#onedaywith Danny Morgan


Let there be light

Popular and urban. There are many ways to save energy in Berlin.

As we enter Danny’s apartment in Mitte, the shadow of the TV tower captures the roof of the neighboring house. The small three-room apartment is presented stylishly and elegantly with a dash of understatement. Books lie at right angles on tables, glasses fracture the incoming light, plants paint the look perfectly - the handwriting of Danny’s partner, Andy, an art director who has worked on television in Australia. I hardly dare to mess up the arrangement with my presence, but then I decide to sit down on the couch with Danny.

With a coffee cup in his hand, he checks his mails, then we talk about Berlin and his decision to move here. The 42 year old from Brighton worked in Sydney in the field of technical lighting systems. Light, lighting and illumination had always fascinated him. After eight beautiful years, “We wanted to try something new.” Danny found a job at E.ON, where he was offered three locations in the field of Solution Management: Great Britain, Dusseldorf and Berlin. The discussion with his partner Andy lasted about seven seconds. Six weeks ago they boarded the plane to Berlin.

Travelling and cooking are among the main passions that the couple share. Danny had already visited the German capital four times, until eventually the decision to move here finally matured. Both of them regularly explore the city. This is mainly on the weekends, of course, because Danny’s fulltime job at E.ON demands a lot from him. On the list of favorites, Friedrichshain and Prenzlauer Berg are currently at the top of the list. Danny points to the clock. As he packs his stuff, I asked him about Berlin.

Solution management - what does that mean exactly? I ask Danny, who snaps his bag shut and calls to me that we’ll discuss it all at his workplace in Potsdam. The tension in Danny’s body is evident in every step. He acts like a well-trained athlete, talks and telephones while I try to keep up (a note for me: I should smoke less!).

We split up, the photographer and the author drive to Potsdam in the car, while Danny leaves for Alexanderplatz in order to take the S-Bahn there. He takes about half an hour door to door and reaches the ECT long before we do. We enter an inconspicuous purpose-built building in the industrial estate and ride to the top floor of E.ON Connecting Energies (ECT).

Danny is advising business customers.

The individual offices are grouped behind a fancy reception with all the charm of a shoe box. There is also a large room with a huge display wall, just like the one in the broadcasts from NASA’s control center. As we look around, smoke rises from the ground, from a kind of artificial volcano. What on earth? As Santiago (who came from Colombia and landed a job at E.ON after a stay in the USA) explains to me laughing, the Babelsberg film studios across the street are performing their stunt show. He has a similar biography to that of Danny, as most of the crew is comprised of engineers.

Before the training begins, I dig deeper to find out what is being worked on. Danny drops the keyword “B2B”. This means that business customers are being advised here, especially with regard to saving energy.

From Brighton via Sydney to Berlin.

“It sounds stupid, but why energy-saving advice? Aren’t you shooting yourself in the foot?” I ask. The touch of an ironic smile surrounds Danny’s mouth as he tells me about the so-called new worlds of energy. The business model of only selling electricity contracts is now old school.  Today, individual solutions have to be developed for each customer. Solution management for maximum energy efficiency! Just recently, the team was able to help a customer in the automobile sector save a whopping 80% of its energy. Such a saving is not unusual for producing companies. This is because, as Danny explains, they act very efficiently in their actual core business, but pay less attention to consumption in terms of electricity, light, heating or air conditioning.

I sit in the small training room, where Danny shows a newly developed LED luminaire to a handful of colleagues from the sales team. It produces a pleasantly bright light that is not too bright, saving almost 50% of electricity compared to comparable models. Danny explains the features patiently and with focus, demonstrating a passion for the product. He manages to embody an almost infectious aura of seriousness and tranquillity. Men like him buy sentences such as “We just have to change a gear” or “The zombies at the gates of the city do not represent a problem”.

It’s not about being perceived as a white knight. Money makes the world go round! As Danny says, “We bring the expertise with us, to see how we can achieve the best result”. It never gets boring.  Each customer has different requirements. 

After two further meetings and several phone calls, it’s back to Berlin. The after-work evening starts with a jog through the local district.  Andy then joins him, chatting happily while trotting along, while Danny quietly works off the day. A break, stretching, laughter, a short embrace, then cappuccinos from the “Späti” (convenience store).

Danny returns to the apartment, Andy hops off to the gym. An hour later the food prepared by the two hobby chefs is presented in such a delicious way that I photograph it and then Instagram it:  #foodporn! “You obviously feel comfortable in Berlin. Is there anything that you miss?”, I ask Danny, while I empty my glass of wine. “Maybe mountains.  I like to climb. I’ve already found an indoor climbing place in Wedding. I’ll test it out on the weekend!” I walk a few steps towards Alexanderplatz where I have the television tower in front of me, with its lights brightly flashing into the night. I wonder if it's an ECT customer?

Danny is a true sports fan
The day ends with a glass of wine and a delicious dinner.