In the framework of the Virtual Power Plant Program, our colleague János Nagy has won the Energy Advisor of the Year 2020 Prize. The patrons of the program were the Hungarian President Dr. János Áder and Special Commissioner of the Prime Minister Dr. Katalin Szili.
János Nagy is an unbelievably humble and modest person. When I invited him for a coffee to talk about his award, first he didn’t really understand why I would want to sit down to talk to him. “I was just doing my job, nothing extraordinary. I wouldn’t have thought I would be awarded”, he said.
This is not the first award János Nagy has been acknowledged. After a brief research, it turned out he was awarded the Bláthy and the Urbanek Prizes of the Hungarian Electrotechnical Association. Furthermore, he is an honorary member of the Association of Hungarian Architects, whereas on the Day of Architects the Ministry for National Economy (Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga) awarded him with a certificate for his outstanding professional activity. Lately, he has been awarded for his teaching, consulting and advisory role in the program Increasing Energy Efficiency held by Magyar Innováció és Hatékonyság Nonprofit (MI6) Kft.
The question is: what should one do to earn the “Energy Advisor of the Year” Award?
In János’s case, it is a sort of lifetime achievement award. In the course of his professional career, teaching and communicating the importance of energy-saving have always played a significant part. When his message received public interest, he was a natural choice.
He teaches the topic of lighting technology and energy-saving and at the same time works as a thesis supervisor at the EUREM Energy Manager training of the German-Hungarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, which runs, among other things, the Young Energy Europe (YEE) project. Its goal is to call young employees’ attention to the importance of corporate energy efficiency as well as currently unexplored energy-saving possibilities. The associate of B+N does significant work here too, as several people from his work environment emphasized: János teaches a lot and has proven his expertise in the field of energy management for so long that it would be difficult to find somebody more deserving of this award.
“We need to bear in mind at all times that the cleanest energy is the one we haven’t produced or consumed yet“, said the electric engineer energy manager.
János Nagy works at B+N Referencia Zrt. as Head of Electrical Engineering. In addition, in his spare time he is the President of the Hungarian Lighting Technology Association, works as a teacher of several educational institutions, does professional mentoring and regularly gives lectures at conferences.
When I ask him what his title covers and what he deals with at B+N, he says this with a straight face: “everything that electrocutes, including weak current systems and strong current systems, i.e. safety technology, building operation, gates, elevators, switch-boxes, etc., in short, the management and maintenance of electric devices”.
His eyes are sparkling with enthusiasm as he is telling me about how an unexpected event made him work with his colleagues all weekend. He says it is absolutely normal, a part of his work. He likes what he does, it energizes him.
“I have been lucky all my life, I could find the joy in whatever I was doing, whether dealing with industrial automation in an enormous factory or later being a unit-leader of an electricity provider. Then I had the chance to work on the street lighting of Budapest, which was a very interesting project for me. In my opinion lighting technology is one of the most beautiful professions.”
For a non-professional, it might be difficult to see what makes this profession beautiful. When I ask him to tell me more about the details, he looks at me, has a sip of his coffee and I can clearly tell from the sparkling of his eyes: this is a happy man, who loves what he does.
I will try to summarize his answer. The gist of it is “making it possible for people to continue their activities after sunset, and pursue an active lifestyle even late at night. We improve their visual comfort and paint a nicer environment for them with light. This way we make it possible for them to live a quality life even late at night. We light up our interior and exterior areas, the buildings and the streets and create ambiance with light. In my current position I returned from the narrow field of electrical engineering and lighting technology to a wider spectrum of our profession. I deal with a lot of things and it gives me a sense of professional satisfaction”.
“It is the joy of work that gives me energy”, summarizes the 63-year-old expert, who is the father of an economist daughter and a designer son and the happy husband of a high-school IT teacher.
What does it mean to have an energy conscious mindset?
János Nagy: We should start thinking in an energy conscious way in terms of our immediate environments first. Try switching off the lamp if you are not using it. But before that, try to do your shopping more consciously, with the energy efficiency of devices, lighting or electric appliances in mind. Mind when and how much you use your car and whether you can use public transportation, a bike or walk 2 stops. It’s also very important how much water you consume – unnecessarily. We have plenty of opportunities in our life to save energy. These might seem insignificant, but it is easy to see that on a global scale, the small things can add up to spectacular changes!