The Role of the Association of Energy Engineers in Energy Management

Albert Thumann

March 1, 2007

Many important factors have changed the landscape of the energy management industry and the use of insulation. These factors include the following:

  • The Energy Policy Act of 2005, which requires all federal facilities to reduce energy consumption 2 percent per year and provides tax deductions to commercial building owners who improve the efficiency of the building envelope
  • Volatility in energy prices, which encouraged the adoption of energy-efficiency technologies and insulation as a strategy to increase profitability
  • Cities and states that have developed programs to reduce greenhouse gases and encourage the use of energy efficiency and insulation

How do building owners and managers, facility managers, and utility professionals keep abreast of the latest energy management strategies? Training and certification are the key elements for success in the energy management industry.

Continuing education is critical for energy engineers and other energy managers, especially with regard to industrial and mechanical insulation. It is very important to understand how to properly engineer, apply, and maintain insulation systems. Insulation training programs can provide professionals across all market segments and job functions with a working knowledge of insulation and insulation systems design. Taking advantage of educational opportunities broadens the knowledge base for end users, and it makes them more effective and successful in their careers.

The Association of Energy Engineers

The Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) was founded in 1977 as a nonprofit professional society that promotes the scientific and educational aspects of the energy industry. In the 1970s, the professions of energy engineering and energy management were new concepts. The AEE helped define the important functions energy engineers and managers perform, playing a key role in the professions’ development. One of the AEE’s first tasks was to create an authoritative journal that would guide energy engineers in applying new energy-efficient technologies and applications. The Energy Engineering Journal was born out of this need; it is edited by noted authority Dr. Wayne Turner.

The AEE recognized that energy engineers need both technical and management skills. Energy engineers need a broad understanding of fuels procurement, commodity and risk management, and organizational and motivational skills. Strategic Planning for Energy and the Environment, also edited by Dr. Turner, was developed to meet this need. To help energy engineers meet the challenges of power reliability and the development of new energy supplies, the Cogeneration and Distributed Generation Journal was launched; it is edited by Dr. Steven Parker.

Today, the AEE’s ever-growing network includes 8,000 members in 77 countries, with local chapters in 69 cities across the United States. The AEE presents numerous training and certification programs to help energy professionals reach their full potential.

Continuing Education Programs

The AEE offers a wide range of training options. Each training course offers continuing education units (CEUs). One CEU equals 10 professional development hours (PDHs). CEUs are important for documenting courses successfully completed. For example, in 2005, 27 states required CEUs as a prerequisite for a professional engineering license renewal. In addition, a certificate of participation is awarded for each course attended. The AEE currently offers several types of continuing education programs, as do other groups. The following are some examples of AEE programs for energy engineers:

  • Live Seminars. A wide range of courses is available in various cities across the United States. Several of these seminars are designed to prepare students for professional certification examinations. Live programs offer an optimum learning environment with ample time to interact with the instructor, as well as other colleagues in attendance.
  • In-House Seminars. Most of the live seminars, including professional certification training programs, also can be presented to employees at a company’s facility.
  • Real-Time Online Seminars (Synchronous). Students can participate in real-time seminars from the office or home using the Internet and a telephone. They communicate through a scheduled conference call with the instructor. The instructor’s PowerPoint presentation is viewed by students via the Internet connection.
  • Self-Study Online Training Seminars (Asynchronous). Students receive a workbook with training materials and examination questions. They complete the training at their own pace and can interact with the instructor and fellow students during scheduled chat sessions. After successfully passing the online examination, students receive a certificate of course completion and are awarded CEUs.
  • 24-7 Online University (Asynchronous). Course material is accessed online 24 hours a day for up to 30 days. Students who pass the online examination can print a certificate of course completion and are awarded CEUs.
  • Conferences and Expositions. The AEE offers three conferences and expositions each year. The purpose of these events is to present the latest technologies and applications from leading experts in the field. The flagship event presented by the AEE is the World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC). The next WEEC will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, August 15–17, 2007. The conference technical presentations will address the following topics: green buildings; high-performance schools; heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) and building systems; measurement and verification issues; and insulation as a high-performance building strategy. The conference also will cover additional topics related to the energy engineer and energy management professional. More information on WEEC 2007 is available online at
Certification Programs

The Certified Energy Manager® (CEM®) credential is widely accepted and used as a measure of professional accomplishment in energy management. It is used industry-wide as the standard for qualifying energy professionals in the United States and abroad. It is recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Office of Federal Energy Management Programs (FEMP), the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID), numerous state energy offices, major utilities, corporations, and energy service companies.

Those who attain CEM status join an elite group of 6,000 professionals serving industry, business, and government in the United States and in 22 countries abroad. These high-achieving individuals represent a “who’s who” in the energy management field.

The Business Energy Professional (BEP) program awards special recognition to professionals who demonstrate a high level of competence and ethical fitness in disciplines related to business, marketing, and energy management, as well as with laws that govern and affect energy professionals. The goal of the program is to improve energy management by encouraging energy business professionals to participate in continuing education programs.

More information on the CEM or BEP certification programs is available at

Training Courses Incorporate the Role Of Insulation

Proper use of insulation makes good business sense because it is cost-effective and easy to apply. It provides an unmatched return on investment (ROI) in a short period of time. Energy managers and engineers who understand the proper use of insulation are better prepared to increase savings of both energy and money on each of their energy-related projects. The CEM and BEP programs provide an integrated approach for energy management, including how to properly use insulation and improve building performance.

The AEE is committed to helping energy professionals reach their potential through training and certification. More information is available at