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Ciara Walls

Ciara Walls Apprentice Plumber

Be Inspired Series

Linda Feely

Domestic Energy Assessor
Bryson Energy

It's all about helping people to live better in their homes

'You get to see in person how the Warm Homes Scheme is benefiting individuals. It is great to hear how much warmer someone's home is and to see how thankful they are for the assistance,'  says Linda

 

What does your job entail?

As a domestic energy assessor for Bryson Energy I carry out property assessments on all types of residential properties. 

I check the eligibility of customers for the 'Warm Homes' grant scheme; complete technical surveys of properties; identify appropriate energy efficiency measures and recommend work to be carried out. 

In a typical day, I could be drilling holes in walls to check for cavity wall insulation, checking loft spaces for loft insulation depths and measuring up for a new heating system or for solid wall insulation.

I also complete domestic energy assessments of properties after Warm Homes Scheme measures have been implemented. This involves visiting properties to collect data and other evidence required to produce a registered and certified Energy Performance Certificate. 

During these visits I also verify that measures installed by the contractor partners under the Warm Homes Scheme have been carried out correctly. 

I really enjoy this part of the job, as you get to see in person how the Warm Homes Scheme is benefiting individuals. It is great to hear how much warmer someone's home is and to see how thankful they are for the assistance. 

Customers regularly express their gratitude for the fact that such a scheme exists. I find working on this scheme very rewarding -- home owners place a level of trust in you, and by implementing a range of measures that improve their environment, you are delivering for them.

Is it 9-5?

The hours are 9am to 5pm but it's not your typical 9-5 job. You get to meet such a diverse range of people and personalities; no two days are the same. 

How did you get into this line of work?

It was a natural progression. I undertook a degree in estate management before working in surveying.

Outline your career to date

As part of my degree I completed a placement year in a surveying firm in Enniskillen.

When I completed my degree I returned to this firm and trained to become a chartered surveyor. I moved to work for Alliance and Leicester as a chartered surveyor before joining Bryson Energy in July 2010 as a domestic energy advisor.

Tell us about your qualifications/training.

After leaving Fermanagh College, where I obtained a BTEC national diploma in business and finance, I went to the University of Ulster, Jordanstown where I gained a 2.1 BSc Hons degree in estate management with a diploma in industrial studies. 

I then worked as a trainee surveyor whilst studying for my membership of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. 

After becoming Chartered, I moved to work for Alliance and Leicester (now Santander) as a chartered surveyor. In 2009, I obtained a City and Guilds level 3 diploma in domestic energy assessment.

In July 2010, I joined Bryson Energy, part of the Bryson Charitable Group, Northern Ireland's leading social enterprise, as a domestic energy advisor.

Bryson Energy has been very good in supporting my continued professional development through in-house and external training. I have completed the DEA Upskills examination which focused on the changes to the EPC and the Green deal.  

What qualities are required for your job -- personal and professional?

Working remotely means that you are heavily reliant on information technology and it is important to have strong communication skills to deal with both customers and colleagues.  

Bryson Energy has a range of structures and appropriate technology in place to support employees in more rural locations and this is something which employees really appreciate.

What are the biggest challenges and rewards of your work?

You can be working in all types of weather and part of the role requires you to work outdoors. As I'm very mobile, traffic and road safety is always a concern. 

However, Bryson Energy are very aware of this aspect and I've attended  training courses such as driver awareness training, fleet vehicle safety, green driving and winter driving courses.  

By providing a service that quite literally transforms people's lives and improves the heat in their home, the rewards that this brings, outweighs any of the challenges. 

For example, I carried out an assessment on an end terrace house in a rural location which required solid wall Insulation, installation of oil fired central heating and loft insulation. The only form of heating in the property was an electric heater in the living room. 

When the work was finished and I went back to carry out the EPC, the energy efficiency rating in this property changed from 12 to 64 and the environmental improvement rating changed from 24 to 55. That is what the Warm Homes Scheme is about -- helping people to live more comfortably in their own homes.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like reading and enjoy going out with friends for something to eat. I also enjoy going to concerts. Anyone got any spare Garth Brooks tickets?!

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?

I won a Fermanagh Intermediate Club Championship medal after numerous runner-up medals. I swapped my boots for running shoes and completed my first 10k run last year.

Who has inspired you most in your life?

 

My parents! They've always been supportive and let me choose my own career path.

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