Two Can't-Miss Training Opportunities at IBS

Make the most of your training time with in-person, pro-focused sessions at Remodelers Central and Custom Building Central.

If you're like most pros, you like to leave the International Builders' Show feeling energized, brimming with innovative and action-worthy ideas. For builders and remodelers looking for new ideas on how to build their projects more profitably and efficiently, two of the training sessions at IBS are can't-miss opportunities.

"I've worked with a lot of remodelers, and I think the standby generator's just a great option for them to have no matter what they're doing on the home," says Tom Jaenicke, an energy advisor for the Propane Education & Research Council and the instructor for the course.

A standby generator can ensure a homeowner's quality of life by keeping the electricity flowing in the event of a power failure, and it can serve as a primary energy source for homes built off the grid.

Jaenicke says professionals can offer standby generators as an option on any remodeling project, whether the job is renovating a kitchen or a bathroom or adding a master suite. "It may be a case where they're not equipped to do the entire job themselves, but they can certainly handle the general contractor aspects of selling the job and bringing in the electrician as needed," he says.

In the course, Jaenicke will describe the different types of power outages that occur across the country. Power outages are still prominent in the press and are likely on the minds of your customers in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. Yet such major storms aren't the only culprit: Every year, tornados, windstorms, ice storms, and other events cause outages across the country.

The course will describe the different types of generators available, such as portable and standby, and the different types of fuel that can power them. Hurricane Sandy has revealed that propane is a smart choice to power your generator even if natural gas is available. "More than a month after Hurricane Sandy, there were still major portions of New York and New Jersey without natural gas service," Jaenicke says. "If you want control of your energy onsite, propane is a good consideration."

Representatives from generator manufacturer Generac, including an engineer, will be on hand to provide technical assistance and answer questions about the different types of installations and how to size a generator. Recent innovations in generator technology allow pros to help their customers manage which loads are activated during an outage, and the experts can answer detailed questions based on the type of backup support you're hoping to provide.

The course is eligible for continuing credits for remodelers, builders, and architects. "The course targets remodelers because it's a great add-on to their bids, but any kind of builder can learn something there about standby generators," Jaenicke says. "It's the type of security that's in high demand right now."

In some ways, custom builders are as much consultants as they are contractors. They must be flexible in order to build a home to a customer's exacting demands, and knowledgeable in order to inform their clients of the options available and recommend solutions that will improve the performance of their homes.

Bundling Energy and Environmental Savings in Five Key Areas of the Home will help you set your level of expertise a step above the competition. The course will focus on five key energy applications in the home — space heating, water heating, cooking, fireplaces, and clothes drying — and show builders the impact of grouping those applications together to save energy, lower clients' utility bills, and make their homes more comfortable and affordable.

Using propane to fuel those five key applications — known collectively as the Propane Energy Pod — can lower a home's carbon emissions and improve its rating on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS), Jaenicke says.

"That can differentiate that custom builder from other custom builders," Jaenicke explains. "More importantly for some in the marketplace, they can differentiate themselves from existing homes on the market that are years old and built under lower standards or older building codes."

A new home's efficiency can play an important role when builders must sell against existing homes in markets with lingering depressed prices. The Propane Energy Pod is backed up by updated research to help convince customers that buying a new home is their best option. "All of the research, including energy prices and emissions levels by state, have been recently updated, so this is the latest information," Jaenicke says.

Newport Partners, the firm that conducted the Propane Energy Pod research, will provide an expert to answer questions from participants about how they structured and performed the research, and manufacturers of equipment in the five energy applications will be available to answer questions about their products' efficiency or performance. As with Specifying Standby Generators, this course is eligible for continuing-education credits for builders, architects, and remodelers.

To continue your learning at the International Builders' Show, stop by the American Natural Gas & Propane Industries Exhibition at Booth C2614. Manufacturers of a variety of propane-fueled appliances and equipment will be there to help you learn more ways to maximize your home's performance. The Propane Education & Research Council will also provide insight on any of the Propane Energy Pod applications.

If you can't make it to Las Vegas, the Propane Training Academy is the next best thing. Whether you're at home, on the road, or in the office, you can learn more about the economic, environmental, and efficiency benefits of building and remodeling with propane. Get started with the following courses:

An Energy and Environmental Analysis of Propane Energy Pod Homes (available in on-demand webinar or PDF)

Choosing to Live Off-Grid: Energy Generation and Fuel Choices (available in on-demand webinar or PDF)

A Five-Step Plan for Lower HERS Scores
Two Can’t-Miss Training Opportunities at IBS
The One Must-See Exhibit at IBS


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