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.
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.
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.