Ben Ellis, field service manager for Solect Energy, says a major challenge for his company is keeping employees up to date on the rapidly changing solar industry.

The best way to keep his team prepared for change is through education, he adds.  “It’s nearly impossible to pull my team out of the field long enough to provide them with the training they need to stay ahead,” he says.

Thanks to HeatSpring, he says, the problem has been solved. Over the past three years, more than 50 Solect Energy employees and subcontractors used HeatSpring to get the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) credentials they need. They did this through the HeatSpring for Groups program, which allows employees within a company to take courses as a group.

Saving Money With Group Learning

The HeatSpring for Groups classes are a combination of asynchronous learning and chat, with occasional synchronous group sessions, says Brian Hayden, co-founder of HeatSpring. The advantages, he says, are that employees get a shared experience and learn a common language. In addition, the pricing is lower than if each employee took the courses alone.

In general, solar contractors, electricians and solar installers seeking NABCEP credentials participate in HeatSpring for Groups classes. Students enrolled in the courses have access to all the material for a year. They can ask instructors questions on a discussion board, and generally get detailed responses within one business day, says Duncan Miller, co-founder of HeatSpring.

“Some students zip through the material as fast as possible to get the required training hours to sit for the NABCEP exam or to fulfill their continuing education requirements. Some people take the full year to work through the materials,” he says.

500 Students Prepared for Solar District Cup

Sometimes HeatSpring designs special programs for large numbers of students. For example, HeatSpring created a custom program for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office, to educate more than 500 college students who are participating in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar District Cup Collegiate Design Competition 2020. That competition aims to get students involved in reimagining how energy is generated, managed and used in a district. 

A Custom Course for DOE and NREL

HeatSpring’s custom course was based on expert material from the Solar Executive MBA Training course and focused on financial modeling and solar project development. Also added was custom content from experts at NREL and the DOE solar office. As part of the Solar District Cup, students prepare project proposals for district scale solar projects.

As a part of the course, HeatSpring has also hosted a number of question and answer live webinar sessions with its expert instructors, Chris Lord and Keith Cronin, plus officials from NREL and the DOE solar office.

Said NREL in a press release about HeatSpring’s involvement in the Solar District Cup, “This technology firm has developed a platform that helps knowledge leaders better reach knowledge seekers. It offers online courses led by industry experts for professionals in renewable energy industries, including solar and green building.” 

HeatSpring’s knowledge leaders are not just connecting with knowledge seekers; they’re also helping companies stay competitive.

Says Ellis about his experience with HeatSpring, “The training and education HeatSpring provides us gives my company a leg up on the competition. We can move forward with confidence knowing that no matter what this industry throws our way next, we’ll be ready.”

Leading Organizations Choose HeatSpring

See why leading organizations like Solect Energy and the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office choose HeatSpring for Groups as their destination for team learning.

About the Solar District Cup

The Solar District Cup challenges multidisciplinary student teams to design and model optimized distributed solar energy systems for a campus or urban district. These systems integrate solar, storage, and other technologies across mixed-use districts, or groups of buildings served by a common electrical distribution feeder. The competition engages students in the engineering, urban planning, finance, and related disciplines to reimagine how energy is generated, managed, and used in a district. The Solar District Cup is directed and administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. Learn more.