Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Program Profile

Program Name: Building Energy & Comfort Controls Certificate

Information Updated November 2023

John Hippensteel Faculty Member

Lead Faculty

Joh Hippensteel is the lead faculty for the Building Energy & Comfort Controls Certificate Program at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College


Program Information

Date Program Started


Students Enrolling (high school, reentry, job training)

High School & Reentry

# of Students in Program


# of Faculty Members Teaching Energy

1 Full-Time

Degrees / Diplomas / Certificates Offered

Technical Certificate: Building Energy & Controls- Offered Face-to-face and online = 7 Credits/1 Semester Program

Questions & Answers

Students learn basic electricity, commercial utility billing and costs, environmental comfort variables (such as humidity and temperature), basic HVAC mechanics, basic building automation controls and sequences of building operation. Hands-on training in the Great Lakes Energy Education building and the NWTC Tech Hall.

Graduates enter the workforce with electricity, HVAC, and building comfort knowledge as well as skills in programmable building controls.

The certificate was developed through a National Science Foundation grant with Building Controls Industry input.  As part of the HVAC program, the advisory committee is made up of industry professionals who work in a variety of business sectors: energy equipment companies; heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration contractors; and with building facilities. We meet each semester (twice per year).

This certificate is new to NWTC and the graduates we have had have decided to enter the full HVAC or Solar programs. There are more jobs than students in these fields upon graduation.

The Building Energy Comfort Controls certificate started in 2022.  High school students get college credit for the basic electricity, automation, and Smart Start to BAS (Building Automation Systems) classes from their high school. 

The NWTC Great Lakes Energy Education Center is on its path to net zero energy.  Students have installed over 70kW of solar on the building and conducted energy-saving studies to help the building on its path to net zero energy.

Ready to Learn more?

View the syllabus for Northeast Wisconsin Technical College's Smart Start to Building Automated Systems course, or visit NWTC directly for more information on their Building Energy & Comfort Controls Certificate.

View Syllabus Visit NWTC