The energy industry is unique, there are no degrees or academic accomplishments that give the world confidence that you have the knowledge required to do the job. Professionals enter our industry and learn on the job, often times through trial and error. That was my path, and I know I am not unique. I started in this industry almost 15 years ago with an MBA and work experience focused on financial planning and analysis. My first energy-related job was as a business analyst for a utility providing financial support to demand-side management (DSM) program managers. After a couple of years, I took a program manager position and started implementing energy efficiency programs with very little understanding of how important they were to the utility and the environment. I learned about managing third-party contractors and cost-effectiveness through making—and then fixing—my mistakes. Years later, when I made the leap to be a consultant, the knowledge I needed to succeed changed, and I found myself back at the bottom of the learning curve, picking up information along the way. I share my story not to discount the importance of on-the-job training, but to acknowledge that there is a professional development gap in our industry. In retrospect, a comprehensive training course would have filled a need that I had throughout most of my energy career. There is value in learning by doing, but bypassing some of the challenges associated with a new job and being more efficient with your time has a direct impact on personal success and your company’s bottom line. Shortening the learning curve is a win-win for employers and employees.
AESP’s DSM Program Manager Certificate Program is the only certificate program focused on providing professionals with industry fundamentals, shortening the learning curve. This course provides information that often times takes years to learn and, if available when I started my career, would have paid for itself within my first year as a DSM program manager. The time my peers invested in explaining key concepts and the hours spent on my own reading and learning surely exceeded the cost of AESP’s training program. It is a comprehensive training that covers key elements of DSM Program Management, including energy basics, utility fundamentals, utility business models, contract management and program planning, design, and implementation. This one training program will introduce key concepts for new professionals or those new to energy efficiency… In addition, attendees get the opportunity to broaden their professional network. Each cohort is a mixture of professionals from different backgrounds and disciplines. This mix of perspectives adds something intangible to this course, something that AESP can uniquely provide – that connection to professionals throughout the US and Canada. I have had the opportunity to participate in several of these cohorts, and I have made connections that will last for the rest of my career. These connections have been invaluable. On multiple occasions, I have been able to leverage this network for technical guidance and professional support I needed to advance my career.
Join your industry peers, my fellow instructors, and me in the next cohort, and shorten your curve by learning from industry experts on program planning, design, implementation, marketing and evaluation. The next course will be March 24-27 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Reach out to me at AESP’s National Conference and if you’re interested in joining the innovative team guiding our clients to a clean energy future, please check out the opportunities on our Careers page: (Senior Research Analyst, Research Analyst).