13 October

Day in the life of a Renewable Technology Operative

Gary tells us what his day as a Renewable Technology Operative looks like.
A photo of Gary smiling

7.30am - My first job of the day is to complete my van checks and any paperwork from the day before. I then check my tablet for my first job of the day, set my Sat Nav and off I go.

My job ranges from providing a repair service and a system check around heat pumps, solar thermal and solar PV.

8am - I arrive at the first job (sometimes it can be a one-and-a-half hours journey to get to my first job).

I knock on the door and stand back because of covid times. I feel it is more respectful and I introduce myself and ask the question:  ‘Do you wish me to wear PPE or do you have anything you want me to be aware of while working in your home?’ 

The next thing I do is ask questions (fact find) about their energy systems along the lines of: How has it been running, any problems, are all of your heating and hot water requirements met and what are your electric bills like cost wise? This helps me in carrying out servicing or repairs. 

I complete the job I'm booked to do, tidy up and then offer energy advice with regards to running a heat pump heating system. During the conversation I get lots of feedback from which I can offer pointers to help run the system more efficiently.  

At this time it has become an important role of a renewables operative to ensure everything is tuned as well as possible to save money on electric bills.

Finally I test the smoke alarms and ask if there is anything else to fix while I'm here. If there is and if it is straight forward I will try and sort it here and now. Sometimes I will need to ring the planners and ask for the correct trade person to sort it out. 

9.30am - Off to my next job. Sometimes I will have to attend a property where the customer may have mobility issues so I will ask certain questions that will help me tailor the settings of the heat pump for that person or household. 

Sometimes the people I visit don't get to see many people during the day so I will chat whilst working. I have even made cups of tea or coffee for people who struggle and will spend a few extra minutes chatting. 

It is great meeting lots of different people, some have amazing stories to tell. The other day a person asked me if I could look at the floor as it had a small crack from wheelchair use and was worried as a new floor surface had been ordered and wasn't sure they could fit the new floor. So I rang the flooring company to see if that would be okay and it was so everyone was happy.

Last of all I thank the customer for waiting in for me and off to the next job. I always treat people’s homes like my own and treat customers how I would like to be treated.

11.30am - Next is a heat pump service job. I serviced this system the year before so it is a great time to check my settings did save money and ask questions on the running of the system. Settings on modern heat pumps are really important, they have to be tuned correctly to ensure running costs are under control. I noticed the threshold on the front door was hanging off so out with the screwdriver and job done. Happy customer. 

1.30pm - Driving along the coast between Lands End and St Ives on a sunny day is a real smile maker and I feel really lucky to be working in such a beautiful county, mind you I'm from Yorkshire so I'm used to beautiful views.

I am off to an underground car park to service the car exhaust extraction system. My senses are on full alert on this job, making sure everything is completed correctly and double checked . This is a true lone worker job as I don't have to knock on any doors, it is the other side of the coin just getting on with the job on my own. Sometimes I will see people and will always say hello so our customers recognise our uniform. I think it is important to be friendly and approachable whilst out and about. Car park done. 

3.30pm - I receive a call from my manager who asks if everything is okay. You are never on your own at LiveWest; if I'm not having a good day I can pick up my phone and call a number of people from my manager to one of many wellbeing groups in LiveWest. 

My next job is a breakdown on a heat pump so I have the opportunity to use something called Techsee. This allows me to call the customer and see the control panel through the customer’s phone. It took a bit of getting used to but now it’s second nature. 

From the images I am getting I can see the pressure is low so I direct the customer to top up the system. Using Techsee saves me having to drive to Bodmin which means home in time. It is Monday so I have to rush out as I volunteer at Padstow Sea Cadets on Mondays and Fridays.

If you would like to work with us, you can view our latest vacancies here.

 

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