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At the Xperience Efficiency 2013 event in early June in Washington, D.C., Schneider Electric announced that its Energy University program now has more than 350,000 registered users. At the event, I caught up with Michelle Souza, program manager for Energy University, to learn more about the program.
It was launched in 2006 as the Data Center University Program, Souza says. In 2012, after Schneider Electric acquired APC, it was merged into the broader Energy University program.
Two main “colleges” comprise Energy University, Data Center and Energy Efficiency. Together, they offer more than 200 courses, each of them free of charge and vendor and product neutral, Souza says. All the courses take less than an hour to complete, usually 30 to 45 minutes.
Courses are eligible for education credits recognized by more 20 organizations, she says, including the U.S. Green Building Council, the IEEE, the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) and HIMSS.
Two different certifications are also available through Energy University, Souza notes. The Data Center Associate certification requires 14 courses before students are eligible to take the exam. Once you pass it, you’ll be certified in areas including power, racks, cooling, cable and monitoring.
The other certification, Professional Energy Manager, was launched last October in partnership with the Institute of Energy Professionals (IEP). Since then, more than 40 professionals have been certified through the program in the growing energy management field.
“Certification is a great tool for improving one’s career path and to help climb the ladder steps quickly,” Dhinesh Kumar Ganesan, a PEM certified through the program, said in a statement issue by Schneider Electric. “The Professional Energy Manager exam will certainly add value, qualifies my knowledge and will increase my profile rate among other professionals.”
Schneider Electric also announced at the Xperience Efficiency event that it will be adding new courses over this year and building a new category of industry topics to complement the Data Center and Energy Efficiency curriculum. The first will be released in the third quarter, targeting the ISO 50001 energy management system framework.
Altogether, professionals have taken more than 500,000 Energy University courses to date, and with good reason. As Souza notes: “The program is completely free of charge. It’s hard to turn down free education.”