Is the Power Engineer an Endangered Species?

The story is the same everywhere – as expenses are reduced in every branch of business, the pressure to “eradicate” some of the professions increases. We are no longer surprised to see self-checkout counters in supermarkets instead of real people. Alternatively, we do not even need a brick-and-mortar shops as we do our grocery shopping online. Like watchmen or scriveners in the past, clerks have also become an endangered species. Is this the case of power engineers as well? Is the power engineer becoming an endangered species because smart metering systems are gradually introduced?

Introduction of systems of smart metering means that volume of energy data that need to be processed, analyzed and reported will double. Until now, a corporate power engineer was responsible for these tasks in most companies; the dictionary provides the following description: “A power engineer is responsible for the provision of various buildings and their parts with sufficient supply of energy, such as electric power, gas, water or steam. As part of his job, the power engineer also monitors consumption and makes sure that the energy supply is adequate and that the consumption of energy is economical. He inspects the energy equipment and plans, manages or carries out its maintenance. He checks the expenses on the individual energies regularly and comes up with solutions that reduce the consumption. The power engineer performs regular energy monitoring.” If you see the definition in the light of current technologies, you may come to the conclusion that the power engineer indeed is endangered – all the above mentioned tasks can be made fully automatic with no need of interference of a human being, and the remaining responsibilities (of an executive and management nature) are transferred to financial departments and to senior management or they are outsourced. The gradual increase in the prices of energy also increases the need to save energy. Consequently, the tasks of energy management are taken away from the power engineer and distributed among other employees and managers so that all departments and employees are aware of the need to use energy efficiently. The more are the responsibilities of energy management transferred to others, the less responsibility lies on the shoulders of the power engineer, and energy management thus becomes decentralized.

Yes. The corporate power engineer as we know him is not extinct, but he is endangered.