The first organizing meeting of the California Association of Building Energy Consultants (CABEC) occurred in Oakland in September 1985. An informal group of representatives from the building industry, the utility companies, energy consultants and compliance software vendors met to discuss the need to clarify how energy consultants should correctly interpret and implement the Building Energy Efficiency Standards; and the lack of certification among individuals preparing performance calculations and compliance documentation. This led to the creation of CABEC as a 501(c) nonprofit professional association in March 1986. CABEC was an active participant in the development of the 1988 Standards.
In 1987, the California Energy Commission contracted with CALBO, through Connerly Associates, to establish a Certified Energy Plans Examiner (CEPE) examination for enforcement personnel. Residential and Nonresidential CEPE exams were in place in July 1988 for the start of that set of Standards. In 1990, CABEC created its own Certified Energy Analyst (CEA) program, which required individuals to first pass the CEPE exam and also meet other professional requirements including a minimum amount of experience preparing Title 24 Part 6 energy reports, continuing education credits, completion of a Professional Practices Workshop and the signing of a professional ethics statement. In 1998, the Energy Commission discontinued funding the CEPE program and CALBO declined to keep the CEPE certification going. The CEC informally asked CABEC if would assume the administration and support of the CEPE trainings, exam and certification. With the assistance of Douglas Beaman Associates, and limited financial support from the IOUs, CABEC took over as administrator of the CEPE program. The CEPE and CEA programs have continued since in the same form up to and including the 2008 Standards.
In late 2010, the IOUs Codes and Standards team, led by PG&E, assembled a team of Subject Matter Experts and certification testing experts to develop an entirely new CEA exam tailored to energy analysts. Unlike the CEPE exam for plans examiners, the new CEA exam tests five core competencies of what energy analysts must be able to do in analyzing, modeling and documenting a building for compliance with the Standards. New CEA exams are created each year, currently for the 2013 Standards.
Several CABEC members have worked in important advisory capacities to Energy Commission Staff in the development and implementation of Building Energy Efficiency Standards since 1988. In addition to the CEA program, CABEC has provided special and advanced trainings on the Standards for energy consultants since 1987. A more comprehensive and targeted training program is being developed in support of the new CEA program.