An energy analyst can work in one of several aspects of the energy industry, participating in policy development, efficiency improvement, and business analysis for investors. Depending on the kind of work someone performs the qualifications for the job may vary, but can include degrees in the sciences or business along with industry experience. Certifications are also available to people who focus on efficiency topics and want to be able to provide assurances to their clients and customers. Employers can include government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private companies.
In one sense, an energy analyst works on policy development topics. This requires understanding existing policy and contrasting it with predicted needs, environmental concerns, and targets the government may have set for performance. Analysts compile this information to develop recommendations for policy recommendations at both the national and local level. For example, an energy analyst might work with a municipality to promote a program to get citizens to reduce individual resource use.
Acting as an efficiency consultant, an energy analyst can evaluate use in private homes, facilities, and across a company’s network of properties. The analyst identifies areas where energy use is not efficient and provides suggestions for improvement. These could include measures for weatherizing in homes and individual structures, or the adoption of alternative energy generation to supply a company’s needs. Typically, an energy analyst considers mixed goals, focusing on environmental concerns while cutting costs.
Another area of potential employment for an energy analyst is in the financial industry. These specialists focus on the performance of energy companies so they can make recommendations to their clients, which can include individual utilities and related firms. They may advise mutual funds and other large investors how to get involved in this sector, as well as discussing investments with private individuals who have an interested in developing a position in energy companies. Some energy analysts may write opinion columns and informational guides for people interested in this sector of the economy.
Familiarity with different methods of energy generation, the industry as a whole, and specific policy topics is usually helpful for an energy analyst. It may be necessary to have advanced training in subjects like environmentally friendly construction, economics, and political science to perform specific tasks. Job opportunities may be listed in trade publications as well as directly through resources maintained by firms active in this sector, and may include internship opportunities for college students interested in developing careers in energy analysis.