“We trained 10,000 Weatherization workers.”
“The program certified more than 800 contractors.”
OK, that sounds like a good thing. And technical training is very important if you want to see work down well.
At the end of the day, program success should really measured by energy saved. A step removed from that is projects completed, or widgets installed. Even further away is technical training. Number of contractors trained and/or certified is easy to count. It seems, though, trained contractors is confused with success in an efficiency program.
If programs were able to eliminate the frictions and risks discussed over the past few weeks, set the bar (and stop moving it every few months) and align incentives with energy savings, contractors would figure it out and pay to train their own folks to get the job done. Leave those barriers in place, or build bigger barriers, and training technicians how to air-sealing or test ducts doesn’t matter as much because contractors won’t participate.
Training is necessary and good. The market can actually provide it. At the program level, contractors appreciate training assistance and support. But if the program stands in the way of business getting done, technical training doesn’t produce jobs or energy savings.