September 19, 2011 a diverse group of energy professionals from Guam, Samoa, and Hawaii visited the BPC to exchange ideas about energy conservation and tour our facility. At the same time several members of the staff from Oak Ridge National Laboratory toured the BPC. The Pacific Islanders were on their way to the annual conference of the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) in Seattle. The Oak Ridge visitors were in Bellingham to study the Opportunity Council Weatherization program as part of a weatherization case study examining program benefits that reach beyond energy dollars saved.
Every year the bar is raised on the technical and programmatic requirements of the low-income weatherization program. Each level of the program becomes more specialized. If you are a new program coordinator, program management staff, or someone who wants to learn more about the weatherization program and the challenges facing program managers, attend the Building Performance Centers Weatherization Managers Training in October. The workshop format encourages participation and gives attendees the opportunity to ask questions and share their expertise and experience with their peers. All program managers share some of the same daily challenges and coming together in a workshop format allows us to learn from each other and build a network across the state.
The Building Performance Center has expanded it’s lead clearance testing services beyond providing testing solely for residents in low income weatherization and repair programs to any home owners and property owners within Whatcom, Skagit and Island Counties. “We anticipated a growing need within our local communities for services to help property owners navigate the new laws covering lead hazards in homes and landscapes and think we are uniquely qualified, given our many years of experience with lead testing and mitigation in low income households. We possess the necessary state of the art testing equipment and certified staff. This is a social enterprise venture for the Building Performance Center as any earnings on our services go directly back into the Opportunity Council to provide other needed services within the community or to grow our ability to earn additional revenue given the reduction of funding at the federal and state levels” states Kathy Bastow, Business Manager for the BPC.
According to EPA legislation, as of April 2010, “Property owners who renovate, repair, or prepare surfaces for painting in pre-1978 rental housing or space rented by child-care facilities must, before beginning work, provide tenants with a copy of EPA’s lead hazard information pamphlet Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers, and Schools (PDF) | en español (PDF) . Owners of these rental properties must document compliance with this requirement; EPA’s sample pre-renovation disclosure form (PDF) may be used for this purpose.
After April 22, 2010, property owners who perform these projects in pre-1978 rental housing or space rented by child-care facilities must be certified and must follow the lead-safe work practices required by EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Remodeling rule. To become certified, property owners must submit an application for firm certification (PDF) (9 pp, 642K) and fee payment to EPA. EPA began processing applications on October 22, 2009. The Agency has up to 90 days after receiving a complete request for certification to approve or disapprove the application.”
To be in compliance with the EPA legislation “Property owners who perform renovation, repairs, and painting jobs in rental property should also:
- Take training to learn how to perform lead-safe work practices.
- Learn the lead laws that apply to you regarding certification and lead-safe work practices beginning April 22, 2010.
- Keep records to demonstrate that you and your workers have been trained in lead-safe work practices and that you follow lead-safe work practices on the job. To make record keeping easier, you may use the sample record keeping checklist (PDF) (1 pg, 83K) that EPA has developed to help contractors comply with the renovation record keeping requirements that took effect April 22, 2010.
- Read about how to comply with EPA’s rule in the EPA Small Entity Compliance Guide to Renovate Right (PDF) (32 pp, 5.5MB).
The Community Energy Challenge, a program of the Opportunity Council’s Building Performance Center, has reached a new level of energy saving service for Whatcom County residential and small business community. This August the CEC completed its 500th home energy assessment. The CEC has also now performed 80 small business assessments and has completed over 200 home energy efficiency retrofits. For more information, call (360) 676-6099 or visit the CEC website
In August and October 2011, two TREAT trainings for multifamily housing have been scheduled at the South Seattle Community College. Both trainings filled very quickly. The BPC is working to schedule future classes to accommodate waiting students. These trainings have an initial 1-day basics refresher followed by 2 days of training focused on TREAT audits for small multifamily housing.
Over July 11-14, the BPC’s lead trainer, Chris Clay, participated in the first of four DOE sponsored train-the-trainer workshops scheduled for the summer of 2011. Intended specifically for Weatherization Training Centers such as the BPC, participants will sharpen their skills in conducting trainings, identifying resources, and networking with other training centers. The BPC made its own contribution during the training Chris attended by providing a tour of our Bellingham training facility via our long-distance video network.
Workshop #1 at Southface Energy Institute, July 11–14, Atlanta, Georgia
Workshop #2 at INCAA’s Indiana Training Institute, July 18–21, Indianapolis, Indiana
Workshop #3 at NYSWDA Training Center, August 1–4, Syracuse, New York
Workshop #4 at INCAA’s Indiana Training Institute, August 22-26, Indianapolis, Indiana