24 September 2012 — Roger Kluske has an impressive background in energy efficiency. He has worked for the consulting engineers Umow Lai and previously was manager for Built Environment at Sustainability Victoria and manager sustainability for the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance. And he lectures on building services engineering.
In August he moved to AGL Energy Limited for a national role as energy services sector leader for commercial buildings.
The Fifth Estate caught up with him for a chat about work, energy efficiency and the future.
Q: What does your new role entail?
A: In this national role I will focus on carrying out energy efficiency projects within the existing commercial buildings sector. I am particularly interested in streamlining the process, identifying like-minded customers and business partners and investigating new solutions. I have a great deal of experience in working with energy efficiency projects in buildings and I have developed strategic plans for a number of numerous clients, carried out many implemented building opportunity studies, lead building improvement projects and delivered successful outcomes for clients. This role suits me perfectly!
Q: Why did you take it?
A: It’s a great opportunity to create a step change in the market place. All too often energy savings projects sit untouched due to a variety of reasons; financial, split incentives, inability to deliver or even a simple lack of will! I have been frustrated with the lack of progress in this sector. I believe AGL has the energy (pun intended) and smarts to deliver real progress in this space. I started seven weeks ago. It has been a busy time!
Q: What do you hope to achieve in the role?
A: I am really hoping to achieve great things here at AGL. AGL has a large number of business customers with buildings and/or building portfolios. I can change the business community’s mindset to improve and simplify the process, and to delivering real carbon and energy savings results. Commercial buildings are an attractive, but competitive, segment of the energy efficiency market, there are a lot of players; I am looking forward to the challenge.
Q: How does energy efficiency happen?
A: Knowledge is the key. A great deal of energy data is collected and stored away. Together with the physical attributes of the any given building, we can use this knowledge to make effective decisions. An opportunities report will provide the direction for future actions and identify options. A variety of funding solutions exist – and we can examine these options to suit the client. The next process is to ensure a safe, healthy and environmentally friendly implantation of the works.
Q: What’s your background?
A: I previously worked for the consulting engineers Umow Lai. Before this I was manager for Built Environment at Sustainability Victoria and manager sustainability for the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance. I have a diverse background in the engineering services design of new buildings and refurbishing existing buildings to achieve “green” and energy efficiency outcomes for both government the public and private sector. I have gained a wealth of experience in operational management of existing buildings.
I have written a number of strategic papers on the built environment, I regularly present at forums and seminars and I am a sessional lecturer at Victoria University: where I teach building services engineering and building ESD. I am a NABERS assessor, accredited Green Star professional and president of the Victorian committee of Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating.
Q: Finally, what got you started in sustainability?
A: I started in the field, well it must be over 20 years ago, in Energy Efficiency Victoria (the predecessor to Sustainability Victoria). I hate to see energy and resources wasted and work where I can to try to help people and organisations save energy and reduce their carbon emissions.