Guest Blog: Duncan Everett and Michael Prager – Who killed Eric the Energy Manager?

In the same stance as who killed Roger Rabbit before you engage the local constabulary. But behind every good opening line is a serious point. In this case what actually is the role of the modern Energy Manager?

Duncan Everett, Managing Director, and Michael Prager, Chairman, at Optimal Monitoring

In the same stance as who killed Roger Rabbit before you engage the local constabulary. But behind every good opening line is a serious point. In this case what actually is the role of the modern Energy Manager? Well managing energy demand and consumption is surprisingly not always top of the list.

The energy management role today tends to be multifaceted, covering all aspects from compliance, carbon reporting to delivering on statutory carbon commitments. Then there’s standard compliance, achieving carbon commitments, bill validation, investigating new technology, demand management, purchasing and providing the board with the necessary data for year end reporting.

With so much statutory reporting, is it any wonder that the activity of reducing consumption through energy management has fallen away? Truth is that in many cases the Energy Manager is more about administration than action.

So how do we reinstate the true meaning of energy management and make the job do what it says on the tin?

The first challenge is to prove to the business that it’s actually worth doing. Determining and proving the prize is the critical enabler of getting anyone to engage with the argument. The emergence of AI technology that mop up vast amounts of grunt work will be a big help to those that grasp the nettle. Relatively small scale pilots if spread across a representative sample of the wider estate are a good, fast and statically valid way of achieving this.

Once that’s done the next job is putting the getting the process right so that the workflow is smooth and non-disruptive. Then and only then, when the data is translated into simple, plain English instructions and what needs to be done is clearly understood and seen as an interesting, achievable and central part of line managers jobs will people take action. In other words spend all the time you need to get the tools and the process right before engaging people. Using tools to engage the wider workforce and getting everybody to be part of the energy management team is a critical part of this process, people support what they help to create. This cannot be achieved without technology, don’t even think about it.

Energy is typically the third largest corporate overhead (after labour & rent). It’s a big number in most forms’ budgets and it cannot be managed by tariff alone. It’s time to make managing energy demand the central raison d’etre for energy managers, not the thing they get to when everything else is done.

Rant over. Come and see us at this year’s energy expo on Tuesday Nov 5th at the QEII in London, together we can help deliver a stonking energy management process – and get justice for Eric!

Optimal Monitoring will be running a demo of EMMA, the world’s first AI Energy Manager, at Energy Live EXPO 2019 on the 5th of November at the QEII Centre in Westminster. You can put EMMA through its paces by letting EMMA study your building’s energy usage. suggest recommendations and afterwards you will receive one to one feed back on the day.

If you are interested, get in touch with [email protected].

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