A career in energy conservation involves assisting companies, industries, as well as individuals to find efficient and cost-effective ways to save energy or cut down on energy usage.
The title ‘energy conservationist’ is a broad term that can be applied to various people who make a living devising methods of conserving energy. A career in energy conservation usually develops from other careers such as engineering or environmental management.
An energy conservationist needs to have a thorough understanding of how energy is made, transmitted and used. In addition, they must have a good grasp of the various options and technologies available that can be implemented in order to use energy more efficiently. They must have an appreciation of the economics of energy conservation, and the ability and expertise to make recommendations on practical ways and means of saving energy.
Energy conservationists have to identify opportunities for saving energy in industries such as hotels, commercial properties, municipalities, and even in private homes. This involves carrying out energy audits to see how electricity is used in various facilities, and finding ways to improve efficiency. They need to look at areas of wastage, such as inefficient production processes, and find solutions, such as by using a different process that will decrease energy consumption.
This job also involves calculating the costs that will be involved in improving energy usage, such as the cost of any new machinery or equipment that would be required, or the expense necessary to make changes to the production process. This information must be presented to the owner of the facility so that he or she can consider the proposal. If accepted, the owner of the facility would be put in contact with the various suppliers, and, as a final step, the proper installation of the equipment would need to be supervised. Following implementation, the energy consumption over a period of time must be constantly monitored to ensure that the changes made are having the desired effect; and that malfunctions are not occurring.
Because of issues such as global warming and energy shortages, energy conservation is an international priority.
Schooling & School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting requirements for course
There are no specific qualifications for a career in energy conservation, however, one usually enters the field by obtaining a technical, engineering or environmental qualification, gaining experience and in-depth knowledge of energy processes, and only then moving into this specialised field.
Any of the above.