This job is sometimes referred to by alternative titles
Energy auditors assess the amount of energy and resources used by buildings, organisations and businesses. Based on the assessment results, they make recommendations on how to make these buildings or organisations more energy efficient.
New energy auditors usually earn
$50K-$70K per year
Energy auditors with five or more years' experience usually earn
$70K-$100K per year
Source: EMANZ, 2016.
Pay for energy auditors varies depending on qualifications and experience.
- New energy auditors can expect to earn between $50,000 and $70,000 a year.
- Those with five or more years' experience, who are accredited, may earn $70,000 to $100,000, or more.
Source: Energy Management Association of New Zealand (EMANZ), 2016.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the figures and diagrams in our job information)
What you will do
Energy auditors may do some or all of the following:
- inspect buildings and other sites and carry out energy surveys/audits
- ensure accurate records are maintained and energy monitoring data is collected regularly
- develop methods to reduce energy use at businesses and organisations, and help put these methods into practice
- monitor and review the effectiveness of any energy reduction measures, and verify any savings made from these changes
- compile reports and/or present findings to clients
- provide technical and practical advice, and offer training on energy efficiency
- meet with and provide technical support to mechanical/electrical design engineers.
Skills and knowledge
Energy auditors need to have knowledge of:
- energy management and renewable energy issues
- how to measure a building's energy use
- building services and controls such as centralised computer systems for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning
- the energy/electricity market and pricing
- legislation on energy efficiency and carbon reduction
- how to manage projects.
- usually work a 40-hour week, though they may work evenings or weekends when buildings are empty
- spend most of their time either at their office or visiting worksites such as office buildings or factories
- may travel locally and nationally to visit sites.
What's the job really like?
Energy auditor Adam Marsh investigates a building's energy use, and looks for ways to make it more efficient.
What's an energy audit?
"The audit process is about finding out how energy is used in a building as a whole, and finding ways to improve it. You're going to look at your biggest energy users first, such as the air-conditioning and lighting."
What happens after the audit?
"Once the audit's done, we compile the information and assess the best way to reduce energy use in the building. We then present our findings to the customer in a way that is easy to understand."
Why is this sort of work important?
"Energy consumption is becoming more of a concern and people are becoming more aware of how much energy they use and the environmental issues that surround it.
"New Zealand can be completely sustainable if it wants to. Obviously New Zealand has advantages, like having hydro and geothermal capabilities, and enough generation ability to cover the population, but to become the first country to be totally sustainable would really put New Zealand on the map."
To become an energy auditor, you need a tertiary qualification in any of these fields:
- environmental science and management
- engineering (especially energy, renewable or sustainable energy, and electrical, mechanical and chemical process engineering)
- building science
- quantity surveying
- applied science in energy management.
A number of specialist courses in energy management are available. If you are considering postgraduate study, look for courses offering a work placement, as practical skills are highly valued by employers. The Energy Management Association of New Zealand (EMANZ) runs training courses for energy auditors and managers.
Subjects such as maths, physics, chemistry and economics are useful.
Energy auditors need to be:
- able to work to strict deadlines
- well organised, with good planning skills
- methodical with calculations and reporting
- able to work well in a team
- good written and verbal communicators.
Useful experience for energy auditors includes:
- building and construction work
- work involving accounting or economics
- work servicing building systems such as heating and ventilation systems
- work with specialised energy processes, like those at a milk processing plant or brewery.
Energy auditors can become accredited through the Energy Management Association of New Zealand (EMANZ). Auditor accreditation requires about five years of energy auditing experience.
Find out more about training
- Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA)
- 0800 358 676 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.eeca.govt.nz
- Energy Management Association of New Zealand (EMANZ)
- (04) 385 2839 - email@example.com - emanz.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Limited demand for energy auditors
Opportunities for energy auditors are limited because:
- the occupation is small
- organisations often complete energy audits internally, rather than hiring external energy auditor consultants.
While it can be difficult to find an entry-level energy auditor role, it is a reasonably secure job once you are in.
Private businesses will provide future opportunities
Future growth is likely to be driven by private businesses wanting to reduce their energy costs, rather than any legislatively required response to climate change and greenhouse gas reduction.
Large international companies operating in New Zealand use energy auditors here as part of their wider general policies. For example, European multinational companies are legally obliged to comply with European Union energy efficiency targets, so must do so here too.
Other opportunities are also likely to arise when:
- organisations wish to improve their brand image and gain a reputation for environmental awareness
- councils and public bodies, like hospitals and zoos, contract energy auditors to help them save money in the long term.
Types of employers varied
Energy auditors may work for:
- energy services consultancy firms
- companies that deliver specific services such as heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and lighting systems
- big organisations, looking after their energy systems and efficiently managing facilities such as waste control processes or buildings.
Energy auditors may also be self-employed, and contract to larger engineering companies.
Energy managers, who work full-time for a single organisation and manage its energy use, work for public and private employers, such as councils and companies that use a lot of energy.
- Davis, M, senior energy consultant, Energy Solution Providers, Careers New Zealand interview, February 2016.
- Roose, S, divisional manager, Enercon, Careers New Zealand interview, February 2016.
Progression and specialisations
Energy auditors may progress to become energy managers, and manage energy use at large commercial or industrial organisations. They can also set up their own businesses.
Last updated 7 June 2017