An early warning

Published:  25 November, 2014

Are energy managers set to become "The rock stars of the corporate world"?

At the Energy Management Exhibition (EMEX) in London there were some fascinating facts and figures flying around from the Energy Managers Association (EMA). They paint a rather worrying picture of Britain’s precarious position on energy.

For example, our grid infrastructure will need £110 billion pounds of investment by 2020. A new gas power plant can be built in 18 months, but it takes just over 6 years to connect it to the grid. Even if we build all the proposed nuclear power stations, they won’t come online until the late 2020s. And it could take ten to fifteen years to develop a mature fracking industry.

Little wonder that the EMA predicts that good energy managers are going to be in great demand in the next few years, predicting that they will become the ‘rock stars of the corporate world’.

And if you think that’s a bit of spin to talk up the profession, consider this. Many of the UK’s households will be in fuel poverty by 2020 – and what’s more, it is predicted that we’ll be talking about ‘corporate fuel poverty’ too.

The problem for businesses is one of prediction. If the business directors predict that energy will cost them X thousand this year, but prices rise by 15% to 20%, then that extra money will have to be found somewhere – probably straight from the bottom line profit. It is not a margin that many businesses can sustain.

However you look at it, we have to hone our energy management skills. The EMA has laudable plans to introduce training for its members, but is also looking to technology to assist in the drive to cut energy waste.

It predicts that the Internet of Things will enable remote energy monitoring to become a reality for most companies – the technology is widely available already. Keeping track and giving responsibility to employees for their energy use is a key trend. In some ways, we’ll all have to be energy managers.

It is easy to dismiss big numbers, but the head of the EMA Lord Rupert Redesdale has been involved in energy and its management for some time, so he has some insight into how the market is changing. It may pay dividends to heed his warnings.

Karen Fletcher is director of Keystone Communications. 

comments powered by Disqus



Welcome to Modern Building Services Online, the web edition of Modern Building Services (MBS) journal and the UK's most popular Building Services engineering site. Modern Building Services covers the entire Building Services Engineering industry. This site contains archived content from the journal, plus web-specific content.

When you go to our digital edition, you can also access the archive of digital editions.
November 2017: DIGITAL EDITION

Modern Building services has a group
on Linkedin - join us!



  • Intermediate / Senior Mechanical Engineer

    The Mechanical team undertake the design and specification of a range of Mechanical building services in a lead or supporting role, depending on project complexity and scale. You should demonstrate a flexible approach to design and team working and wil......

  • Senior Urban Designer

     Applicants will be Master’s Degree qualified Architects / Urban Designers, with a strong portfolio of work highlighting a variety of projects at a range of scales and types, with strong focus on regeneration, infrastructure-led projects and major develo......

  • Principal Structural Engineer

    We are currently recruiting on behalf of a global client, with a diverse range of award winning projects to their name. Their experience spans a host of market sectors, including transport, infrastructure, defence, scientific, education, high-tech and ......

more jobs »


"Is the Building Services industry lagging behind in the implementation of BIM?"