Efficiency Leader with Paul Bannister 14 July 2021
The energy management sector is made up of many passionate professionals.
In this month’s Efficiency Leader, we are profiling Paul Bannister, Director of Innovation at DeltaQ, and winner of the Energy Efficiency Champion award at the National Energy Efficiency Awards in 2014.
EEC member DeltaQ is a boutique energy efficiency consultancy serving the eastern seaboard of Australia. With more than 25 years of experience in the energy efficiency sector, Paul is an international authority on energy efficiency in the built environment and is recognised for his role as the primary technical author of the NABERS Energy and Water ratings (including the New Zealand and UK adaptations) and the National Construction Code Section J 2019 revision. Most recently, Paul was appointed to the ACT Climate Change Council.
Can you explain your role at DeltaQ?
My role is Director of Innovation and my job is to provide strategic oversight of major projects, particularly in the energy efficiency policy and program areas. I also keep an eye on what is going on around the world and work out whether we can bring that into what we do here in Australia.
What did you do before joining DeltaQ?
Prior to this, I was in a similar role at Energy Action; before that, I was Managing Director of Exergy Australia (which I sold to Energy Action in 2014).
How would you describe the role DeltaQ plays in the energy management market and Australia’s energy transition?
DeltaQ has a number of roles in these respects. For the ones I am most involved with, it is driving ahead thinking and understanding concerning Section J (Energy Efficiency) requirements within the National Construction Code and assisting NABERS with its expansion in Australia and overseas. We also have a large portfolio of technical energy efficiency projects within Australia and several major (>1MW) PV projects that we manage. DeltaQ is a group of dedicated people all sharing a common goal of changing the future for the better. It is a constant delight to work with such smart and focused people.
How has working from home been and how do you stay connected with your team when you aren’t in the office?
I have been working from home since I started with DeltaQ. This works well because I only work part-time – 15-20 hours a week – so if I had to travel to work I would spend a high percentage of work hours just getting to and from the office. Also, part of the reason for working part-time is that I have some health issues and working from home enables me to manage my time around my health needs. Currently, I make it to the office once every month or less – so staying connected is just part of life. Mostly, it is by phone and video conference; we make a lot of use of Microsoft Teams, which works well for us.
How do you champion energy efficiency in your own home?
I have lived in the same house for over 15 years and in that time, we have added wall and floor insulation, double glazed all the windows, selected efficient appliances and added PV. I am in the middle of a project to upgrade to the maximum amount of PV permitted (15kW from 9kW currently) and add a battery.
When you’re not immersed in Australia’s energy transition, what do you do for fun?
I have a hobby – some might suggest obsession – in model railways; I have been building a reasonably detailed model of a station in England for about the last 20 years…it takes up a whole room. And for fun, I have several other railway projects on the go at any one time. Aside from that, music, walking the dogs…that sort of stuff.
Why do you value being a member of the Energy Efficiency Council?
Energy efficiency is not a field with a natural profile, so it is important to be part of an organisation that keeps the first energy source front of mind for all.
What are you currently excited about in the energy world and where do you see Australia’s energy management markets in 2030?
I’m excited about the increasing focus on practical paths to net zero, and the electrification of large parts of the economy along the way. I have been in the energy management industry for nearly 30 years and it hasn’t changed that much in terms of its business model, even as it has become immeasurably smarter and more active in a technical sense. So, although I’d like to predict some massive change in the business model that makes energy management more core-business, I am inclined to suspect we will just get bigger and smarter. There is a long way for IT and AI to go in this field; if energy management is going to make a mark it needs to become everybody’s daily business, and this is likely to require automation to facilitate. We shall see!
Connect with Paul on LinkedIn.
This article was originally published in the July edition of Efficiency Insight.