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What's new in the energy management jobs market?

2016-09-06 11:00:00 +0100 by Alex Carroll-Adams


Energy management has been a strong area for growth over the last 10 years, both within corporate business and sustainable design.  

Initiatives such as demand side response (DSR) and virtual power plants are driving new ways of thinking about energy usage, coupled with sustainable design and retrofit, which has seen a significant increase in the last 5 years.

Here we look at the new and exciting job opportunities within energy management, facilities management and sustainable design.

Smart Energy

2017 will see a large scale roll out of smart metres throughout the UK.  The government wants energy suppliers to install smart meters in every home in England, Wales and Scotland by 2020, equating to more than 26 million homes.  This is the biggest national energy infrastructure project in our lifetime and we're in the first stages with over three million smart meters already installed across the UK.  With this extra emphasis on smart metering comes an increased demand for smart energy professionals. 

Job opportunities across smart energy and smart grid include; electronic engineers, software developers (esp. Python), systems engineers, grid analysts and technical consultants.

This sector is definitely one to watch!

FM & Energy Management

Energy management has been embraced by most large corporate businesses and you will usually find at least one energy manager within each business. 

This will either be a stand-alone role, or be encompassed within the wider facilities management (FM) portfolio. 

Energy bureau teams look at the procurement of energy, which includes ethical and renewable sourcing as well as assessment of purchasing trends across the business to assess opportunities for bulk energy savings. 

Energy managers will monitor energy consumption and efficiency, manage external reporting and compliance and in many cases manage the company’s energy projects strategy.  

Companies such as Tesco, IKEA and Apple have all invested heavily in energy projects.  Tesco claim to “generate enough electricity to power Gatwick airport for a year!” and IKEA produce renewable energy equivalent to 50% of their energy consumption, having installed 650,000 solar panels and invested in 206 wind turbines across 10 countries.

There is a steady flow of energy management jobs and we see great growth potential acorss the sector.

Sustainable Design & Retrofit

New build may have stalled, due in part to economic uncertainty following the Brexit vote, however large asset management firms, such as; JLL, CBRE and Hammerson (developers of the Westfield shopping centre in West London) are increasingly looking to retrofit their properties along sustainable criteria.  Partly to hit sustainability targets and eco-standards, but also because it makes good economic sense. 

An easy illustration would be replacing florescent strip lighting with LEDs.  Lighting usually accounts for up to 30-40% of a residential or commercial electricity bill, by fitting LED lighting, bills can be reduced by up to 90% which has to be an attractive proposition and is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of sustainable retrofit.

Roles within BREEAM and LEED (points based methods of assessing, rating and certifying a building’s sustainability credentials) are still very much in demand, however we are also seeing more UK roles within the more robust, structural approach of Passivhaus.  Architectural and building consultancies such as Encraft, Architype and Gale & Snowden are all championing Passivhaus and have even hinted that we may see BREEAM being replaced by Passvihaus in the future. 

Passivhaus roles are fairly new to the UK, having originated in Germany and are more widespread across Europe. However this is one to watch and a really interesting area of specialism for a built environment professional.

For more information about Building & Energy Services Recruitment, contact Alex Carroll-Adams

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