SCE Sponsors Free Energy-Efficient HVAC/R Trainings
When Chris Compton traveled from Montana to Arizona in 1996 to attend a conference on the digital information age, he didn’t realize he would be beginning a new chapter in his life as a digital entrepreneur.
As a community college teacher, Compton saw an opportunity to share his HVAC/R (heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration) expertise beyond his local community. In 1997, at the rise of the global internet movement, Compton launched HVACRedu.net. Since 2010, he has partnered with Southern California Edison’s Energy Education Centers to sponsor on-demand classes for beginner through advanced technicians located in the utility’s service area.
“Energy efficiency is a big deal to us. What we must address in our part of the energy-efficiency business is to train technicians to understand how an HVAC/R system runs efficiently. The technician must understand how it is installed and serviced correctly. The technician workforce is the key to energy efficiency,” he said.
Compton understands the struggles technicians face in balancing a busy work schedule in the field and family time at home. “HVAC/R is an extremely technical occupation. If you want to be successful as a technician or contractor, you have to study deep and long to reach that level of expertise,” he said. With more than 1,800 hours of curriculum known as ItsAboutQ.net, technicians can learn on their own time.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the in-person HVAC/R courses at the utility's Energy Education Centers shifted to webinar and on-demand classes. For Compton, it was business as usual since his HVAC/R courses are already in webinar and on-demand format making them available to customers 24 hours a day.
“Our online classes are on-demand, meaning you can take them anytime. You can call in and talk to an instructor about the subject if you have any questions,” said Long Nguyen, SCE customer programs advisor at the Energy Education Center in Irwindale. “When you sign up for these free, SCE-sponsored courses, you have 60 days to complete them, so they are very convenient for contractors with busy schedules.”
“Getting involved and staying active as a student, I’m continually learning, getting professional development and keeping up with changing technology,” said Mike Muras, owner of M&K Electrical & Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning in Glendora. Muras has been taking the in-person courses at the Energy Education Center in Irwindale long before the pandemic.
He added: “HVACRedu.net's training courses are brought to life during the webinars because the brilliant instructors are drawing on and sharing their many years of field experience of actually working on the systems they're teaching us about. This in itself is extremely valuable and is way above and beyond the reading material. This is what makes me come back for more.”
To sign up for an online course, click here.
For more information, visit: sce.com/energycenters.