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Imagine you’re a property owner and your electric bill suddenly spikes one month. You would want to know where this increase in energy consumption is coming from and how you can reduce it so it doesn’t affect your future energy costs.
This is precisely where energy management software can come in handy. It can help you assess your building, asset, or property’s energy consumption and optimize it to reduce costs.
To help you find an energy management tool, we have prepared this guide. Here’s what we’ll cover:
Energy management software is software that helps businesses track and analyze energy consumption to help reduce costs. It typically includes energy usage monitoring; energy data analytics; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems controls; and carbon and sustainability reporting.
You can input data from a smart meter, your past utility bills, or asset-wise or floor-wise breakdowns requested from your energy provider. The software analyzes this data to highlight areas or equipment that need performance improvement. Some solutions also include features to control energy usage and make your consumption more efficient.
Energy management solutions are available with one of two deployment models:
Cloud-based deployment: With this option, the responsibility of hosting and maintaining the solution rests with the vendor, and you access the solution via a browser or a mobile app. These are usually priced on a per-user-per-month or per-asset-per-month basis.
On-premise deployment: With this option, you must handle hosting and maintaining the solution. You may also need to pay for additional support or software updates. These solutions are usually priced through a licensing model and require higher upfront investment for implementation.
Key question to ask a vendor: After considering implementation costs, data migration, and any additional equipment requirements, what is the solution’s total cost of ownership?
To help you narrow down the right energy management solution for you, you’ll need to understand what these tools offer. We’ve listed the most common features below:
Bill import/data collection: Input energy data via multiple sources, including smart meters, utility bills, sensors, or existing building automation systems. Some solutions also make the billing history accessible to users for recordkeeping.
Bill history in Snapmeter
Energy dashboard: Display key performance indicators, such as consumption, cost, and emission of one or multiple buildings, assets, or properties for continuous monitoring.
Dashboard in Energy Manager
Reporting: Analyze energy data to discover inefficient locations or energy-wasting assets, and highlight areas for improvement.
Reporting of cost and consumption trends in EnergyCAP
Usage benchmarking: Compare the energy consumption of your buildings, assets, or properties to standards such as Energy Star scores.
Energy usage benchmarking in Watchwire
Key question to ask a vendor: Will the software integrate with my existing meters, sensors, and building automation tools, or will I need to upgrade some of my existing equipment to be able to implement it?
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations, obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.
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