Full-Time Energy Efficiency in Water Utilities
The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (SWBNO) aims to reduce energy consumption and enhance operational efficiency. The FUSE Executive Fellow will analyze energy usage, identify energy reduction opportunities, and lead energy efficiency projects, ultimately transforming SWBNO into a more sustainable and cost-effective agency that better serves the community.
Fellowship Dates: October 23, 2023 – October 21, 2024
Salary: Executive Fellows are FUSE employees and receive an annual base salary of $80,000. Fellows can also access various health, dental, and vision insurance benefits. Compensation for this year of public service is not intended to represent market-rate compensation for the experienced professionals in our program.
ABOUT THE FUSE EXECUTIVE FELLOWSHIP
FUSE is a national nonprofit working to expand social and economic opportunities, particularly for communities that have been limited by a history of systemic and institutionalized racism. FUSE partners with local governments and communities to more effectively address pressing challenges by placing experienced professionals within city and county agencies. These FUSE Executive Fellows lead strategic projects designed to advance racial equity and accelerate systems change. Since 2012, FUSE has led over 250 projects in 40 governments across 20 states, impacting the lives of 25 million people.
When designing each fellowship project, FUSE works closely with government partners and local stakeholders to define a scope of work that will achieve substantive progress toward regional priorities. FUSE then conducts an individualized search for each project to ensure that the selected candidate has at least 15 years of professional experience, the required competencies for the role, and deep connections to the communities being served. They are data-driven and results-oriented and can effectively manage complex projects by developing actionable roadmaps and monitoring progress to completion.
Executive Fellows are hired as FUSE employees and embedded in government agencies for at least one year of full-time work. They receive training, coaching, and professional support from FUSE throughout their fellowships to help achieve their project goals. FUSE Executive Fellows bring diverse perspectives and new approaches to their projects. They build strong relationships with diverse arrays of stakeholders, foster alignment within and across various layers of government, and build partnerships between governments and communities.
The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (SWBNO) is a vital local government utility responsible for providing safe drinking water, treating wastewater, and managing stormwater runoff to prevent extensive flooding. To fulfill these crucial functions, SWBNO operates six major campuses and 122 pumping stations across the city, employing hundreds of workers and maintaining a fleet of vehicles.
Given its scale, SWBNO’s facilities consume substantial electrical power. While the agency has made efforts to enhance energy efficiency, such as installing energy-efficient lighting, larger opportunities for energy savings remain untapped. Smart building management systems, major building system overhauls, and on-site solar energy generation have not been fully explored due to limited capacity within the agency. SWBNO’s leadership is committed to reducing the organization’s overall energy consumption. Fortunately, funds are available from Entergy, the local electric utility, to support or heavily subsidize various energy efficiency projects. Furthermore, emerging federal programs may provide funding for solar panel installations.
By reducing energy consumption, SWBNO can serve the community more cost-effectively and make significant progress toward operating in an environmentally sustainable manner. The agency is also concerned about creating better working conditions for its employees. Energy efficiency initiatives hold the potential to improve work environments by providing enhanced lighting and climate control, thereby enhancing the quality of work life.
To analyze energy consumption and implement projects that reduce energy use, SWBNO will collaborate with FUSE. The appointed FUSE Executive Fellow will engage with agency stakeholders, gather and analyze energy usage data, and develop a prioritized list of opportunities for energy reduction. Subsequently, the Executive Fellow will initiate the implementation of these improvements. A successful Executive Fellow will play a pivotal role in reducing the energy footprint of this significant public utility, resulting in a more efficient agency that better serves the community.
PROJECT SUMMARY & POTENTIAL DELIVERABLES
The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the fellow, and FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship.
Beginning in October 2023, the Executive Fellow will engage with agency stakeholders, gather and analyze energy usage data, and develop a prioritized list of opportunities for energy reduction. They will then lead the initial implementation of these improvements, working towards reducing the energy footprint of SWBNO and enhancing its overall efficiency.
To ensure the sustainability and long-term impact of the fellowship work, the Executive Fellow will employ several strategies. They will actively engage with SWBNO staff, looking to identify training and resource opportunities to empower employees in understanding and maintaining energy efficiency measures. This knowledge will enable SWBNO to continue managing and improving energy consumption beyond the fellowship. The Fellow will also build relationships among stakeholders, including agency leadership, staff, and external partners, fostering collaboration and ensuring ongoing support for energy efficiency efforts. Regular meetings, updates, and engagement activities will promote a sustainable culture within SWBNO. Additionally, the Fellow will establish monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to track project performance, collect data, measure energy reduction, and assess cost savings and environmental benefits. Sharing these findings with SWBNO leadership will help to demonstrate the value of the initiatives and inform future decision-making.
By October 2024, the Executive Fellow will have overseen the following:
- Comprehensive Energy Consumption Analysis: The Executive Fellow will thoroughly analyze SWBNO’s energy consumption, gathering data from various sources and engaging with agency stakeholders. This analysis will provide a comprehensive understanding of the current energy usage patterns, identifying areas of inefficiency and opportunities for improvement. By evaluating the energy consumption across SWBNO’s facilities, including major campuses, pumping stations, and buildings, the Fellow can develop a holistic approach to energy reduction.
- Prioritized List of Energy Reduction Opportunities: Based on the findings from the energy consumption analysis, the Executive Fellow will develop a prioritized list of opportunities for energy reduction. This list will identify specific projects and initiatives with the highest energy savings and operational efficiency potential. The Fellow will consider financial feasibility, environmental impact, and scalability factors to ensure that the recommended opportunities align with SWBNO’s goals and resources. The prioritized list will serve as a roadmap for the implementation phase.
- Implementation of Energy Efficiency Projects: The Executive Fellow will play a pivotal role in implementing the identified energy efficiency projects. They will work closely with SWBNO staff, external partners, and contractors to being to execute the recommended initiatives effectively. This may involve overseeing the installation of energy-efficient systems, coordinating the integration of smart building management systems, exploring the use of solar energy for on-site power generation, and facilitating upgrades to major building systems. The Fellow will ensure that the projects are executed efficiently, within budget, and in line with the sustainability goals of SWBNO.
- Executive Sponsor – Ghassan Korban, Executive Director; Sewerage & Water Board
- Project Supervisor – Stephen Nelson, Deputy General Superintendent of Engineering and Services; Sewerage & Water Board
In addition to the qualifications listed below, a facility or property management background is strongly preferred for this project. Knowledge of public procurement or energy efficiency would be a plus, but is not required.
- Synthesizes complex information into clear and concise recommendations and action-oriented implementation plans.
- Develops and effectively implements both strategic and operational project management plans.
- Generates innovative, data-driven, and result-oriented solutions to difficult challenges.
- Responds quickly to changing ideas, responsibilities, expectations, trends, strategies and other processes.
- Communicates effectively both verbally and in writing, and excels in both active listening and conversing.
- Fosters collaboration across multiple constituencies in order to support more effective decision making.
- Establishes and maintains strong relationships with a diverse array of stakeholders, both inside and outside of government, and particularly including community-based relationships.
- Embraces differing viewpoints and implements strategies to find common ground.
- Demonstrates confidence and professional diplomacy, while effectively interacting with individuals at all levels of various organizations.
FUSE is an equal opportunity employer with core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply for this position.