The Niche to Nowhere

  • Shirley Hansen
Keywords: Niche to Nowhere


We are gradually letting an incredible opportunity slip through our fingers. Mentally, top management has relegated energy managers to the catacombs. And we have let them.

In our industry, the word “manager,” as it pertains to energy, has become almost meaningless. How much management responsibility does the energy manager have in most organizations? How often does the energy manager sit at the management table?

Can you visualize the energy manager climbing the corporate ladder to be the next CEO? Unfortunately, we can easily paraphrase that old song about not letting our kids grow up to be cowboys by cautioning them not to become energy managers. There is just no future in it. It is a niche to nowhere.

The implications of having the energy manager in this dead-endjob are huge. It has an impact on our industry, our energy future, and even our political perceptions.


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Author Biography

Shirley Hansen

Dr. Shirley Hansen has been active in the energy efficiency industry since the mid-1970s. She led the project to develop energy auditing protocols and headed the task force at US DOE to promulgate the auditing regulations. She has been dubbed the “godmother” of performance contracting. Dr. Hansen was inducted into the AEE Hall of Fame in 1998 and was given a unique “Special Recognition” award at the 2012 WEEC. She is a member of the SPEE Editorial Board. Email: