Let’s not beat around the bush: there are some monumental challenges facing commercial and industrial (C&I) sectors regarding energy costs and energy management. These challenges require a specific set of professional skills for the energy managers and teams who will deal with them.
The ability to engage and collaborate with other related stakeholders as vendors, business owners, building owners, real estate firms, government officials, educators and business owners to achieve the required goals of decreasing the overwhelming cost of energy consumption is very important.
In this guest post, experienced energy engineer and DEXMA guest blogger Magdy Aly reveals the top 10 energy manager skills that will enable present and future energy professionals to overcome major challenges.
The 10 Professional Skills Every Energy Manager Needs
1. A passion for adding value
In your first professional experience as an energy manager, you’ll learn one thing very fast: people are resistant to change – even if it’s for the better! As an energy manager, you need to juggle passion, priorities and persistence to help your colleagues see that environmental protection and savings are not incompatible, and in fact add value to the entire organisation.
2. Project planning and management
The ability to direct and guide a group or team through task completion to attain energy management goals (following an energy efficiency assessment, for example) is crucial.
3. Communication planning and follow-through
Energy managers must be able to exchange, engage, convey and express their technical knowledge and creative ideas in a way can be understood easily and quickly by their non-technical team members.
4. Understanding energy use
The ability to arrange and retrieve energy data (or knowing your way around aM&T software that does it for you) is key. It helps if you can synthesize your technical expertise with some financial know-how (if not, we’ve got you covered here).
Sometimes your work will require fast – and costly – choices that require a savvy combination of negotiation, risk management, and critical thinking skills. You’ll also need to know how to develop and assess business cases and how to detect energy efficiency opportunities.
With energy systems, technologies and business priorities in constant flux, the best energy managers are dynamic, flexible and able to adapt available resources to achieve company goals – even in tricky situations with parallel objectives.
Believe in yourself! And your abilities to manage energy more efficiently like a pro. Remember, enthusiasm is contagious – fake it until you make it!
Multi-tasking and the ability to prioritize tasks are key. Energy managers also need to balance the organisation with patience. Because energy management can take time to deliver concrete results, knowing how to manage the interim while finding new ways to deliver value is key.
Problem solving requires the right combination of resourcefulness, creative thinking, and leadership skills. These become increasingly important when it comes to management roles.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. This aphorism is a cliche for a reason – the spirit of teamwork and collaboration is crucial when trying to achieve internal goals. This especially comes in handy when dealing with stakeholders that may not see eye to eye with your organization.
In summary, the integration between soft and hard (technical) skills for energy managers and energy teams is key to achieving business goals whether you are decreasing energy and operational costs or trying to sustain savings in the long run.
This article was first published on LinkedIn by Magdy Aly. It has been republished here with kind permission from the author. Some minor changes have been made to reflect DEXMA style considerations.