For aspiring energy professionals, where do you go to learn the ropes?
That was my first thought when I heard Rob Turnbull, a colleague working on the loading bay at our Edinburgh store had just graduated in an energy related degree.
I was keen to arrange some work shadowing for him – and the past week has been great.
Together we’ve visited stores and carried out energy audits, had rooftop chats about all aspects of energy management and redesigned our intranet energy website!
When I talked with Rob on what he had to say about his week in the shoes (not high heels) of an energy manager, it sounds like he had a journey in more ways than one.
After eight years working for Debenhams the furthest afield he had travelled for work was 40 minutes on a bus to the Newbridge warehouse.
Energy managing? It’s not just spreadsheets
Though he says it was daunting to come so far south of the border as a born and bred Scot, his nerves were short lived – and he found an energy manager’s role is even bigger than he could have imagined.
As he told me since: “It’s not just someone sitting behind a desk looking at spreadsheets and telling everyone to turn stuff off.
“It’s a much broader role which touches on many aspects of the business and will undoubtedly become increasingly important as more business become energy savvy.”
Even though he studied Energy and Environmental Engineering at university, there were several things he was surprised by, especially the contract negotiations with suppliers which can take months to finalise, or how to tot up wholesale energy markets and TPI charges to get an accurate fully delivered energy cost.
Rob’s insights as a store colleague were invaluable. It makes me wonder how many more budding energy managers there are within our stores!
Imagine if all the energy managers in Britain took on someone to shadow for a week – we could have hundreds of new energy experts in the making.
As for me, that’s one colleague down, just another 30,000 odd to go…
Jaz Rabadia is Energy Manager at Debenhams and a STEM Ambassador.