My role as a Technical Support Engineer (Power) involves providing technical support and advice for field operatives installing meters and SMETS. I maintain relationships with customers and suppliers where I answer any questions on the installation job itself. I conduct site readiness checks and review any requests for emergency jobs and risk assess potentially dangerous situations before engineers attend. I also validate all work carried out and review engineer reports to ensure meters are installed correctly and are recording consumption accurately.
Some of my core deliverables are keeping engineers and members of the public safe at all times and protecting the outstanding reputation of Energy Assets by ensuring all work is completed safely and to the highest possible standards.
Skills required for Technical Support Engineers include:
Problem solving – Due to the huge variety of electrical meter set-ups across the whole of the UK we are often asked about solutions for unique set-ups which we may never of come across before, there are no documents or guidelines that can cover every scenario we see. This means that we have to be able to solve problems going from past experience and knowledge gained to come up with the best possible solutions.
Risk assessment and analysis – Often when an engineer calls for advice and provide photos we may identify risks that the engineer has missed. As there are significant risks involved when changing an electric meter the ability to carry out dynamic risk assessments from information and photos provided by another source is vital.
Communication – We have to be able to clearly communicate with our engineers so they understand exactly what is required of them. As we are not on site we cannot physically show them what needs to be done or how to wire in an installation correctly so we have to be able to verbally explain what is required. It is vital that we ensure an engineer has understood our advice and knows how to proceed. As well as this we often need to relay very technical information to customers when they enquire about metering systems, it is important we do not use jargon and put our response in a manner which could be understood by someone that does not have technical knowledge of what we are describing.
Working at Energy Assets during a pandemic.
We have a team of 5 and during the first lockdown we went down to a team of 2. It was difficult adapting to the challenges that arose but I am glad I was given the opportunity to continue to work throughout the lockdown. I was given the opportunity to work on putting together a new code of practice which I found very enjoyable. A high point would be when we found out that my colleagues that had been furloughed were still going to receive 100% of their normal pay as it showed that Energy Assets does value its staff.
Maintaining a work/life balance
Working from home has vastly improved my work life balance. I used to have a 75 minute commute each way to work so now I have an extra 2 and a half saved as I don’t need to travel in to the office. This has really helped me to have a healthier work life balance. My line manager is also very understanding and flexible when required.
I work with 4 other TSE’s on the power team, power TSE’s are part of the Technical desk. The Tech desk also has Gas TSE’s who do the same job on the Gas side of the business and non-technical advisors who process aborts for reasons which are not technical.
Between the 5 TSE’s there is several decades of metering experience and knowledge. When we worked in the office it was easy to collaborate and talk over any issues and the best solution. Remote working was a challenge at first but we have now adapted and still hold calls to discuss problems and the best solutions.
Motivations and Challenges
In this job, we are constantly challenged to find solutions to unique scenarios or metering issues which are not in any code of practice or guidance document. By working as a team and using our combined knowledge and past experience we always come up with a safe and practical solution. I am motivated by keeping engineers safe and knowing that every day I am challenged to think on my feet and come up with viable solutions. Getting the opportunity to assist newer engineers and progress their skills and knowledge.
Evolution at Energy Assets
I started at Energy Assets 4 years ago as an apprentice meter fitter with no previous experience or knowledge. Since then the company has provided me with additional training and given my opportunities to develop myself. I am now in a role where I have the opportunity to make a real impact and am relied upon by roughly 50 field staff. I am truly thankful to Energy Assets for the being given the chance to take on this extra responsibility. 4 years ago I could never have predicated I would be in the job role I am now. I am always looking for new opportunities and advancement within the company where possible. I would like to take a more active role in the compliance department if the right position became available.
Advice I would give is always ask questions and seek to improve your knowledge. If you don’t understand something don’t just follow the advice your given make sure you understand the reason behind the advice and why you need to do what you are being asked. There is a vast wealth of experience and knowledge available with your colleagues, never be afraid to ask them for advice.
When I was a meter fitter for the company I had to travel down to London to work on a project installing meters for a block of flats. At the end of the week the project manager let me know how happy they were with everything that Energy Assets had done including my own work. The next week another MOP (meter operator) ended up being appointed to install the rest of the meters as they had quoted a lower price. After one week the Project manager called up and asked for Energy Assets to take over the work as the other MOP was not able to provide the same high level of service and work quality. Realising that I work for a company that is regarded as one of the best and most professional in the industry was certainly a memorable moment.