Half of Better Plants In-Plant Trainings for 2023 to be Held in Disadvantaged Communities

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Dec 15, 2022

In-Plant Trainings (INPLTs) are multi-day, hands-on workshops held at Better Plants partner facilities that train participants on how to identify, implement, and replicate energy-saving projects. They’re a popular workforce development resource with focuses ranging from common industrial systems like compressed air and process heating to topics such as energy treasure hunts, 50001 Ready, and water and wastewater treatment

Prior to the pandemic, DOE hosted over 120 INPLTs with over 2,160 participants, helping to identify over $41 million dollars in energy cost savings opportunities. When the pandemic necessitated moving to an online setting, Virtual In-Plant Trainings (VINPLTs) trained an additional 1,100 workers, and DOE continues to offer this option for partners.

In July 2022, DOE announced a return to in-person INPLTs and issued its first competitive application in almost three years. For the first time, this application awarded an additional 10 points to applications with facilities located in disadvantaged communities, as part of the Justice40 Initiative. The goal of Justice40 is to ensure that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments, including clean energy and energy efficiency, flow to communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.

Twelve INPLTs were awarded to partner facilities for the coming year, with six of the 12 for facilities in disadvantaged communities. As a result, the INPLTs are on the inaugural list of Justice40-covered programs for DOE. As Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm wrote in an open letter on Justice40, “these efforts comprise part of the agency’s effort to ensure that communities historically left behind in Federal programs and spending are able to access the benefits of this energy transition. This is how we view energy justice.” Better Plants is committed to energy justice and applying the principles of Justice40 to more and more of its technical assistance offerings going forward.

Visit the Better Plants website on the Solution Center here to learn more about low- to no-cost software tools, training opportunities like the INPLTs and VINPLTs, and other technical assistance resources.