ClearVUE.Business’ Director of Energy Services Dan Smith has been made a Fellow of the Energy Institute, the UK’s chartered professional membership body for people who work across the energy sector.
Being made a Fellow of the Energy Institute is the highest level of recognition within the chartered body for thought leaders and innovators within the energy sector.
With a career spanning over 30 years in the energy sector, Dan Smith has spearheaded our energy solutions at ClearVUE.Business, providing bespoke services in energy management to our UK and international partners and helping them achieve their net zero goals.
We sat down with Dan to speak to him about his career in the energy sector, as well as his appointment as Fellow of the Energy Institute.
What inspired you to pursue a career in energy management, and what path did you take to get there?
I have been working in energy and energy management for over 30 years now, so my original inspiration is a distant memory! However, I did a degree in Fuel and Energy Engineering at the University of Leeds and graduated in 1992, and have been working in this field ever since. I was always drawn to the sciences, and was originally going to study Chemical Engineering, but at the time thought Fuel and Energy Engineering looked more interesting and suited to me, and that was and continues to be a great decision.
What does your Fellowship mean to you?
I have been a Chartered Energy Engineer and Member of the Energy Institute for many years, so becoming a Fellow was the next logical step and a nice way to recognise my contribution to the industry.
How has working with various companies influenced your understanding of energy services?
Once you have an academic understanding, there is then no better way to learn about energy than working closely with many different companies. I have been very fortunate in having worked in many different countries including China, Eastern Europe, Kenya, Tanzania, and worked in many different industries from food and drink to mining, heavy engineering to fabrics, as well as the commercial sector. I have also worked as a consultant and as an Energy Manager, so I have experienced both sides of the role. Energy management is a combination of technical skills and the ability to audit and evaluate plant and equipment, but there is also a crucial softer role which is necessary to influence people and behaviour, as operational change is often the quickest win at the lowest cost. Due to the wide variety of my work there has not been a single place where I have not learned something.
What does your day-to-day job involve?
I look after a team of energy managers, and we work with a variety of different companies across all sectors helping with their journey to energy efficiency and carbon reduction. I have also been involved in developing our energy management and carbon accounting platform, which is both a hardware and software solution to combine big data into all aspects of energy. I personally also act as energy manager for a selection of bigger clients, which can involve undertaking audits, planning strategies, facilitating energy forums – whatever is needed to make companies more aware of their responsibilities and ultimately emit less carbon.
What role does energy play in the UK’s sustainability journey?
Energy is integral in the UK’s sustainability journey, but obviously, it is not the only part. Many years ago, working with large industrials was predominantly looking after the direct emissions (scope 1 and 2) but now we help customers baseline and reduce upstream and downstream scope 3 emissions and this feeds directly into the wider sustainability issues – for example helping companies become aware of the carbon impact of packaging of their product long after it has left their premises ties in with educating the public on their actions with respect to waste. This is a huge issue, we need to all work together to make a difference.