable Environmental Stewardship, Building Science Basics, Energy Industry Fundamentals
They also have a virtual blower door simulator!

EPA / Energy Star - Guidelines for Energy Management
EPA offers a proven strategy for superior energy management with tools and resources to help each step of the way. Based on the successful practices of ENERGY STAR partners, these guidelines for energy management can assist your organization in improving its energy and financial performance while distinguishing your organization as an environmental leader.

NIST - National Institute of Standards and Technology
Standards for the Smart Grid, energy efficient lighting, photovoltaics, net-zero-energy buildings, software for "smart" building, these a few of the many NIST research areas related to energy use and conservation. The Institute develops the testing, measurements, and reference materials needed to ensure the quality of energy-related products and services and ensure fairness in the marketplace.

SEED - Sustainability Education and Economic Development
A FREE initiative of the American Association of Community Colleges and ecoAmerica, the Sustainability Education and Economic Development (SEED) Center aims to advance sustainability and green workforce development practices at community colleges by sharing innovative models and resources and building the capacity of college administrators, faculty, and staff to contribute as leaders.

SEED Offers:

  • Over 500 green curricular and other resources curated by industry and higher education experts.
  • Detailed guides, toolkits and promising practices for two-year college faculty, staff, and leaders
  • Professional development opportunities, including workshops, webinars, and mentoring sessions (Coming in 2012)
  • A National Awards Program


ATEEC - Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center
ATEEC, pronounced "A-Tech," is a National Center of Excellence funded in part by the National Science Foundation. There are currently over 300 searchable and free curriculum downloads available.  Much of the material was developed for k-12 but higher educational content is increasely becoming available.

DOE - Department of Energy
From resources for research papers to step-by-step science project plans, there truly is a wealth of information on efficiency and renewables available on the Internet, much of which is categorized by age group to ensure that students are able to view content appropriate to their level of understanding.

But students aren't the only ones who can benefit from online energy resources. Teachers searching for lesson plans or classroom activities on energy-related topics have a treasure trove of web-based information to choose from. So, whether you're a student with an inquiring mind and a burning energy question or an educator teaching a classroom full of inquiring minds, the following websites should help to put you on the right track.

DOE2.com - Home of eQuest
eQUEST® is a sophisticated, yet easy to use, freeware building energy use analysis tool that provides professional-level results with an affordable level of effort.  eQUEST was designed to allow you to perform detailed comparative analysis of building designs and technologies by applying sophisticated building energy use simulation techniques but without requiring extensive experience in the "art" of building performance modeling.

The DOE-2 software was developed by James J. Hirsch & Associates (JJH) in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), with LBNL DOE-2 work performed mostly under funding from the United States Department of Energy (USDOE) and other work performed mostly under funding from a wide range of industry organizations.

USGBC - The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. USGBC offers a wealth of educational resources including: Students Guide to Transforming Your Campus, Community and Career, Green Existing Schools Project Management Guide,
Green Existing Schools Implementation Workbook, Advanced Energy Design Guides for K12 School Buildings.

ACCA - Air Conditioning Contractors of America
ACCA is a non-profit association serving more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses in the HVACR community, working together to promote professional contracting, energy efficiency, and healthy, comfortable indoor environments. Our roots stretch back to the early part of the 20th century, and the organization was incorporated in its present form over 40 years ago.
https://www.acca.org/education or https://www.acca.org/store/category.php?cid=37

Products & Services We Use
(What keeps us ticking?)


SonicFoundry's Mediasite Lecture Capture System (software & hardware)
Unique video presentation of lecture material (video and slides)
Mediasite Player gives students, employees and stakeholders the most engaging and flexible online experience to watch lectures and webcasts – unconstrained by viewing device or traditional webcast layouts.  It also gives us a way to simultaneously capture a computer screen (or other vga device) and video with both the content sources synced up.  Other features include: User-controlled layout, Flexible navigation, Powerful search, Interaction, Crystal clear images | High-resolution slides (up to 2048 x 1536), Embeddable Players, Accessibility friendly.

Join.me Screen Casting & online meetings / screen sharing/control used for Tutoring / Class Support
Instant screen sharing. Instant Aha! (and works GREAT!)
Gets everybody on the same page, when they're not in the same room, instantly. Review documents and designs. Train students. Demo products or just show off. join.me is a ridiculously simple screen sharing tool for meetings on the fly. Highlights: *FREE VERSION* and paid. (students can use this at home or student to student!) internet calling, screen sharing, 250 viewers, share control, multi-monitor, chat, send files, viewer: iPad/iPhone or Android

Vimeo.com - Low cost video publishing/streaming service provider.
No ads and secure content delivery through domain name lock. Change the way the player looks and offer up private review pages when developing content with multiple people.
Vimeo was founded by a group of filmmakers who wanted to share their creative work and personal moments from their lives. As time went on, likeminded people discovered Vimeo and helped build a supportive community of individuals with a wide range of passions.
Free and Paid Versions WITHOUT ADVERTSING.


Clipwrap - re-wrap AVCHD into .mov editable mp4's h.264 without re-encoding.

MPEG Streamclip (PC/MAC) - MPEG Streamclip is a powerful free video converter, player, editor for Mac and Windows. It can play many movie files, not only MPEGs; it can convert MPEG files between muxed/demuxed formats for authoring; it can encode movies to many formats, including iPod; it can cut, trim and join movies. MPEG Streamclip can also download videos from YouTube and Google by entering the page URL.

Camtasia Screencapture Software - Lecture video/audio capture with laptop pc or mac. Great to use with calculations or screen demos. Make videos like Khan Academy! Auto-zoom feature based upon mouse location/clicks is highly utilized.

Quicktime Pro (ver7 NOT v10) - Low Cost ($30) PC & Mac compatible software that makes basic super fast edits, clips without intensive video processing required and re-encoding battles.

Acrobat Pro - Nearly every report and technical document uses a .pdf format. Acrobat is used primary for pdf optimization, simple edits and page extraction. Although there are other editors, Adobe has maintained a very good feature set. (costs are $$$$)

MindView - PC/Mac (mac = crippled version compared to PC). The only product that we know of that allows you to collect all the documents linked from within a mind map with 1 click. Much more then organizational charts, you can tie external documents and even calculated charts into branches, and re-distribute that information with all supporting documents kept in their native formats.


HQ Video Camera - Panasonic AVCHD HMC150 - We entered the market just on the cusp of AVCHD professional cameras being available at a reasonable price. The HMC150 has worked excellent for all of our needs and then some.  Solid design and well built components. 3 years after purchasing, we haven't seen a single glitch and have recorded over 400 hours of footage.

Canon TI - SLR Digital Camera - Don't be fooled by the small camera ads. This camera works best and hasn't failed in performing as a great visual content capture device. Works far better then a 'point+shoot' especially in low light (often found in mechanical rooms!)

Flip Camera - Decent HD quality videos in the palm of your hand coupled with a low cost you can't argue with. Too bad they're no longer around!!

Apple Computer - Rock solid. Better performance for multitasking. Virtual Environments (winxp & vista).

Wacom tablets - Professional grade surfaces and pens allows for digital entry of diagrams and hand written examples. Pens do NOT need batteries along with many other benefits over current competitors.

Lacie drives (2-terabyte or more) - Many companies to choose from for storage solutions but LaCie has previously proven to be solid and fast. Supports multiple connection types including USB 3, Firewire 800, eSATA.

Video Conferencing - When it works, it's great. When it doesn't, it is incrediably frustrating and instantly causes chaos and annoyance (worse then cell phone interference).  We've had good luck using older TANDBERG (now part of cisco) units along with some of the newer LifeSize room.  We've also dabbled into software codec versions that support 323 protocols with limited attempts and some general success.  We've run 2 years worth of conferences using a TANDBERG Codian Bridge with excellent and consistent results.  The calls were from east coast to west coast and connected 3 different types of video conferencing systems (lifesize, tandberg, polycom). The three major drawbacks we see are:

  • 1) Cost - expect to pay $10,000 or more for one site
  • 2) Bandwidth - if you don't have enough speed, it doesn't matter which equipment you buy
  • 3) Incompatibilities with software video conferencing (skype, web based) Can't connect the two without expensive video bridging $60-80k!.

Learning Mangement System - Moodle

Official Moodle Documentation: http://docs.moodle.org/en/Main_Page

Moodle News: Tips, daily updates http://www.moodlemonthly.com/

Two Minute moodlettes – quick tips and video http://human.edublogs.org/moodle-tutorials-2-minute-moodles/

thumbnail of book cover Book IN PRINT!

Peter Herzog provides a method, analysis techniques, and the step-by-step guidance that will permit a facility operator or energy manager to tap into the same energy and cost savings available to paid performance contractors – while keeping the savings in house.

This is a must-have book for anyone operating a building.

Read More