Building-based energy specialist work

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Sensor-suitcaseThe following list is representative of some of the interests, skills, and competencies associated with energy specialist work. Many of these are developed on-the-job, or become specialties. This list is not intended to be comprehensive, and is provided primarily to develop familiarity with the terms and tasks of building-based energy and resource management.

Measure Energy Consumption

  • Work with utilities and municipalities through in energy conservation programs
  • Develop awareness, and ability to measure energy consumption in an organization, as a pre-requisite to energy savings
  • Gather information to compare pricing structure to motivate owners and stakeholders, and identify the financial benefits of energy conservation.
  • Establish priorities and energy goals
  • Analyze utility bills for accuracy, trends, opportunities
  • Examine utility bills and provide useful information for tracking trends, identifying “leaks” and …
  • Recommend methods of cost containment to reduce spending growth, vs. reducing capacity or production
  • Advise energy management strategies to re-allocate spending into policy priorities and take the pressure off of other areas of the operation to reduce costs, and preserve productivity or programs
  • Work with digital control systems and specialists. While these systems require special training to install, setup, monitor, and update, energy specialists should be familiar with the principles of:
    • Energy management system
    • Automated building systems
  • Work with HVAC specialists and others engaged in HVAC design, installation, maintenance, and repair.
  • Work with commissioning authorities involved in verifying proper construction, installation, and operation of building systems in new or renovated facilities.
    • Commissioning is a rapidly growing practice, wherein building systems are verified to function as per design at various stages of a building’s development, from pre-design through post-occupancy, or as a retro-commissioning program for a facility system not previously commissioned. The Commissioning Authority may require an energy specialist to collect data, or receive training in operation and maintenance of equipment or systems
  • Work within a project management or service management system.
  • Maintain organized files, records, and utility bills
    • Collect data for analysis, and keep good records for tracking energy and resource use.
  • Provide answers to consumption related questions
  • Prepare written materials
    • Documenting activities
    • Establishing log books
    • Conveying information
    • Preparing repair status reports
    • Preparing energy use reports
  • Work with an Energy Service Company. An ESCO or Energy Service Company provides a performance based contract to reduce energy consumption and costs. The contract will include, among other features:
    • Assessment of the energy conservation potential of the facility or system
    • Delivery of a financial report with recommended changes
    • After joint selection of measures with the client, a detailed project engineering plan
    • Financing options
    • Implementation
    • Measurement and verification
  • Educate Staff. An important role to empower and encourage others to contribute to energy and resource management goals includes:
    • Developing energy consumption awareness programs
    • Developing resource conservation awareness programs
    • Training operations and maintenance staff in energy and resource management strategies
  • Monitor Indoor Environmental Quality. Provide information and advice on IAQ rules and regulations:
    • To occupants
    • To HVAC personnel
    • Keep records of IAQ issues
  • Participate in Capital Planning and Retrofit Process. There may be opportunities to contribute to new projects, or recommend new projects. The increasing adoption of the charrette process, which attempts to bring together many stakeholders in the project, means that an energy specialist can have an important impact on how the project proceeds, by:
    • Identifying or supporting sustainable design opportunities
    • Developing energy and resource saving capital and repair projects
    • Coordinate with architects and engineers to ensure energy efficient equipment is installed

visit Building-based energy and resource management courses at Douglas College to learn more

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