Insight Blog

Evolving Roles of Energy Managers + Critical Skill Sets

Energy Managers (EMs) are seeing their roles drastically change as energy management is increasingly recognized as an executive-level priority for its impact on profitability and performance. As executive search consultants who specialize within facilities management and related positions, Helbling & Associates has seen the demand growing for these professionals along with the list of the desired technical capabilities and soft skills.

Changes within the energy management landscape that are impacting the roles of EMs include:

  • Increasingly complex energy market with changing energy costs and policies

  • Potential for significant financial energy investments

  • Internal and external pressures for sustainability measures

  • Technological innovations

To address the above, EMs need to understand how to develop effective strategies, leverage investment opportunities, and mitigate financial risks to meet short- and long-term objectives related to:

  • Asset level energy management

  • Operational energy management and compliance

  • Automated monitoring, targeting, data collection, and analysis

  • Project implementation

While expertise in the above is critical, there are also soft skills of EMs that can be equally important for succeeding in their roles:

  • Communication: Strong communication is the most important soft skill EMs can have so that they can communicate effectively and concisely with all levels of professionals from board members to HVAC engineers.

  • Relationship Building: EMs must be able to develop and nurture strong relationships with colleagues, subordinates, senior executives, customers, and vendors.

  • Flexibility and Adaptability: With the energy management landscape changing so quickly, EMs must embrace change enthusiastically and be able to adapt to new situations quickly. They need to be open to new ideas and innovations, and flexible in their responsibilities.

  • Leadership & Decision Making: To be effective and work strategically to achieve goals and objectives, EMs must have strong leadership and decision-making capabilities.

Without a doubt, this is an exciting time for EMs as their roles become increasingly important to core business strategies. Similar to all facilities professionals, EMs are facing pressures to take on more responsibilities. As a result, they are reinventing themselves and elevating the significance of their roles, which can be extremely rewarding and gratifying in their careers.

Sources: Association of Energy Engineers' Energy Management Jobs Report: Survey of the Energy Industry, Relevant Trends, Opportunities, Projections & Resources; Schneider Electric's Trends in Energy Management.