IREC and our partners are committed to providing you with up-to-date, reliable, and vetted information that meets your needs. From 2022 to March 2024, our Question of the Week initiative provided weekly answers to clean energy questions from leading industry organizations under a U.S. Department of Energy “EMPOWERED” grant. While we are no longer adding additional questions and answers to this page, this library of questions contains a wealth of information for your reference. The answer to each question contains links to additional resources you can explore to learn more!

Browse Questions by Category

Clean Energy Careers

The clean energy industry offers significant job creation and carbon reduction prospects nationwide. Already, nearly 2.2 million Americans are employed by the energy efficiency sector and over 255,000 people are employed in the solar energy industry. As these industries grow to achieve America’s carbon reduction goals, we must also work to build a more inclusive and highly-trained workforce for a just transition to a low-carbon economy.

The National Clean Energy Workforce Alliance, a forum uniting more than 500 stakeholders across the U.S. focused on increasing investment in the clean energy workforce, has identified strategies to improve recruitment, education, and placement outcomes with a focus on energy justice. Highlighted in a report released in 2023, Key Recommendations: Cultivating a Diverse and Skilled Talent Pipeline for the Equitable Transition, the Alliance identified some key findings that are all part of the collective actions moving forward. These include:

  • Developing and promoting career pathways for an inclusive workforce, such as expanding apprenticeship opportunities and developing partnerships to connect with underserved communities
  • Integrating clean energy into existing education and professional development pathways
  • Driving recruitment and retention by prioritizing hiring, onboarding, and retention policies
  • Supporting comprehensive clean energy workforce data collection and analysis

Help Shape the Clean Energy Workforce of the Future and join the National Clean Energy Workforce Alliance.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up Icon 0
Thumbs Down Icon 0

The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is poised to expand the implementation of clean energy solutions and a widespread reduction in energy costs. Thoughtful and localized execution of this groundbreaking climate investment can propel us towards achieving emissions reduction targets, concurrently yielding economic, health, and equity benefits within our communities. As we deploy more technologies like solar energy, heat pumps, and electric vehicles, it’s important for local building officials to stay up-to-date and have the latest information on clean energy technology deployment and safety.

The Clean Energy Clearinghouse offers the latest information and expert-vetted resources to make sure you get the answers to all of your clean energy questions—for free! Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and coordinated by IREC and partners including the International Code Council (ICC), Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), National Association of State Fire Marshalls (NASFM), and more, the Clearinghouse is a one-stop shop for the latest clean energy information. 

Whether you’re just getting started in the industry or have years of experience, the Clean Energy Clearinghouse is your one-stop shop to stay current with the latest codes and standards for the safe installation and operation of clean energy systems, and earn CEUs with free online courses. Visit www.cleanenergyclearinghouse.org today!

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up Icon 0
Thumbs Down Icon 0

With recent and historic federal funding for the clean energy industry, the opportunities for job creation and carbon reductions are enormous. Already, nearly 2.2 million Americans are employed by the energy efficiency sector and over 255,000 people are employed in the solar energy industry. 

To meet carbon reduction goals, we have our work cut out for us to overcome workforce challenges, and build a vastly larger and more inclusive pipeline of highly-trained workers prepared to deliver on the promise of a just transition to a low-carbon economy.

The National Clean Energy Workforce Alliance, a forum uniting more than 500 stakeholders across the U.S., was formed to call for increased investment in workforce development and greater coordination among local, regional, and national entities to support the growth of high-quality job opportunities in the clean energy industries, with a focus on the inclusion of diverse and underrepresented populations.

The Alliance has identified strategies and recommendations to improve recruitment, education, and placement outcomes with a focus on energy justice, all laid out in a report released in February of 2023. Some of the key findings in this report include: 

  • Developing and promoting career pathways for an inclusive workforce, such as expanding apprenticeship opportunities and developing partnerships to connect with underserved communities
  • How to integrate clean energy into existing education and professional development pathways
  • Driving recruitment and retention by prioritizing hiring, onboarding and retention policies
  • Supporting comprehensive clean energy workforce data collection and analysis

…and many more key recommendations and strategies for cultivating a diverse and skilled pipeline for an equitable transition to clean energy.

Learn More

Gain further insights and learn how you can get involved by downloading the report, Cultivating a Diverse and Skilled Talent Pipeline for the Equitable Transition.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up Icon 0
Thumbs Down Icon 0

Clean energy jobs, including energy efficiency, solar, and HVAC/R jobs, are in high demand across the country. Within each industry, there are dozens of high-quality, good-paying jobs and career pathways to choose from. Deciding on one that fits your career goals and interests can be a challenge. With the support of state and federal funds, IREC has created three interactive career maps that showcase the breadth of jobs in the green building and energy efficiency, solar, and HVAC/R industries. These Career Maps showcase over 150 job positions including brief descriptions of the job, recommended credentials and training, salary ranges, and hundreds of possible advancement routes. The Career Maps are free, online resources that educators, career advisors, job seekers, employers, policymakers, and workforce professionals can use to explore the many diverse jobs offered across the growing clean energy industry.

Learn More:

To access these career maps, visit Clean Energy Career Maps. You can also learn more about the Green Buildings Career Map and watch a recorded webinar where IREC explains in detail how to use all of the many features to best suit your goals.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up Icon 0
Thumbs Down Icon 0

Looking for further information about high performance buildings, energy storage, solar, and more? Visit the Clean Energy Clearinghouse for an expanded list of expert resources and CEUs:

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) in partnership with the International Code Council, International Association of Electrical Inspectors, National Association of State Fire Marshals, Slipstream, FSEC Energy Research Center, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory assembled these resources to provide you with up to date, reliable, vetted information and training related to existing and emerging technologies.