Melbourne, Australia, December 08, 2018 --(PR.com
)-- An online training platform from MAC Energy Efficiency Group that equips electricians, plumbers, and other tradespeople to fully comply with government energy efficiency schemes won the 2018 “Best Innovation in Energy Efficiency” award from Australia’s Energy Efficiency Council.
Melbourne-based MAC Energy Efficiency Group received the award on 19 November at a ceremony held in Sydney during the Energy Efficiency Council’s annual national conference - an event that draws top energy efficiency experts, analysts, policy writers, and Regulators from across Australia and around the world for an exchange of ideas about how to build better cities, protect the environment, and save energy.
MAC is a quality assurance business that provides energy efficiency compliance advice, field auditing, and training to energy retailers, regulators and contractors. The winning innovation was MAC’s online training tool called Energy Efficiency IQ (EEIQ).
Tradespeople use EEIQ to learn how to fully comply with state-based energy-efficiency schemes, said Merrily Hunter, managing director of MAC.
“EEIQ represents a revolutionary approach to training,” she said. “It incorporates all the relevant regulations, codes, and Australian standards into common language and animations.
“Thanks to EEIQ, we are now seeing some of the highest-quality, highest-compliance installation work yet observed under the schemes. Our clients report that their tradespeople who’ve used EEIQ are far better able to remember what they’ve learned and, as a result, audit failure rates have decreased by more than half.”
Hunter said EEIQ encourages participation and promotes engagement because it allows tradespeople to access training anyplace they happen to be, rather than compelling them to sit in a classroom and use ineffective old-school methods such as lectures and slide presentations.
“EEIQ is innovative in part because it recognizes that most tradies are visual learners and have higher recall when they can actually see how a good job is supposed to look,” Hunter said. “EEIQ shows, not just tells. It provides a single, standardized version of training in plain language. It’s designed to actually help the front line.”
Hunter explained that significant time and thought went into the development of EEIQ's individual modules, even down to the type of voiceovers employed. “In user testing, higher recall rates were achieved by using female voices for technical and regulatory explanations, while male voices delivered higher rates when the subject matter shifted to installation components," she said.
Buoyed by the burgeoning success of EEIQ in the marketplace, MAC has been building and reviewing additional modules. These will provide training for all tradespeople working in the sectors of new energy, solar battery installations, commercial lighting, geothermal, and more, Hunter divulged.
“This is a learning platform adaptable to many environments, and we’re very confident that’s just one of the abundant reasons why EEIQ won the award,” she added.
At the award ceremony, Hunter thanked the Energy Efficiency Council for its efforts to unite “those of us who dream of a better, cleaner, more sustainable energy future.”
She also thanked the MAC team of imaginative thinkers and technology pros who conceptualized EEIQ and guided its development.
Later, Hunter praised the contributions of other key players, including Jacqui Broadhurst (who is the managing director of CodeSafe in Victoria), Broadhurt’s team of talented animators, and Queensland-based DarbyDesigns Director Tara Darby (who worked on the EEIQ portal and the instructional e-learning storyboards).
"What started as a proof-of-concept project has gone far beyond what we had anticipated,” Hunter said of EEIQ. “And this is only the beginning as far as we're concerned. Since winning the award for Best Innovation, a number of companies have contacted us to ask if we can create custom modules for them based on their specific product and installation methods, something that can be distributed to their contractors to ensure quality control and consistency as they expand their services to new areas.”