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Six Classes That Will Help You Become More Energy Efficient

Sep 30, 2009 Jennifer Williamson, Distance Columnist | 0 Comments

Interested in running a more energy-efficient home? Changing your light bulbs and shutting off lights will help—but if you want to go beyond that, you’ll need an understanding of how your home uses energy, as well as the renewable energy sources available and how you can cut your energy use by making more than superficial changes. Luckily, you don’t need a Master’s in sustainability or energy use to get the knowledge you need. You can learn in a few weeks to a few months by taking affordable classes online.  Here are a few classes that will give you just the information you’re looking for.
Home Energy Fundamentals

This class gives students a thorough understanding of how homes use energy—and how to make an energy efficient house.  After this class, you’ll understand where your home’s energy leaks are, how traditional energy sources work, and how to audit your home for energy consumption or hire a professional to conduct an audit for you. You’ll also learn what forms of renewable energy are available to you, and how to initiate installation. 

Building Energy Efficiency Level

House With Windmill

There’s a lot of information out there on how to live a more energy efficient and sustainable life, and many of the best sources can be found online.


With this course, you’ll learn how to run an energy-efficient building. Geared more toward building maintenance and construction professionals, this course can still provide real advice for the hands-on homeowner or a landlord who owns a multi-occupancy apartment building. Topics covered include Building Science, Heating and Cooling, Energy Usage and Energy Auditing.

Energy Auditing Software Training

Want to learn how to audit your home using professional energy auditing software? This course, designed for inspectors and auditors, may also be ideal for homeowners with a strong knowledge of construction and building science.  The class covers overviews of the technology used to perform audits, auditing procedures, typical installation defects, and how to analyze for possible retrofits. After this program, you should be able to use the Elite Software Energy Audit program to calculate your monthly and yearly heating and cooling costs. 
An Introductory Guide to Solar Energy

If you want to conserve resources, incorporating solar energy into your home is a great way to do it.  In this course, you’ll learn how solar energy works, how energy is consumed in the U.S., and how solar energy is currently applied and used throughout the country.  You’ll learn about solar installation training, both thermal and photovoltaic systems, as well as how your climate, geography and zoning restrictions will affect your solar panel installation.  You’ll also learn how to find a contractor to install a solar energy system, as well as how solar energy capability can add value to your home.

Choosing a Renewable Energy Installer

So you’ve decided you want to start relying on renewable energy sources instead of or in addition to traditional power.  But where do you find an installer? This class will help you determine which questions to ask, where to look for renewable energy installation professionals, and how to evaluate installation firms.  You’ll also learn what’s involved in installing various types of renewable energy systems and what you can do to make sure the installation process goes smoothly. For best results, you should come to this class with a general idea of how different renewable energy systems work and their costs, and which ones would probably be the best fit for you.

House With Windmill


Eco Building Design

This online course doesn’t stop at energy efficiency. It covers all facets of designing a truly ecologically friendly eco-home, with the aim of achieving balance between home construction, the home’s occupants, and the surrounding environment.  Topics covered include environmentally responsible eco-building materials and construction methods, heating and cooling strategies, internal ventilation and air quality control, and energy efficiency. Ideal for students who already have a basic background in construction, it’s also a good class for those who want to commission or build their own ecologically friendly homes.

There’s a lot of information out there on how to live a more energy efficient and sustainable life, and many of the best sources can be found online. Learn what you need to know to incorporate renewable energy into your home, reduce your home’s carbon footprint, and design an eco-friendly home that serves your needs without harming its surrounding environment—and you should be able to meet your goal of living an environmentally friendly lifestyle.






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