The process of energy management is designed to help businesses to proactively monitor, control and ultimately reduce energy consumption. This process will ideally cut down on the amount of wasted energy, lower the amount of carbon emissions produced by a business and reduce costs. With the ability to streamline your business electricity and gas usage and reduce your bills, a well-managed and properly implemented energy management strategy can either involve small changes, such as investing in more efficient equipment and providing better training for your employees, or through larger, more comprehensive changes, chiefly with the help of specially designed commercial energy management software (EMS).
Energy management systems
Various different types of EMS allow for technology-aided processes of analysing, monitoring and tracking all aspects of your business’ energy usage habits. Using the data collected,energy management strategies can be implemented accurately and efficiently to change these habits accordingly, cutting costs and making your business more energy efficient in the process. But what are some common examples of energy management software, what benefits do these technologies offer, how can you save energy, and which are the top suppliers of EMS in the UK? In this post, we answer all of these questions and more.
What is energy management software?
Energy management software is a catch-all term to describe any automated technological tools that can be installed by a business to monitor, collect and analyse their energy consumption. This can be done in a number of different forms, from utility bill tracking, real-time metering and carbon and sustainability reporting to building specially programmed lighting and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) control systems. These tools can take various forms and differ greatly in terms of sophistication.
EMS can be used as part of a larger energy management strategy – initially to implement a company-wide energy audit to highlight areas of the business in which energy is being wasted and provide energy saving tips, before then being used more generally as part of the day-to-day running of the organisation. This software in its various forms can automatically send energy data back to a central computer or app, flag any unusual data and diagnose potential energy-related problems instantly.
What are the benefits of energy management software?
Looking at the bigger picture, the benefits of EMS are simple. These technologies enable organisations of all sizes to control costs, cut waste and minimise carbon outputs using technology. In turn, this can improve a company’s corporate image, showing they are willing to embrace corporate social responsibility by becoming more energy efficient.
However, it is the significant day-to-day benefits of EMS that makes these technologies so beneficial. These include:
- Accurate data collection – EMS is most commonly used to create a master energy database for a business. This database can be used to accurately measure and monitor energy consumption, highlight areas of waste and cut down on billing errors and late fees.
- Energy reporting – EMS can be used to provide detailed reports on not only how much energy your company consumes, but also the ways in which it consumes. These reports can be used to specifically pinpoint areas of waste, as well as documenting how your energy usage changes as a result of various factors, such as time of day, weather conditions and shift patterns. This data can then be used to reduce waste.
- Operational control – specific EMS tools, such as smart HVAC systems, dynamic lighting controls and automated electricity timers can help your business dictate energy consumption and provide increased energy management powers to line-managers or specifically appointed ‘efficiency monitors’. This control can drastically reduce energy wastage.
Top 10 energy management software suppliers
Although likely to save your business money in the long term, EMS installation often requires substantial initial investment. With energy management software prices in mind, when choosing which supplier to purchase from you need to be confident you are getting good quality products at rates you can afford. The following list provides our top 10 EMS suppliers and a brief overview of how they can help your business.
- UD Group
Offering a range of EMS tools, including Asset Register software and an Integrated Procurement Tool, this UK-based supplier is a market leader when it comes to corporate energy management. The advanced capabilities of the UD Group’s EMS range ensures any business can control and monitor their energy consumption thanks to up-to-date, reliable and continuous data. Although best suited for medium to large-sized businesses, UG can supply EMS for single-site businesses as easily as it can for international multi-site corporations.
eSight is unusual in the EMS industry in that its systems operate entirely online. Focusing on clients ranging from large businesses to SMEs and even start-ups, eSight converts all consumption data into monetary units, making it more relatable and easier for business owners to digest. On its website, eSight claims it can reduce your business’ energy consumption, costs and carbon emissions by up to 30 per cent.
- SAP Energy Management Software
SAP’s recently redesigned EMS is specifically tailored to not only streamline your business’ energy consumption and increase profits, but also make your organisation more sustainable in the process. It focuses on allowing a business to gather detailed reports on energy consumption – both on a site-by-site basis and over the entire organisation – to identify the best ways to find and implement cost-effective energy management strategies. This EMS has seen many businesses cut costs and become more environmentally compliant.
- Cisco Energy Manager Solutions
A supplier of innovative EMS, Cisco’s systems are designed to control, monitor and analyse the energy usage of any of your business’ devices that are connected to a network without the need for hardware to be installed. After launching innovative new solutions, including device support for computer room air conditioning and uninterruptible power supplies, the supplier claims it can reduce business energy costs by as much as 60 per cent, depending on the type of organisation it is dealing with.
Benefits of EMS
One of the oldest suppliers of EMS in the UK, EnergyCAP is somewhat of a pioneer in the industry. After 40 years of innovation, EnergyCAP has honed and refined its EMS range to perfection and now offers a service that focuses on 10 separate features. These include, identifying your business’ energy inefficiencies, reducing billing errors and improving budgeting. In more recent years, EnergyCAP has also turned its attention to corporate sustainability goals, adding EMS features which help your business to gain Energy Star ratings on business premises.
- CA Technologies
Offering up three specific types of EMS – CA ecoGovernance, CA ecoMeter, and CA ecoDesktop – CA Technologies strives to cover every single aspect of your energy management strategy. CA ecoGovernance enables your business to monitor and control the basics – carbon output, overall gas, electricity and water usage and waste management data. CA ecoMeter, on the other hand, focuses specifically on helping you control and manage your data centres, IT systems and clouds, as well as server room cooling solutions designed to help increase IT agility. Finally, formulated specifically for office use, CA ecoDesktop helps to cut down on wasted energy by effectively managing the electricity consumed by PCs and other desktop office equipment.
A unique supplier in the sense that it focuses on EMS for smaller businesses and even domestic premises, C3 EMS provides a real-time snapshot of a site’s energy consumption, whenever the user requires it. Pulling data from a varied set of smart technology-aided collection points installed throughout your business or home, this supplier separates supply-side and demand-side analytics, making it more simple to understand the data provided and subsequently change energy management strategies accordingly.
- Schneider Electric
French-based supplier Schneider Electric makes use of web portal-based EMS that allows businesses to easily flag and highlight avoidable energy-related expenses in real time. This ensures up-to-date data is constantly being provided, helping to predict, control and reduce areas of waste. The fact that this supplier utilises sophistocated web-based EMS allows for energy management on the go, providing additional flexibility to your energy management strategy.
Founded as Hara before being acquired by Verisae in 2013, this EMS supplier brands itself as the provider of the first EMS for the ‘post-carbon economy era’. Marketed as a sustainability tool as well as an energy management system, the EMS allows businesses to organise and monitor every aspect of their utility usage, from gas, electricity and water usage to greenhouse gas emissions and even travel fuel consumption. Designed to help make your business more fundamentally sustainable as well as cutting costs through reducing waste, it’s user-friendly interface also breaks down all data into incredibly easy-to-digest, implementable information.
- UL EHS Sustainability
Focusing specifically on forecasting and planning, UL EHS Sustainability EMS provides data that can illustrate to a business how energy reduction measures can help their finances in the long term. Aside from highlighting cost-cutting solutions, UL EHS Sustainability EMS provides businesses with information regarding their environmental footprint and encourages the use of sustainability goals and targets. Recently, the supplier received a gold standard certificate from the Carbon Disclosure Project for its focus on sustainability in the energy industry.
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