Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.
EMAIL INTERVIEW – Ken Sinclair and Ed Armstrong
Edward “Ed” Armstrong
is the Executive Director of the Energy Management Association.
He has worked in the trade association field for more than 20 years, with extensive experience in areas of resource conservation, technology, and manufacturing. Prior to his association career, he worked on Capitol Hill and as a journalist.
When we spoke about Automated
Buildings continuing its relationship with CxEnergy as a media sponsor,
you told me that a lot of good things have been happening with the
Energy Management Association this year. That seems like a good place
to begin this interview. What is all this good news?
Armstrong: Thank you
for asking, 2018 has been by far the most significant in EMA’s four-year
history as a free-standing organization.
In March, we attained ANSI accreditation for our Energy
Management Professional Certification (EMP), and that was followed
shortly afterward by recognition from the Department of Energy’s Better BuildingsŪ Workforce program.
In addition, the EMP training seminar
was completely revised to reflect the DOE Building Energy Manager scheme, exciting new
programs and events are in development, and membership stands at an
all-time high. All credit for this goes to the efforts of volunteers
Ask anyone who has worked around the
association business, and they will tell you that the strength of the
organization is measured by the level of contribution of its members.
To that end, the EMA has been blessed with a remarkable asset in its
brief, but accomplished history. The level of contribution of this
organization's members is simply unprecedented and without question the
reason why the association has attained ANSI Accreditation and DOE
Better Buildings Workforce recognition for its EMP credential in less
than four years since its inception.
Sinclair: Agreed that four years is young for an association, but a hugely significant four years in the history of the profession it represents, energy management.
Armstrong: So true. A
lot of it starts with and is driven by, the technologies that Automated
Buildings covers so well. Intelligent and integrated building
technologies are advancing at a dizzying pace. It’s incumbent for us to
provide training that is responsive to not only the technology but
helps energy managers to make use of the data, so they are not
overwhelmed by a tsunami of numbers and are able to decipher and act
upon that data in a manner that provides the greatest benefit to the
Last year, when EMA’s training update
team met to begin the process of revising our training seminar, we
discussed the many areas of specialization that make up the energy
management space. We soon realized that these categories were rapidly
developing subcategories as well.
For example, utility engineers are
moving beyond generation and distribution and into resiliency and
countering cyber threats. Controls specialists are expanding offerings
to include sophisticated monitoring, fault detection, and diagnostic
systems including monitoring-based commissioning. Building energy
managers are dealing with wellness issues alongside predictive
maintenance of mechanical systems. Today, you can make a case for a CFO
in a manufacturing concern being an EMP because of the complex
financial implications of utility demand management programs, energy
storage integration and even regulatory issues such as greenhouse gas
emissions. This discussion could go on for hours.
Okay, you convinced us. So how
does EMA respond to these disparate training demands?
Armstrong: Well the
short answer is, thankfully, not alone. We are blessed to be situated
with two excellent affiliated organizations. The AABC
Commissioning Group (ACG), our parent organization, which
administers the well-known (and also DOE Better Buildings-recognized) Certified Commissioning Authority (CxA)
certification. And the Associated
Air Balance Council (AABC), which establishes industry standards
for the field measurement and documentation of HVAC systems and
provides education, technical training, and certification for its
members. Collectively, we have more than 600 member companies and about
2,000 professionals carrying one or more of our certifications.
groups, along with EMA, co-present the annual CxEnergy Conference
& Expo, which provides an abundance of training and
certification opportunities and is the keystone of the groups’ broader
Last year, for example, CxEnergy’s technical program provided sessions on
topics from energy management and commissioning case studies from the
education, healthcare and hospitality industries, to updates on key
regulations and standards, to emerging technologies, such as drones and
“energy efficiency as a service” financing mechanisms. On the
certification side, there was EMP and CxA seminars and a test &
balance seminar geared toward energy managers, building commissioning
personnel and engineers. We awarded over 50 certifications and
two-thousand continuing education units in less than four days.
have issued a call for abstracts for presentations at CxEnergy
2019 (which has been extended to Sept. 14), I’m sure that many of
Automated Buildings’ readers may be interested in participating. If you
need further information on this, feel free to contact me
It sounds like you have developed
a truly comprehensive training program through these associations. Is
there an “on-demand” method of partaking in them?
The primary repository for the slide presentations that accompanied the
CxEnergy presentations is the ACG’s Research & Document Library. If
the video is your preference, we have a growing library of more than 50
well-produced CxEnergy presentations on our YouTube channel.
These are free resources, and we greatly
appreciate the efforts of the presenters, many of whom are our members,
in sharing their considerable expertise with the industry.
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