The responsibilities of a Commercial Energy Manager range from capital planning to equipment operations to supervising or performing equipment maintenance. Typically, commercial and industrial equipment consists of boilers, chillers, roof top units, lighting systems, building automation (control) systems, ventilation systems, and more. While an Energy Manager may not be a specialist for each system, a good energy manager knows where to look for technical information, how to manage service contractors, and the fundamentals of system operations.
Who can become an energy manager?
Historically, Energy Managers were professional engineers with the ability to complete complex models in Excel or another specialized software. However, the building industry has come to realize that energy manager training and skills must be widely disseminated. If the system operator or maintainer is not familiar with basic energy management principles, or a complete mechanical system is not maintained correctly, then little energy will actually be saved. What’s happening in the industry is the broad recognition that everyone involved with electrical and mechanical systems in buildings must become energy smart.
Why are they increasingly in demand?
First, building owners realize that energy costs are one of their largest operating costs that can be easily reduced.
Second, the federal government has committed to reducing building energy usage 20% by 2020 as part of the Better Buildings Initiative.
Third, the electric utilities are focused on reducing peak electrical demand (think the hottest ten days of the summer) so that they can avoid building very expensive new power plants that will only be used for those peak demand days. The utilities realize that buildings and industries are large peak demand users that can easily reduce their peak load demands. These utilities have started programs to reward building owners with cash payments and reduced rates for reducing their peak demand.
Fourth, many building owners realize that reducing energy demand is simply the right thing to do for the country and the environment.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming an Energy Manager, read about our commercial energy auditor training program.