Energy Efficiency Engineers
Exploring this Job
Visit the Web site of the Association of Energy Engineers, http://www.aeecenter.org, to learn more about the various types of services energy engineers provide. Find the conferences and events section and look for events that offer educational programs and networking opportunities. Another good way to explore the field is by getting a part-time job or internship in an engineering company that provides energy efficiency consulting.
If you are young woman who is interested in engineering, take advantage of the resources offered by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). For example, young women ages 13 to 18 can join the organization as SWENexters, which allows them to attend the organization's High School Leadership Academy and other events and provides them with access to monthly newsletters that offer career advice and scholarship tips. Visit https://swe.org/k-12-outreach/youth-programs to learn more.
Conduct an information interview with an engineer to learn more about the field. Here are some questions to ask:
- Can you tell me about a day in your life on the job?
- What are the key personal and professional qualities for people in your career?
- What do you like best and least about your job?
- What advice would you give to young people who want to become energy efficiency engineers?
- How is the field changing?
Energy efficiency engineers advise residential, commercial, and industrial clients on ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy usage. They visit homes, offices, and industrial environments to conduct energy audits, in which they inspect mechanical, electrical, and thermal energy flows. They analyze energy usage by using baseline models, end-use analysis, and post-retrofit analysis. This work requires knowledge of three-dimensional computer modeling programs such as AutoCAD and energy modeling software such as EnergyPro. Energy efficiency engineers also rely on their understanding of legislation regarding energy efficiency and carbon emissions.
Energy efficiency engineers work full time for companies that provide engeering and energy consulting services or they are hired by clients as consultants on a per-project basis. Clients may hire energy efficiency engineers at any point throughout the construction or remodeling process of a home or building, to audit one or more of the energy systems, such as the air-conditioning, heating, ventilation, or lighting systems. Many corporations also hire energy efficiency engineers to help them establish energy usage goals and to guide the energy team to achieve those goals. Energy efficiency engineers may also be responsible for analyzing cost benefits and verifying the performance of energy projects.