Green and Save, an environmental consulting firm in Devon, Pa., has announced it will offer up to $1 million in tuition discounts to military veterans, general contractors, home inspectors, and real estate agents who are interested in becoming certified home efficiency consultants.

Individual scholarship amounts ranging from $250 to $25 will cover a portion of the cost of enrolling in the firm’s Eco Academy, which offers training in green auditing and energy efficiency retrofits. For contractors and remodelers, Green and Save is offering 2,500 scholarships of $100 each toward the $295 tuition for its contractor training program.

Homes and offices account for roughly 40% of America’s energy consumption, notes Green and Save founder Charlie Szoradi, an architect and LEED accredited professional. He is also a BPI certified energy auditor who has been involved in green building since 1991.

Szoradi decided to offer tuition discounts after seeing veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan only to find themselves and their fellow vets facing a 17% to 30% unemployment rate. “[Our goal is to] give people in these sectors the collective ability to make a meaningful impact on the carbon and energy footprint for homeowners and building owners/managers across the U.S.,” he says.

Eco Academy offers curricula in 10 major categories, including HVAC, insulation, air quality, natural light, electricity consumption, and appliances. Each training module consists of a two-day course, followed by a weeklong in-field exercise.

Just as energy optimization helps houses perform better over the long term, Szoradi believes that training people for green jobs will prove to be more than a quick fix for the struggling economy. “It is a career. It’s not a job today that may not be around tomorrow. In 10 years from now, this will be commonplace,” he says, noting that green jobs will also help reduce American dependence on foreign oil by making homes and workplaces more sustainable.

Individuals interested in applying for scholarship funds must register for Eco Academy by July 4, 2010.

Jessica Porter is an editorial intern for BUILDER.