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Certificate of Excellence – Foundations of Impact Evaluation

Certificate of Excellence - Foundations of Impact Evaluation


In cooperation with the United States Department of Energy, AESP Institute is proud to launch an in-depth training program on DSM program impact evaluation.  Upon completion of all necessary coursework and meeting other requirements, participants will receive AESP’s “Certificate of Excellence – Foundations of Impact Evaluation.”

The learning objectives of the certificate program are:

·         Understand the demand side management industry, including its basic purpose, components, and function. 

·         Identify the purpose of evaluation, measurement and verification. 

·         Understand and apply foundational program impact evaluation knowledge that grounds and guides professional practice. 

·         Identify and define program impact evaluation methodology terms. 

·         Demonstrate the ability to frame impact evaluation questions. 

·         Determine appropriate impact evaluation methods, including quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods.  

Outline of the Program

This course covers the basics of the energy industry and demand-side management industry, before diving into the principles of program impact evaluation.

In this cohort-based program, participants enroll at the same time as their peers and experience the learning journey together (communicating via an online discussion board and eventually meeting in person), culminating in a final project which they complete as a team. 

Individually, participants will be required to complete two courses and a Project. The first course will be online and self-paced. The second course will be a two day in-person course. The Project will be introduced during the in-person course.

Target Audience

The program is designed with new evaluation staff in mind, those with less than 3 years’ experience in the energy industry. Its alternatives are a formal in-house training program, or more commonly “learning-on-the-job” where a supervisor or colleague guides new staff over several months or years.

Ideal candidates for this program include new staff entering a research and evaluation function in DSM consultancies, consultancies that specialize in research and evaluation, government, state and regional energy organizations and large utilities with in-house evaluation needs (National Grid, etc.).



AESP will offer two cohorts a year. In 2019, the “beta” cohort met in person in June in Madison, WI and another cohort will meet November 4-5 at the National Grid offices located in Waltham, MA.

As mentioned before, the course will be delivered in two parts:

  • Course 1: Delivered online. Self-paced.
  • Course 2 and capstone project: Course participants will meet in-person for 2 days in a city and date that will have been pre-determined before the start of the course. Here they will attend live lectures to complete Course 2, then work collaboratively with a team to complete the project. 


2019 Cohort

For more information, contact


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