Reader Profile: Jeffrey Myrdek

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There is hardly a job in the energy sector JeffreyMyrdek, BEP, CEA, CEM, CMVP, LEED Green Associate, has not held. He’s worked as a refrigeration mechanic, licensed electrician, application engineer, energy manager, measurement and verification specialist, HVAC mechanic and control technician, and has done performance contracting for some of the industry’s heavy hitters in various global locales. His myriad experiences have led him to be sympathetic to facilities’ needs.

Myrdek is the global director of energy and sustainability for CBRE, a commercial real estate services and investment firm. Cognizant that company executives are “motivated by return on the investment and responsible to shareholders,” Myrdek said that CBRE can offer solutions with “phenomenal return on investments, utility incentives, or financial programs that will fund projects through savings,” while improving worker comfort and productivity, creating more value for buildings, and reducing operating costs, all of which can be highlighted in the annual Corporate Social Responsibility report. Other benefits include a spot on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, positioning among competitors for sustainability efforts, and sustaining customer loyalty.

Myrdek’s ability to leverage his extensive energy-related experiences laid the foundation for him being honored by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) as the 2018 ‘Energy Manager of the Year’ for Region 1. Myrdek serves clients in the North and South Division of CBRE Energy & Sustainability Platform, covering 15 states and Canada for what Myrdek said is “one of the largest organizations that supplies energy and sustainability services on a global scale.” The AEE award was based on work Myrdek did for a large commercial client resulting in 320 energy projects costing more than $35 million and yielding more than $10.2 million in annualized energy savings over the term of their life while providing more than $5 million in utility incentives.

What He Does Day to Day
Myrdek works in business development, supporting clients without an assigned energy manager to better operate their facilities through audits and other tasks as well as assisting other energy managers with technology and presentations. He examines new technologies on the market and leads efforts to drive pilot projects that may be applicable for some clients, with vendors contributing to pilots or no-cost installations to gather data.

What Led Him to This Line of Work
In the 1970s, Myrdek was working in facilities for corporate Holiday Inn during the Middle East oil embargoes. “I had to rush into reducing their operating costs,” he said. “I saw over the years I could take my talents in facilities and in the trades and bring them into the energy world to make a difference.”

What He Likes Best About His Work
“I love this field. It’s always changing. It’s very challenging. Billions of dollars are being invested and there are billions more that can be invested, making this a great opportunity for people to get involved,” Myrdek added. For him, the demand side is the most fulfilling, as it embraces his technical background. “Seeing projects developed and then installed so that people can be more productive with better lighting and HVAC is very rewarding.”

His Greatest Challenge
Staying current with new technology trends is a challenge not only for him but industry-wide, noted Myrdek, adding that it can be costly to stay relevant by maintaining certifications and attending seminars and trade shows. “With the price of energy dropping significantly, the electricity commodity is going to be less expensive. It will be tougher to sell those solutions,” he said. Alternately, aging electrical infrastructure will require major financial investments,he noted.

“With tremendous technology in renewables, do clients go to microgrids, putting in more localized energy production, whether the means are solar, generators, or fuel cells?” he wondered. Government agencies have a role to play in the extent to which they offer incentives, Myrdek suggested. In Ontario, Canada, for instance, energy consumers are being penalized for inefficiencies in their electrical demand, he explained.

While Myrdek doesn’t foresee a U.S. national policy in carbon tax and trade anytime soon, if it did happen “we’d have so many more opportunities that would benefit the country and the climate,” he added. “There are many options to reduce greenhouse gas and carbon.”

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