Keeping fairly close tabs on the industry, as well as being involved with a range of representative bodies within it, it’s clear that the sector, most particularly on the client side, is leaking talented energy managers. And no disrespect to those working hard in the industry now, they’re desperately needed!
OK, I hear you say, most organisations don’t have an energy manager in the first place. But those, mainly large corporates, who did have somehow managed to lose the best and most senior ones over the last few years.
There are a number of factors at play here. For me the biggest is the lack of a defined career path for those who want to major on energy management in large organisations.
Senior energy managers, who have the full spectrum of required skills and experience, are in very short supply and are likely to become more so.
For those who work in corporate environments there is little interest, from those that I know anyway, in moving into sustainability roles. These require completely different skill sets and aren’t necessarily suitable for energy professionals whose aspirations are more in tune with purely energy-related activities.
Having an energy professional on your books is a very profitable investment. One, or more, with the skills and ability to develop and present a compelling ‘business case’ which will increase their principal’s profitability are like gold dust.
Where are they now?
Many have forsaken the security of corporate and public sector salaries and have increasingly moved into the energy consultancy sector others have set up their own companies.
Many senior professionals in energy management have chosen to retire, or, like myself, partially retire. Most are very keen to “put something back” into the industry which they’ve enjoyed working in, regardless of host sector.
Training and development
I spend much time involved with developing and delivering training programmes for a range of organisations concerned about promoting and enhancing individual skills in energy management. This is often frustrating with many sectors, organisations and businesses “talking the talk” but falling down when it comes to pragmatic delivery of effective training and development solutions.
A good starting point is to establish the training needs of those involved with energy management. This, along with gap analysis for more experienced personnel is fundamental to determining skills required for a successful future approach.
So organisations both public and private listen up.
A trained energy specialist on your books will pay for themselves faster than probably any other employee, enhance your reputation and ultimately gain you more business from you being viewed as lean and mean! Think about it…….
Mervyn Bowden is the MD of Intuitive Energy Solutions