The Real World: Energy Efficiency


Find out what happens when people stop trying to be green and start saving buildings for real.

As someone who would like to believe she is relatively aware of what it means to conserve and be energy efficient, my experience at Bright Power, albeit brief, has shown me that there is still plenty to learn. Growing up with an extremely practical father who worked as an electrician, I was constantly reminded, if not scolded, for turning on unnecessary lights, or leaving lights on when I left the room. I was taught that LED’s not only save energy, but significantly reduce the electric bill. I was taught to recycle and to consume responsibly, but I was never exposed to the deeper knowledge base that serves as a framework for this entire industry. In other words, being “green” is a little more complicated than the choosing between paper or plastic that most assume it to be.

As an outsider looking in, the question isn’t what does a company like Bright Power do, it’s where do I start? There’s a procurement group that strategizes on how and when to buy energy. There’s a team of developers who build software that consumes energy-related data and a team of analysts that actually digests it. Their insights aid our teams of engineers (yes, that’s three teams of engineers) who get their hands dirty designing solutions and overseeing their implementation.

I’d say the most important revelation I’ve had since starting here is that there is no endpoint in energy efficiency. A project isn’t done after the energy audit is completed or even after a major steam balancing effort. Our analysts need to re-enter the equation by tracking building performance after a project is completed because sticking around and making sure these measures work is the only way to truly manage energy.

Here I thought energy efficiency was about putting up solar panels or getting certifications. It’s a bustling environment full of people who collectively build the energy management experience.

I’ve learned a lot about the industry in my short time here, but one thing is revealing itself rather quickly: energy efficiency is an industry that never sleeps and that’s because it can’t. Bright Power’s long-term approach has shown me that in order to really be effective and cutting edge in energy efficiency, you have to be in it for the long haul.

Kate Christiansen