This December, Billy Giblin will be one of the first 10 students graduating with an AAS degree in Energy Management from Salt Lake Community College. This degree will make him and his classmates part of the new and growing “green collar” work force as well as allow them to help make the world a better place.
“I’m hoping to go to work for an engineering firm or consulting firm initially to work under a mentor to deepen my understanding and experience in energy management,” said Giblin. “I want to be involved with bringing residential buildings up to high energy efficiency standards, hopefully making that more wide spread and eventually working with middle to lower income to make it across the spectrum.”
The Energy Management program offered at SLCC’s Miller Campus trains students to perform energy audits on commercial and residential buildings. These audits determine where energy is being wasted and how the consumer can conserve energy and cut costs. An energy manager will be able to look at every system in a building, including ventilation, air conditioning and windows to best determine a course of action.
“We should all be leaning towards energy conservation and management,” said Mi Yon Hodges, a continuing education coordinator for the Miller Campus. “Just because a company doesn’t have an energy manager as part of their operating team doesn’t mean that they don’t need one because these energy management students will be able to help them cut costs.”
The program is a two year degree squeezed into 16 months and is currently only being offered at the Miller Campus. Students hoping to enter the program must pass the required math 1010, English 1010, and have basic Excel experience. Students must also complete an internship during the program where they gain valuable hands on experience in the field.
“I got to go down to Natural Bridges National Monument for a week and help put in a new installation at the visitor’s center,” said Giblin. “It powers the whole visitor’s center and the complex where all the employees live. They had an old system that had problems whenever it was hit by lightning. The system has been reconfigured so it can handle the lightning that they deal with a lot down there. I was lucky to do that.”
Energy management is quickly being seen by companies as a great way to cut costs. An energy audit can save a company anywhere from 10 to 80 percent in energy costs, depending on the condition of the building being audited.
“All kinds of private and public entities and companies, school districts and government are needing to cut corners. Saving on energy could be a good way to save money instead of eliminating jobs,” said Giblin.
The program is already set to double in students in January and additional classes are in the planning stages to help students train in specific fields. For more information visit slcc.edu/greenacademy/energymanagement.asp.