Energy Management Association: Partners in Clean and Efficient Energy

January 30, 2019 | Ed Armstrong, Executive Director, Energy Management Association

This Q&A is the second in a professional development series with organizations providing accreditation and training resources for clean energy professionals. The Energy Management Association (EMA) is a partner organization of the CEBN. The CEBN looks forward to working with EMA and its diverse clean energy membership.

1. Please tell our readers about EMA and its affiliates and what you offer to the energy efficiency industry in terms of certifications.

EMA is an association that is primarily in the business of certifying Energy Management Professionals (EMPs).

This ANSI-accredited, Department of Energy Better Buildings® Workforce-recognized certification program is unique in industry because of its commissioning-based approach to energy management.

We are affiliated with the AABC Commissioning Group (ACG), and the Associated Air Balance Council (AABC). ACG offers the Certified Commissioning Authority (CxA) credential. Holders of this certification constitute the largest body of certified independent commissioning providers in the world. Like the EMP, the CxA is an ANSI-accredited, Department of Energy Better Buildings® Workforce-recognized certification program.

The third member of our family is the Associated Air Balance Council (AABC), the world’s oldest association representing certified, independent test and balance companies. The group establishes industry standards for the field measurement and documentation of HVAC and water systems. The association’s mission is to identify highly qualified, independent test and balance agencies who are capable of performing work to AABC Standards. All AABC member companies must have at least one certified AABC Test and Balance Engineer (TBE) on staff.

The ACG, AABC and EMA have provided certification and training to thousands of industry professionals over a period that collectively includes more than 73 years. Together they represent over 600 companies and nearly 2,000 professionals who carry one or more of the associations’ certifications.

2. What types of continuing education and professional development do you provide?

Continuing education and professional development are at the heart of our groups’ missions. In fact, the EMP and CxA both have a strict continuing education and professional development component related to our ANSI Accreditation.

To that end, we believe it is our duty to offer our certificants an array of opportunities to earn their continuing education units (CEUs). To facilitate this, we became a “provider” in the American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System. This allows us to oversee programming and award CEUs to support our certification programs and other important credentials such as LEED and many state engineering licensing boards.

We accomplish this through a variety of venues, such as live events, on demand video and live webinars. Our primary vehicle for providing live training is CxEnergy.

EMA is one of the principal sponsoring organizations of CxEnergy, the premier conference and expo dedicated to energy management and commissioning. The 2019 edition of CxEnergy takes place April 15-18 in Orlando. We are thrilled to announce that CEBN has become a Supporting Organization of CxEnergy, enabling CEBN members to receive discounted registration and other benefits.

CxEnergy offers an assortment of activities, but it remains an event dedicated to providing education and training. Each year the event awards literally thousands of CEUs. Dozens of presentations and workshops are also recorded and later reformatted for on-demand presentation.

3. What types of individuals should consider participating in your programming?

EMA wholeheartedly supports the clean energy economy, making us natural allies with CEBN members. Our niche in the clean energy mix is energy efficiency and creating all of the associated benefits of a fully optimized facility on behalf of building owners. So, from that perspective, we cast a wide net. Our membership includes engineering firms, building and facilities managers, school district engineering staff and manufacturers of products used by consultants and energy services providers.

4. How does your program differ from other energy and sustainability certifications?

The primary differentiator in the EMP certification program relates to its lineage. It was developed by senior level professionals who believe strongly in the commissioning process. Their vision was to create a certification program that applies energy management skills and knowledge via a commissioning methodology. The commissioning-based process follows a data-driven approach, and is designed to improve energy efficiency while optimizing performance. This turned out to be the perfect mix, because that’s precisely where the energy management field has been headed. Popular systems like monitor-based commissioning (MBCx) and ongoing commissioning are in many ways a synthesis of energy management and commissioning skills and principles.

Unlike the EMP, certification in ACG and AABC requires third party independence. This policy prevents any potential conflicts of interest and ensures that all members provide engineers and building owners with professional, unbiased commissioning and test and balance services.

This by no means should be interpreted to say ACG and AABCs’ training is restricted to only those seeking certification. The workshops and training programs developed by ACG and AABC, such as those offered at CxEnergy are very popular among a wide variety of professionals and are excellent sources of CEUs for engineers, architects and others.

Learn more about the Energy Management Association.



The Clean Energy Business Network (CEBN) works to advance the clean energy economy through policy, public education, and business support for small- and medium-size energy companies. Started in 2009 by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the CEBN is now a small business division of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy. The CEBN represents 3,000+ business leaders across all 50 U.S. states working with a broad range of clean energy and transportation technologies. Learn more about what the CEBN can do for you.