On invitation of OdE, the Portuguese association of engineers and REHVA member, the 2nd of November in Lisbon, EPB Center Board Director and REHVA vice president Johann Zirngibl, discussed the roll-out of the European training and certification scheme of energy experts (CEN-CE) with representatives from the Portuguese Energy Agency (ADENE responsible for the certification in Portugal), the National Laboratory of Energy and Geology (LNEG the Portuguese public research centre), several universities (FEUP, DEMUP) and Ordem dos Engenheiros (OdE).
As introduction, Johann Zirngibl presented the context and targets of the CEN-CE training and certification scheme. Energy experts are key actors for a successful energy transition in the building sector. They design and realise high quality buildings and technical systems and must face new challenges as nearly energy and zero emission buildings, CO2 neutrality, the phase out of fossil fuels, the interaction between the building and the electricity grids, etc.
Matching the new challenges requires additional training. The recognition of the new skills by qualification / certification of the trained experts will help to valorise the training and should result also in a higher price for the delivered higher quality of the service. Linking a higher price for a higher quality service is key.
To be able to “communicate” the quality level of experts” a reliable label is needed. The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for buildings is a comparable example and shows what must be done and what should be avoided to associate a “value” to the professional quality label.
The participants agreed that it is important to develop a European Professional Certification Scheme, to assure reliability, provide visibility and create comparability. An “EU added” value is also needed because the energy transition will be supported by European funding and international investment. The main objective of the scheme will be to identify a common quality level scale between professionals from different countries.
The EU scheme must be disseminated in cooperation with national professional actors. The roll-out the European Professional Certification Scheme (CEN-CE) is coordinated at EU level by a Central Scheme Operator (EPB Center) and transposed at national level by existing training and qualification operators (as ADENE in Portugal). The training could be provided by professional organisations as OeD, with the support of educational institutions. REHVA, the European umbrella organization representing 120,000 HVAC professionals, 1 500 industrial Companies in 26 Member Associations (Countries) can efficiently support the roll-out.
The participants recognised the difficulty of the task to harmonise step by step the national schemes and the EU scheme. The certification could be start on a voluntary basis. In a first step, the EU value could be added to the national scheme. It could be focussed on one topic of the modular CEN-CE scheme, for example on heat pumps in cooperation with the industrials.
The next day the CEN-CE scheme was presented during the 20-22 Climatization Day's to around 160 participants.