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Case Study: Day in the life of a Smart Energy Expert

David White, 32, Smart Energy Expert, Scottish Gas

My Morning

Each day I get up at 6.45am and turn on my work tablet. I couldn’t work without it as it lets me know what jobs I’ve got on, when they are and where I’ll be. As soon as I know what my day entails, I jump in the shower and put on some toast. Then I get my son up and get him dressed and fed. He’s just turning one. My wife’s recently gone back to work for the first time in a year, so mornings are a bit hectic at the moment because we’re still getting used to our new routines.

I cover one of the largest areas in Scotland for the company, which means I can be working anywhere from Brechin to Peterhead, so I’m normally on the road by 7.30am. It’s always a different house in a different area, so I’ve got to know a lot of places across the country. The constant change of scenery suits me well and keeps the job interesting!

The work I’m doing involves replacing traditional energy meters with smart meters in homes. Smart meters are being rolled out to homes and businesses as part of a UK Government initiative to upgrade our energy system. These new gas and electricity meters come with a handy smart energy monitor that shows how much energy is being used, in pounds and pence, in near real-time. It helps our customers understand - and actually see - what they’re using and the cost. They also mean an end to estimated bills as the meter readings are automatically sent to us.

My Lunchtime

Lunch generally depends on what time my jobs are for that day. Most jobs generally take around two hours, which means that my lunchtime can change daily. For me this is normal anyway; I’ve got kids, so I’m used to eating at strange times! I take sandwiches with me, but if I go past a place serving hot food I’ll go for that. I much prefer a hot meal to be honest. I have my favourite food stops along my regular drives. There’s a nice little van in Banchory that serves good food, so I’m a happy man when I get jobs in that area!

My Afternoon

I work on my own for the most part, but it’s a fairly sociable job - I get to meet lots of our customers. Some customers are happy to just leave you to it; others like to talk and that’s when they start to ask more about energy saving tips, which I always provide. I find that when people are more aware of their energy though, they have a better idea how to look after their pockets – and the environment. Some people become more inclined to hang their washing out, rather than automatically turning on the tumble drier. Little changes can make a big difference!

Everyone is so welcoming. One thing that still makes me laugh is the number of times I’m on a job and someone offers to make me a cup of tea just after I’ve turned off their power!

My Evening

These days the little one takes up nearly all my time. I love it though, and I’ve been told to enjoy them while they’re young! When I do catch a moment to myself my favourite thing to do is the gardening. I also like to do DIY, go for a run, or go out on my motorbike for a couple of hours if the weather is good. Unwinding on my bike is the ultimate de-stressor. I go up Cairn o’ Mount, which has lots of potholes, but lots of straights.

I enjoy this time to relax because I didn’t have much of it before. I was in the Royal Marines for eleven years, and then in the security industry in Baghdad, working as part of a security team for the British Ambassador. It all got a bit much, so I decided to return to Scotland.

My wife and I moved to Montrose, and when we decided it was time to start a family I started my new career as a Smart Energy Expert. I started as an apprentice and worked my way up with Scottish Gas. I definitely have better work-life balance with this job!

Five reasons I’m happy at work

  • I get home every night to see the little one, which is great because I've never had a 9 to 5 job before
  • Meeting different customers and hearing their stories
  • It's rewarding knowing that my job can help customers in my local community to save energy and potentially money
  • I get to see beautiful parts of Scotland - no day is ever the same
  • There are great opportunities for career progression at Scottish Gas, so hopefully the sky's the limit!

British Gas is Britain’s leading energy and services company, serving more than 10 million homes and over 400,000 businesses across the country. More than 8,000 highly-trained engineers guarantee the highest quality of service for our residential and business customers. We also provide a range of innovative offers and services including connected home Hive™ products, smart meters, and the online tradesman service, Local Heroes.

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