Employee Spotlight: Mark Robertson

How did you get started with EfficiencyOne?

In 2012, as a new Environmental Engineering graduate, I decided that minimizing climate change was the most meaningful goal I could orient my career around.

I had a friend who worked for EfficiencyOne’s predecessor, Efficiency Nova Scotia Corporation, and I remember him telling me that programs were justified based on energy saved per dollar of investment and that running these programs was cheaper than generating the electricity they avoided.

I couldn’t imagine finding an employer that better aligned with my goal. I now have a career that focuses on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while also reducing costs for Nova Scotians.

Can you tell us about your growth at EfficiencyOne?

I started with EfficiencyOne as an Efficiency Coordinator, and later was promoted to Efficiency Specialist, in the Custom Program. In this role, I was visiting customer sites in all corners of the province and learning about the variety of businesses EfficiencyOne works with, and the challenges they face.

And of course, sampling the chowder along the way.

In 2015, I decided I wanted to work with John Aguinaga, EfficiencyOne’s inaugural Chief Technical Officer, and his team.

At the time, this department was known as Regulatory and Technical Services (RATS). I joined as a Regulatory Specialist, and was later promoted to Regulatory Technical Lead. One of my first tasks was to work with stakeholders and their consultants to improve our Rate and Bill Impact Analysis model. With John’s guidance and help from the amazing team, I learned about key Demand Side Management (DSM) planning concepts like cost-effectiveness testing, DSM plan modeling, incentive-setting methodologies, non-energy benefit quantification, and much more.

You also worked for one of our brands, EfficiencyOne Services, which helps governments, utilities, and other clients meet their energy and resource reduction goals. Can you tell us about that experience?

In 2018, I jumped at an opportunity to work for EfficiencyOne Services as a Project Consultant for Energy Efficiency Alberta in my hometown of Calgary.

It felt great when Energy Efficiency Alberta wanted the expertise and knowledge I had gained during my time at EfficiencyOne.

My main project with Energy Efficiency Alberta was the configuration of a data tracking system.  It was only a term position, but fortunately, as that work was coming to an end, EfficiencyOne opened a position for a similar project. I accepted the position and found myself again leading the design of incentive and savings calculations.

Walk us through your role today.

My title is Manager of Portfolio Engineering. I’m working on a few projects to help improve our forecasts of energy savings and how we use them. This will draw on some forecasting work I did last year, which helped to justify our 2023-2025 DSM Plan.

A good day for me is when I get to create something new – a new perspective on old data, a more efficient way of doing something, or a potential response to an emerging issue.

One thing I love about this industry is that it’s still changing rapidly, and we’re as close to leading that change as anyone.

It’s a relatively small group of people who decide what the future of energy systems and DSM programs look like in Nova Scotia. The potential is there for motivated individuals at EfficiencyOne to have a very direct influence on how this province’s energy systems evolve.