Energy management is a critical function in today’s world, especially given the limited supply of natural resources, the continuing threat of climate change and the commercial necessity for keeping energy consumption and expenses in check.
Energy managers are employed by large organisations in the public and private sectors. Within the public sector, you’re likely to find work with local government authorities, education institutions and healthcare organisations.
In the commercial sector, energy managers are employed by environmental consultancies and large companies within the manufacturing, retail, utility and construction industries.
If you enter this profession, you’ll be responsible for monitoring energy consumption and usage patterns within your organisation and identifying areas where energy is wasted or used inefficiently. Following this assessment process, you’ll be designing and implementing plans for optimising energy use.
Furthermore, you’ll be responsible for trying to increase organisational awareness of the importance of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, using renewable sources of energy and minimising wastage.
In order to be a successful energy manager, you’ll need to maintain detailed records and produce documentation relating to energy consumption and energy management, so that you can track developments and make comparisons in the future.
Finally, it’ll be necessary for you to keep up-to-date on the latest regulations relating to energy consumption and hazardous emissions to make sure that your organisation complies with all the relevant legislation.
Salary & benefits
Starting salaries for energy managers tend to range between £20,000 and £35,000 per annum, while salaries for professionals with increased levels of experience are usually between £35,000 and £65,000 a year.
Energy managers working for multinational corporations can earn annual salaries in excess of £70,000.
Energy managers tend to work around 35-40 hours a week, on a nine-to-five basis. However, energy managers assigned on special projects, such as the implementation of ‘green’ technology, may need to put in extra time to meet project objectives and deadlines.
Travelling between multiple locations is also a regular fixture for energy managers.
An undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, such as environmental management, energy engineering, civil engineering, sustainable development, mechanical engineering, architecture or surveying, is the basic entry requirement mandated by most employers.
However, some employers will also employ candidates with a relevant HND at a junior level.
In order to boost your chances of finding employment, you could also consider doing a relevant postgraduate degree. Gaining work experience through vacation schemes or industrial training placements is also recommended.
Training & progression
It’s important to remember that energy management roles are usually incorporated into a broader position to begin with, where you’ll initially carry out other functions too, such as facilities management, engineering or surveying.
Consequently, specialisation as an energy manager will usually come after you’ve worked across the business in various functions and completed relevant professional qualifications.
Many employers will provide you with the opportunity to study for postgraduate diplomas on a part-time basis while you are simultaneously gaining hands-on experience within the organisation.
Obtaining membership from the Energy Institute and completing advanced courses are recommended for developing your career as an energy manager.
As you progress, you could choose to specialise in facilities management, environmental consultancy or energy engineering.
Alternatively, you could opt to develop your career abroad and take your broad skill-set elsewhere.