What is an energy manager ?

Perhaps, it is someone who sees the ravages of storms and heatwaves, drought and floods or disease an malnutrition as things that will come, but that can be kept to a minimum. This someone cares about the reputation of their company, about money, and doing a job well, and about the earth their grandchildren will inherit.

So an energy manager is someone who takes care. We should all care and all be energy managers, but from the professional more is required. What more is there beyond caring ?

A manager lacking the authority to act or delegate is useless.

This implies trust. Trust, is earned, which takes experience, integrity, effective communication skills and always the evidence to hand that ideas have been carefully 
considered and are grounded on well-documented principles.

Energy problems are like battlefield priorities decisiveness is important
Wounded arriving at triage station, Suippes, France from sanitary train. Selected by Scott. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So as an energy manager you must be (and be seen to be) informed, organised, objective, reliable, and always encouraging while at the same time exhorting greater efforts.

To allocate resources and work flow effectively requires awareness of priority.

The process of classifying by priority is triage. 

Triage is no “wooly“ process but is run on crystal clear lines just as on the battlefield or in the emergency room. Anything less causes dithering which costs lives.

Energy management is all about effectively applying available resource
Inside view (right side) of a standard medical tent for triage categorie 1 as used in Bavarian Red Cross (Germany) 50 victims/hr. disaster casualty station, featuring equipment of 2nd medical rapid disaster response group of county of Ebersberg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Triage must be conducted with unwaivering confidence – it is a leadership role. 

The nurse on intake in a hospital is very clear on who must wait as he or she is the essential filter that ensures skilled resources are not wasted. 

She cannot be over-ruled because triage that can be bypassed is as useless as a manager who is not respected!

Note: A triage nurse can always be tasked to modify the rules that she applies.

Triage is a first step towards diagnosis

Triage requires a means to broadly classify.
This may be conducted by some machine or with gentle bedside manner - “What appears to be the problem?”. It is useful only together with experience to extract reliable metrics or “take the patients history” - this is known as domain specific expertise.

Triage relies on pattern recognition, whether by an individual or some automated process. Anything that tests with clarity can contribute to triage, a thermometer, a rate of energy spend, a pattern of behaviour.

The result of triage is a set of groupings for action

These classifications are for specialists to attend to, and a related priority order.  In hospitals doctors are responsible for "a list" .

Groups may be visualised with badges, or referenced in databases, or in the hospital they may simply be put on chairs and seen one at a time - But the priority standing and the group to which they belong is recognizable.

kWIQly can triage tens of thousands of buildings continually, looking for, quantifying and grouping types of energy waste into priority sets for action. The diagnosis produced is just as relevant for a single hairdressers salon as for a twenty story office block -  Only the cost implications differ.


An authority – the energy manager, hands over tasks to investigate further, to implement 
Detailed Expertise is effectively managed by triage
Hurricane Sandy Long Island overflight - Hurricane Sandy (Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard)
change, to ignore, or simply put on a watch list and survey for evidence of improvement or worse.

It is important that a delegate is “a person authorized to act as representative for another; a deputy or an agent”.

In other words the energy manager or triage nurse holds superior authority over the engineer or brain surgeon in terms of allocation of resource - until but only until the point of delegation.

Trace-ability and ticketing

Known in many circles as workflow management; the delegation of a classified case requires tracking of the issue through an energy management system.

Ticketing cases and issues is essential for energy management
English: The sailmaker ticketing the hammocks on board 'Pallas; (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There is an implied transfer of ownership of a problem from this point. 

The trail of evidence or audit history may be extensive or lightweight. It may mean recording “Who said or did, what to whom at what point and why?” or “talk to Bob to get the latest on this”.

But - the facts must be organised and accessible!

Otherwise a case of "Who's on First base!"  ensues

Generally organisation and accountability goals require “ticketing” through a system, but the system must fit local workplace practices and organisational structures or it becomes a barrier to efficacy or inefficiency and will fall into disuse through frustration. 


Work-loads must be collated, evidence weighed, and ultimately expertise must be applied - a diagnosis is conducted.

Diagnosis (literally meaning “two beliefs” - is the separation of a case into two (or more) supposed root causes through pattern recognition. 

A useful diagnosis leads to the definition and further delegation of necessary tasks to treat the problem. 

The distinction between energy manager and engineer should be clear at this point (though it is often a shared role).

Model-based diagnosis of energy waste
Principle of the model-based diagnosis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The energy manager identifies the cause of waste, but the engineer determines how to address it. 

The engineer is involved in assessing the cost for a solution, but the energy manager is responsible for making the case for that cost.


Presentation of findings in a clear understandable manner is important (as motivation may be an issue), and determining appropriate treatment often relies on it.


When diagnosis is agreed, delivery of a solution may be obvious or highly complex, but this also needs to be controlled from a time-to-results perspective, as it is a project to be managed (whether large or small- it has been considered worthwhile by triage)


Of essence to all the above is the process of meaningful observation. A complete energy management system, must not only observe what occurs, and trace it, but also move cases through the system from state to state, from competence to competence, and be able to justify each transition in a context that is understandable.

kWIQly Launch

We will be launching kWIQly at Paris LeWeb 2012 on 4th December. It supports the energy manager in all the above, in ensuring that the processes that are applied are deliberate, compliant with best practice ( ISO 50001 ) , well documented and effective.