Business energy consultancy Inenco says its latest research provides insight into how the role of the energy manager will change by 2030 and highlights the level of investment needed.
The role of the energy manager is predicted to become even more critical in reducing non-domestic carbon emissions, but, with gaps in skills and technology being identified, businesses must start investing in the tools and training required, else UK carbon targets could be put at risk.
Inenco partnered with independent research agency DJS Research to commission primary research among UK businesses, interviewing energy managers across a range of sectors. Inenco then worked with Ricardo Energy & Environment to combine the findings with industry, digital and environmental trends to determine how the role of the energy manager will change in the future.
The research suggests that by 2030, today’s energy manager will have evolved into the future utilities manager – a senior-level, digitally savvy data scientist who will be responsible for making key strategic business decisions. With non-domestic energy still making up around 75 per cent of the UK’s energy consumption, the utilities managers of the future will play a pivotal role in delivering the UK’s low carbon agenda.
While predicting a significant expansion in the scope of the energy manager’s responsibilities, Inenco’s report also highlights a skills and technology gap that must be addressed in order for businesses to future-proof their operations and support the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.
Jon Bauer, chief technology officer of Inenco, said: “The future utilities manger will be responsible for ensuring that the business they work for is aiding the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy. However, our research has highlighted a significant risk in terms of developing this key role; to deliver the utility manager of the future there is a need for advancements in technology and training. Unless businesses are effectively supported and are able to embrace best practice and innovation, meeting the UK’s energy targets could be under threat.”
In response to the challenges outlined in the report, Inenco is launching an Innovation Hub. The hub is an online platform where energy professionals can upload the challenges they face today, alongside the struggles detailed in the report and will bring people from various academic institutes and industries together to focus on developing solutions through a series of hackathons. Following the hackathons, a carefully selected panel of industry experts will judge the solutions, with monetary prizes given out to the winning students. Inenco will then look to invest in developing the ideas further to help today’s energy manager to become tomorrow’s utilities manager.