Skilled Trades

Earth Day and the Skilled Trades

Skilled TradesApril 08, 2021

April 22 is Earth Day, an event founded in 1970 by then Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. As an environmental advocate, Nelson felt strongly about protecting the Earth and its resources. At that time, factories could dump toxic waste into nearby streams and send toxic gasses into the air through smokestacks without significant penalty or thought to the effect it may have on the environment. 

At the time, Nelson’s work prompted 22 million Americans to take part in demonstrations, urging the government to act and protect clean land, water, and air. Later that year, Congress created the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), setting new standards for the health and safety of Americans. 

In 1992, the EPA and the Department of Energy launched the ENERGY STAR system, which rated the efficiency of equipment and appliances. As a result, companies and consumers are able to save money and protect the environment by choosing to use energy-efficient products and practices. 

The first ENERGY STAR ratings were for office products, such as computers and monitors. Three years later, the program was expanded to furnaces and heat pumps. And, in 2002, commercial HVAC systems became ENERGY STAR rated products. Today, more than 70,000 products in 75 categories are eligible for the rating.

Skilled trades workers, like HVAC technicians, routinely work with ENERGY STAR-rated products. In fact, beyond individual products, residential, office, and commercial buildings can receive ENERGY STAR ratings for their overall efficiency. If you’re passionate about environmental causes, the EPA offers a certification for HVAC contractors who want to help builders and developers earn the ENERGY STAR designation. 

Through the program, an HVAC contractor will learn how to design whole-house ventilation systems, measure and calculate heating and cooling loads, select the right HVAC equipment based on load requirements, and develop a proper duct system for the equipment.

As more people grow concerned about the environment and sustainability, having an ENERGY STAR designation can help HVAC contractors grow their businesses. The EPA also gives ENERGY STAR contractors visibility to builders and developers who focus on efficient, high-quality homes and apartments. 

In order to enroll in the program, you need to have completed your HVAC training, and Fortis can help you get started. Visit our website for more information and to find a training program near you. Or, call 1-855-436-7847 to speak with a representative today.