Energy Engineer Job Description
Energy engineers apply their knowledge of physics, mathematics, chemistry, and energy engineering applications to pinpoint opportunities to save energy and propose solutions for more energy efficient operation. An energy engineer's job is to combine the principles of physics and engineering analysis to tackle energy-related problems and environmental issues all the while keeping in mind engineering economics, energy minimization, and policy. Energy engineers review plans and proposals to analyse energy efficiency and assess engineering feasibility. They also advise clients and other engineers on energy fuel selection and evaluate different conservation methods and costs.
They typically specialise in one of the many subfields of energy engineering, such as environmental compliance, energy efficiency, plant engineering, alternative energy technologies, or facility management.
An energy engineer must have an excellent knowledge of equipment used to produce, transfer, distribute, convert, and utilize energy, and have a keen interest in technology, science, and the environment.
Energy engineers' work entails using energy data to create graphical presentations, so they must be familiar with AutoCAD and other engineering software.
They must have a thorough understanding of solar thermal energy and other alternative or renewable energy systems, and be well acquainted with the relevant legislation dealing with carbon emissions and energy efficiency.
Project management skills are an asset for more experienced energy engineers who are looking to advance their careers. Both leadership skills and the ability to work in a team are highly valued because energy engineers often train team members who work on the same project, and because they usually collaborate with experts from related fields, such as architecture and design.
Good communication and negotiation skills are a must since an engineer's work very frequently includes negotiating tariffs with fuel suppliers and acting as a liaison between contractors, fuel providers, and experts involved in any given project.
Energy engineers usually have a degree in environmental engineering, architectural engineering, petroleum or mining engineering, sustainable or renewable energy, environmental science, or a related discipline. People who wish to enter the profession but do not have an accredited degree can take a conversion course in renewable energy engineering, energy futures, or sustainable energy systems at the postgraduate level.
Energy engineers can pursue the status of chartered energy engineer or chartered energy manager in order to broaden their career options. The Energy Institute (EI) is the professional body in charge of awarding these qualifications. Energy engineers can also pursue chartered (CEng) or incorporated (IEng) status, both of which are awarded by the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
Energy engineers' work often involves reducing energy loads in building design, and making existing systems more energy efficient. When working on such projects, energy engineers frequently collaborate with lighting, refrigeration and HVAC engineers. They advise clients and team members on energy modelling, sustainable design, energy management control systems, climate control systems, energy auditing, lighting design, and similar topics.
Energy engineers frequently perform field inspections and site observations to gather the information required for in-depth analyses of energy conservation potential. Their tasks can also include checking ground conditions before installing new renewable technologies.
Energy engineers analyse the consumption of energy, they prepare reports, and provide technical documentation. Their work can also include reviewing purchase agreements and the supervision of certain aspects of construction projects that are related to energy efficiency, sustainable design and energy management.