Stories & Features

Advanced lighting controls training arrives in B.C. in 2018

Image of an electrician testing with a multimeter
Two B.C. post-secondary schools will be offering advanced lighting controls training, a program adapted for the B.C. market from a popular program in the U.S.

BCIT & Okanagan College to help deliver important skill to electricians

B.C. electricians will have access to advanced lighting controls training at two B.C. schools as early as January, 2018.

Four years of hard work by several organizations, including BC Hydro, will bring North America's leading lighting controls training program to B.C. under agreements between EJTC Enterprises (E2 Inc.) and the BC Institute of Technology (Burnaby) and Okanagan College (Kelowna).

The program will begin with a train-the-trainers initiative for instructors at the two post-secondary institutions, which will soon offer training that will help address B.C.'s shortage of qualified installers.

It will help electricians and electrical contractors install advanced lighting controls at the highest quality level.

"Only the proper installation of new technologies will yield the results customers are looking for in terms of energy savings and occupant productivity and comfort," says BC Hydro senior engineer Dr. Cristian Suvagau. "We're pleased to see that this program will become more widely available. It will help electricians and electrical contractors install advanced lighting controls at the highest quality level."

Properly installed and maintained, advanced lighting control systems can deliver reduced energy costs related to lighting by 25% or more for commercial, industrial and institutional users. However, there are several factors that customers face when considering the option to include lighting controls: scope of the lighting design, additional costs, length of project, delays, and functionality with the controls themselves. The National Advanced Lighting Controls Training Program (NALCTP) will train electricians to be able to answer and address these concerns that customers face, increasing the value of lighting design projects for customers and Alliance members.

U.S.-based training program adapted to Canadian electrical code

In 2014, BC Hydro helped to form a working group to bring the National Advanced Lighting Controls Training Program (NALCTP) to Canada. NALCTP had been launched in California four years earlier by a consortium of major utilities, electrical manufacturers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and California community colleges.

The program trains qualified electricians in the planning, installation and operation of advanced lighting controls systems. Through the working group process and contacts in California, E2 Inc. became the primary license holder of NALCTP in Canada, and led the adaptation of the program to the Canadian electrical code. E2 Inc. is a training partnership between the Electrical Contractors Association of BC and IBEW Local 213.

The colleges will provide training to qualified electricians – that is, electricians who hold a provincial or territorial Certificate of Qualification.

Training at Okanagan College will take place in the Electrical Trades Department, a part of the college's Trades and Apprenticeship Centre. BCIT will offer NALCTP through its School of Construction and the Environment, which currently provides a range of courses related to energy management and sustainable energy use.

We're excited to see the National Advanced Lighting Controls Training Program (NALCTP) become available in Canada and will be working with the program's partners to develop ways support our Alliance members access this important training. Watch for details on this support in our next Alliance newsletter.