05 Aug A Day in the Life of an Energy Manager: Federico Baraldi, INEMA
At DEXMA, we have the pleasure of working with energy managers from across the globe and from a wide range of sectors – hospitality, retail, education, public administration…
Although they work in completely different industries, they are linked by the same challenge: how to make their buildings more energy efficient. We wanted to delve deeper into the daily life of an energy manager, to discover how they go about saving energy in their organisations, and uncover their personal motivations, challenges and goals.
Introducing our ‘A Day in the Life of an Energy Manager’ series… Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing interviews with some fantastic energy managers.
And we need you! If you are an energy professional and would like to take part in our series, contact us, we’d love to interview you (contact us here).
Q1 – Federico, thank you very much for participating in this series… Let’s start with daily routines of an Energy Manager, at what time do you wake up?
Federico: Normally, at 6.30 a.m.
Q2 – Before going to work, do you do anything special to start your day the best way possible?
Federico: It’s important for me to have energy for a busy day ahead. So I always start my day off well with breakfast and a good coffee.
Q3 – What’s the first thing you do when you arrive to the office?
Federico: The first thing I do is check if there is anything wrong in the EnPI indexes (i.e. the Energy Performance Indicators). I log into my energy management system to see if there is any deviation in performance on my energy projects and if there is, I investigate and resolve it to get things back on track.
Q4 – What are your key 3 tools to boost your productivity as energy professional?
Federico: The first one is a benchmarking tool with a smart Energy Manager Software. This allows me to benchmark energy costs and consumption for my clients against similar companies in their industry.
Second, I need to be able to create custom charts for my clients. So I like a report interface which allows me to customise my reports with the data I need, as well as add my own branding.
Third is a clear and easy-to-use analytics dashboard. I need to do a close follow-up of the results of energy measures and change on-the-go management programs. So it’s important that I can get access to this information quickly and receive alerts whenever there is an issue.
Q5 – And, of course, what are the 3 tools or “bad habits” that you consider can kill the Energy Manager’s performance?
Federico: I can’t think of three, but there are two big ones in my opinion that I believe generate the rest of the bad habits:
- People’s opposition to change the way they work. I mean facing the “This is how we have done things for 20 years, why should we change it now?” attitude. I think that there’s a lack of awareness of how important energy management is now for companies, but, furthermore, how important it is for them to stay profitable in the future.
- Poor company commitment to energy management. After the first steps on an energy management plan that involve facility management or just the operational team, the whole company has to be committed with the plan and the efforts needed.
Q6 – How does your average lunch look?
Federico: I often have lunch with a client usually inside the firm but sometimes I have lunch also with colleagues within my company, at INEMA we’ve a strong team and we love to hang together during lunch to catch up and stay aware of what everyone is doing.
Q7 – How often do you communicate with other teams within your company?
Federico: Every day, to discuss the Work-In-Progress status. Communication inside companies is essential, and as a consulting company working across different operation areas and sectors, it’s especially valuable to exchange ideas and experiences with other teams.
Q8 – And what is, in your opinion, the best communication tool that the Energy Manager has?
Federico: I’m used to chat tools like Hangout or Skype for talking to colleagues and clients. Whichever you choose to use it’s important to have a framework that can share video and files, and not only transmit voice, with one or more attendants for group chats.
Q9 – If you could stop your work for one single day to learn something new, what would you try to learn about?
Federico: I’d like to learn more about statistics and how to correlate energy variables with production ones to enforce benchmarking techniques and baseline computation. This would give me more insight into which processes use the most energy and therefore give me greater scope to design better energy savings plans.
Q10 – And, finally, let’s talk a little bit about how to handle different projects of energy savings for different clients. What’s your key recommendation for the busy energy manager?
Federico: You need to keep your process in order:
- Setting up an energy management plan;
- Establishing and maintaining energy records ordered by consumptions and costs;
- Assessing future energy needs;
- Overseeing energy audits;
- Making energy recommendations;
- Planning communications strategies;
- Evaluating energy program effectiveness, updating it, and routinely reporting progress to management or board
INEMA is an operations management consultancy providing strategy, organisation, technology and information management services to maximise efficiency and profit through continuous improvement.