Technical Services in Public Sector/Utilities
Those working for utilities and public sector agencies and institutions are often involved in managing and executing energy efficiency projects and reduction incentive programs, often on a regional or municipal basis. Professionals in these sectors often work with a network of stakeholders and customers on energy and GHG reduction policies.
The focus of my role as Clean Transportation Engineer is on the deployment of public electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen fuelling infrastructure in B.C. to aid the adoption of battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. I provide technical advice on the design and implementation of clean-transportation initiatives and projects throughout B.C.
I have a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering and started my career in energy efficiency with Efficiency Nova Scotia as a project coordinator. In this position, I coordinated custom retrofit and new construction projects for industrial and commercial facilities as well as completed measurement and verification for these projects. My experience in building energy efficiency provided me with many skills transferable into the clean transportation industry.
The CIET training that I have taken helps me with technical problem-solving and thinking in an energy-efficiency mindset. The CEM and CEA courses have increased my knowledge of building systems, energy use and management, and energy-efficient technologies. THE CMVP course helped me better design measurement and verification (M&V) plans for energy efficiency projects. This course has improved my ability to design effective incentive programs and track results (GHG reductions, energy use reduction, etc.) from these programs by giving me a better understand of how to apply M&V methods.
Skills that are key to my work are being able to think critically with a focus on sustainability and energy use reduction. Technical problem-solving and the desire to continuously learn are also very important skills in my work.
Don’t stop learning and keep up on new technologies and innovations.
The Ontario Energy Board regulates Ontario’s electricity and gas utilities. In my role, I manage major rate applications from Ontario utilities related to the cost of their climate change activities and energy efficiency demand-side management (DSM) programs, lead the development of policy frameworks, and oversee complex technical studies. I manage teams of subject matter experts, lawyers, and expert stakeholders. I liaise directly with utilities, government staff, and industrial stakeholders on energy efficiency and climate change policy and programs. I also guide and manage third-party consultants to assess energy efficiency potential and evaluate DSM programs delivered by Ontario’s utilities.
I was an energy management consultant in Canada, Europe, and Asia for five years before taking a role evaluating energy efficiency programs at a major Ontario gas utility. After that, I joined the OEB as a project advisor and have been there for four and half years.
Although my work is at the policy level, I use my CIET training to “ground truth” my recommendations to policy-makers and my advice to technical consultants. For example, I used the International Performance Measurement & Verification Protocol to help guide the development of the OEB’s Evaluation, Measurement & Verification Plans (http://www.ontarioenergyboard.ca/oeb/_Documents/EB-2014-0134/2016-18_DSM_EMV_Plan.pdf). I use the course material from the Certified Energy Manager course to assess energy efficiency analyses completed by consultants (http://www.ieso.ca/2019-conservation-achievable-potential-study), or to explain energy management and its value to different audiences.
The key skills in my work are to interpret technical aspects of energy efficiency for use in policy development and regulatory decision-making. That includes being able to review technical analyses by consultants for reasonability, facilitation skills to manage technical stakeholder working groups, communication skills to summarize technical study findings for presentations to decision-makers or to create technical arguments in written submissions.
No matter how busy you are, don’t bury yourself completely in work. Keep your eyes and ears open to the context in which you are working (e.g., read the news, keep up on government policy, understand corporate changes in your organization) and for opportunities to deepen your knowledge about your industry (e.g., courses by CIET!)
It changes! My dream job is one where I’m being challenged and learning new things on a continual basis. Being a technical expert on energy efficiency has opened a lot of doors over the years, especially when it is complemented with professional training on a regular basis, developing a strong network inside and outside my field, and creating a track record of doing good work.
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