Energy managers are responsible for planning, regulating and monitoring the energy use of an organization or facility. Energy managers strive to improve energy efficiency through careful evaluation of the organization’s energy use and the implementation of energy-saving measures. The profession is a growing one, as concerns about climate change and the price of fuel and electricity spur more organizations to hire managers to help them control their energy use.
Energy managers regulate an organization's energy use by examining its current use of energy, setting goals for future energy use, implementing new energy-saving measures, and maintaining all energy production and distribution apparatuses. Energy managers should be focused on efficiency and safety, attempting to lower the cost of electricity and fuel use, while still allowing the organization to carry out its overall goals.
Most employers will require a strong understanding of electrical engineering and mechanical systems, as well as some prior experience managing organizational energy use. This required knowledge may include a bachelor's degree in electrical or mechanical engineering, or in engineering technology. A professional certification as an energy manager by the Association of Energy Engineers will also likely be preferred, if not required.
Duties vary among organizations, but most energy managers share a common set of tasks. Managers outline the organization's energy use, coordinating with all energy-using parties so as to understand their energy usage. They set benchmarks for organizational energy consumption and monitor their implementation. They also develop and apply strategies for improving energy efficiency and lowering costs, such as incorporating new energy-saving technology, minimizing unnecessary energy consumption and negotiating with utilities for better rates.
Working Conditions & Physical Requirements
Working conditions for this position will vary. For multifacility organizations, some travel will be likely required. In the course of monitoring the organization's energy use, managers will likely work in mechanical/boiler rooms, on rooftops and in underground areas. Managers should also have interpersonal and communication skills that are strong enough to explain the energy use plan to affected parties.
Compensation varies widely depending on the job description and the tasks required. Compensation is generally proportional to the size of the organization, with smaller, more easily managed organizations generally paying less than larger, more complex organizations.The median salary of an energy manager was $96,290, as of June 2014, with an earnings range from $64,249 to $121,089.
Due to concerns about energy independence, climate change and the high price of energy, the U.S. federal and state governments have passed a number of initiatives in recent years to promote energy efficiency. These incentives, which come in the form of grants, subsidies and tax breaks, encourage residences and businesses to become more energy efficient and, in doing so, to hire more energy managers. If the trend continues, the outlook for energy management as a profession looks promising.
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