Dynamic and Responsive DER Education Solutions for Building, Fire, and Safety Department Officials

IREC and partners announce the launch of a three-year, $2.1 million project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), to reduce barriers to widespread adoption of distributed energy resources (DERs) by providing education and resources to expand the knowledge of 30,000 professionals. Learn more: https://tinyurl.com/yj5tmp69

“The clean energy industry is rapidly evolving and requires that those responsible for code enforcement and quality control have access to the most recent technical advances. Training is a core mission of FSEC, and we’re excited to contribute our expertise in solar-plus-storage and alternative fuel vehicles as part of this essential team,” said James Fenton, Director of FSEC Energy Research Center at the University of Central Florida.

Training Safety Officials on Distributed Energy Technologies


Virtual EnergyWhiz Award Winners

If you missed the live EnergyWhiz Awards announcement, you can see the recording at: https://vimeo.com/546603874  or download the list of winners.

You still have the opportunity to view all of the student Projects or see the wide range of energy topics in the Exhibit Hall at: https://events.energywhiz.com/.

Check out the Special Topics section where you’ll Explore the Lagoon, Navigate the Food, Energy and Water Nexus, learn how to start an Electrathon program, or see A Hurricane Able House: Solar + Storage + Resiliency, just to name a few.

A Bright Future for EnergyWhiz: May 3–7, 2021

EnergyWhiz logo with sun on right and laptop on leftFSEC Energy Research Center (FSEC-ERC) presents its annual K-12 STEAM event in a virtual format this year. Visit https://events.energywhiz.com/ to see all of the amazing student projects, exhibits, activities, and special topic sessions.

Kelley Smith Burk, director of the Florida Energy Office at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, will open EnergyWhiz on Monday, May 3 at 10 a.m. via a Live Zoom broadcast.

FSEC-ERC Director James Fenton will follow with a presentation about how EnergyWhiz students can take charge of their energy future.

Each day, two new special energy-related topic sessions will be featured, ranging from sustainability and transportation to food and water. Learn about what individuals can do personally to combat climate change and how to find a path to an energy career.

Read more

WEBINARS: New Building Energy Conservation Code Changes. Register by April 21.

Florida Building Code Energy Conservation Seventh Edition (2020)The 7th Edition Florida Building Code (2020) includes a number of changes to the Energy Conservation Code that will impact how new Florida buildings are constructed, lit, and controlled. Learn about the new changes and earn continuing education credits by attending live webinar training courses offered by the FSEC Energy Research Center. Register by April 21*.

  • RESIDENTIAL: April 28, (1 p.m. – 3 p.m.)
    Overview of the 7th Edition (2020) Residential Florida Energy Conservation Code [Live Webinar]
    In this 2-hour class, topics include Prescriptive, Performance and Energy Rating Index (ERI) compliance options, and discussions of residential building air leakage testing, duct leakage testing and mechanical ventilation requirements. CILB CEUs: 2 credits; CILB# 0613599; Provider# 0000859. Cost: $99 | Register
  • COMMERCIAL: April 29, (1 p.m. – 5 p.m.)
    Florida Commercial Energy Code Compliance: Methods, Tools and Verification [Live Webinar]
    In this 4-hour class, topics include an examination of building energy use contributors, introduction to the 7th Edition (2020) Florida Energy Conservation Code commercial provision changes, review of Commercial Energy Code compliance methods and tools, running sample calculations to assess the effects of specific improvements on energy efficiency and code compliance, and verifying code forms and identifying common errors. CILB CEUs: 4 credits; CILB# 0613600; Provider# 0000859.
    Cost: $199 | Register

Explore all of FSEC Energy Research Center’s continuing education courses at https://energyresearch.ucf.edu/education/continuing-education/

*A minimum of 8 registrations needed by April 21st to guarantee the class is held.

For more information, contact Sherri Shields at sherri@fsec.ucf.edu, 321-638-1019.





Fun, Hands-on Energy Activities Students Can Do Remotely. Register NOW for Virtual EnergyWhiz 2021!

EnergyWhiz is a renewable energy-focused event for students to demonstrate their science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) capabilities through project-based learning activities. Students in Grades K through college, adults and families can participate in the virtual event with an opportunity to win awards. The virtual event will be on display to the public May 3–7, 2021. Teams must register by April 9th to participate.

Artistic renewable energy project using mosaic tiles to show scene of cat swatting at rotating butterfly. Live flower planter in front.
Artistic Energy Innovations project using mosaic tiles
Junior Solar Sprint model solar car
Model-size, Junior Solar Sprint car

This year’s competition categories are:

  • Energy Transfer Machine, (Grades 3-12) 
    Students transform materials into Rube Goldberg-type machines that perform an energy-related task and then submit a video of their success.
  • Energy Innovations, (K-12, College, Adults & Families)
    Partis design, engineer and market renewable energy projects that have real-world applicability. This year’s virtual event is expanded to include a wide range of categories, including:
    • Agriculture
    • Clean transportation
    • Green and energy-efficient buildings
    • Solar cooking
    • Water
    • Artwork or demonstration projects highlighting use of renewable energy
  • Junior Solar Sprint, (Grades 4-9)
    Students create a model-sized, solar-powered car that is judged on technology, craftsmanship, innovation and performance.
  • NEW T-Shirt Design Contest

FSEC Energy Research Center—a research institute of the University of Central Florida—in partnership with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Office of Energy, modified this traditionally in-person event to be virtual this year.

“Last year we had to cancel EnergyWhiz for the first time since 1999, so this year we’re trying a new format and modifying the rules,” said Susan Schleith, Energy Education program director at FSEC Energy Research Center. “Virtual EnergyWhiz will provide an opportunity for students and adults throughout Florida and beyond to participate in hands-on activities within a virtual environment.”


EnergyWhiz is sponsored by Florida Power & Light Company, SkyeTec, and LifeStyle Homes, and Kissimmee Utility Authority.

FPL, SkyeTec, LifeStyle Homes, Kissimmee Utility Authority logos

Companies or individuals interested in sponsoring EnergyWhiz should visit https://energyresearch.ucf.edu/education/k-12/energywhiz/sponsors/ or contact Elizabeth Myron at elizabeth.myron@fsec.ucf.edu.

EnergyWhiz logo with sun on right and laptop on leftMore Information

Learn more about EnergyWhiz at: https://energyresearch.ucf.edu/education/k-12/energywhiz/.

For registration questions, contact Penny Hall at penny@fsec.ucf.edu or Susan Schleith at susan@fsec.ucf.edu.

For more information or media questions, contact Sherri Shields at sherri@fsec.ucf.edu.