Aztec Energy, a member of the Danfoss Group and provider of energy management and controls solutions for the food retail industry, provided refrigeration controls training for California’s successful EnergySmart Jobs program, helping to generate more than 62 million kWh of energy savings and create 119 jobs since the program began in 2010.
The EnergySmart Jobs program is an initiative of Energy Upgrade California, administered by PECI and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the U.S. Department of Energy and California Energy Commission. The 18-month groundbreaking program was designed to answer California’s immediate need for job creation, facilitate long-term energy savings and encourage new technology adoption.
Specifically, the EnergySmart Jobs program trained 132 employees of the California Conservation Corps as energy surveyors and sent them out to conduct energy surveys of California businesses that rely on refrigeration systems – typically grocery and convenience stores. Participating contractors then worked with these stores to install energy efficiency retrofits based on opportunities identified in the surveys. The program also provided rebates and incentives to help lower the cost of these retrofit projects.
Critical to the success of the program, Aztec developed and led the “step-by-step on how to install and program refrigeration controls” portion of the controls training, which included hands-on experience with actual energy management systems, including those manufactured by Danfoss. According to Theresa Joyal, Aztec’s international business development manager and training coordinator for the program, Aztec presented eight refrigeration controls training sessions throughout the state of California, training between 40 and 50 contractors on the technology. The training was required for those wishing to participate in the EnergySmart Jobs program.
Aztec was later selected to also serve the program as the “preferred equipment supplier” for controls, which enabled the company to work closely with contractors to outfit stores with energy-saving refrigeration controls.
“EnergySmart Jobs provided a wonderful opportunity for collaboration among a wide variety of partners, all engaged in the effort to bring much-needed jobs and energy savings to Californians,” said Dean Cromwell, Aztec’s business development manager for North America. “Through the training that Aztec offered, we helped educate a large number of Californians about energy efficiency and provided them with marketable skills that we hope will lead to sustainable work in the future.”
During the 18 months since the program started, EnergySmart Jobs has disbursed more than $10.1 million in incentives to California businesses and created 118 direct jobs and 265 jobs in equivalent job years. (The federal government tracks job creation using the conversion rate: $92,000 of spending equals one job year created.)
In addition, a recent PECI report shows the program has trained 83 contracting firms (160 contractor personnel) in compliance with federal and program requirements and engaged 12 utility participants statewide.
EnergySmart Jobs surveyors performed more than 6,000 surveys throughout California and provided over 21,000 direct installations of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and cooler controllers. The program’s participating contractors, meanwhile, completed more than 3,400 retrofits of more comprehensive energy efficiency upgrades, specifically refrigeration controls and LED lighting for reach-in refrigerated cases.