Software for Energy Management: 10 Reasons to Implement

June 08, 2020
#Software #Technology #Tips

Do you really need software for energy management? How exactly can you control how much power you use? In reality, EMS saves money, time, and the environment.

Why do you need to manage your resource consumption at all though? It’s simple. First of all, it helps to slow down the ever-impending climate change and provide a better environment for your employees and everyone else. But even if you don’t really put too much stock in the environmental debate, it simply helps you save money with minimal effort. It’s a perfect example of a win-win scenario. Let’s take a closer look at how you can benefit from this technology.

What Is Energy Management Software?

Energy management software (EMS) is a type of enterprise software that works with energy and utility data. The range of features is fairly expansive. From bill processing to HVAC control and everything in between. It can come as a specific tool with one function or an entire system of systems combining many tools under one umbrella.

Here are some of the common features you can expect from a decent enterprise EMS:

  • Utility bill tracking
  • Heat, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) control systems
  • Lighting control systems
  • Building simulation and modeling
  • Carbon and sustainability reporting
  • IT equipment management
  • Demand response
  • Energy audit
  • Benchmarking
  • Trend analytics
  • Cost-saving opportunity discovery
  • Real-time energy consumption display

How EMS Systems Work

Three main tasks EMS systems perform include reporting, monitoring, and engagement. Let’s look into each one of them in more detail.

For the reports, data is often gathered from building automation systems (BAS), meters, sensors, circuits, past bills, or directly from the utility provider. The analytics you get from that allow you to forecast and plan your resource usage and take appropriate conservation measures. In order to combat climate change, it offers you such features as carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emission calculations.

Close monitoring allows you to point out periods of anomalous consumption. Whenever a certain threshold is exceeded, the EMS alerts the user. Identifying their sources aids you in the timely elimination of potential leaks. This type of software is also a great help in the coordination of upgrades and the replacement of equipment as well as peak shaving.

Engagement is another extremely valuable feature offered by energy management software. Customer experience is one of the less-discussed aspects of the utility business area. However, it is just as important. The software needs to be accessible. If the users see the level of control they actually have, it tangibly and measurably encourages and even trains them to be more environmentally conscious.

Another example of engagement you can see is the Smart Grid. This technology allows for communication directly with utility companies. This allows you to schedule the working hours of especially draining plug such as the one used to charge electric cars.

In short, it works by aggregating the data from the hardware such as meters and information from the databases and presents it to you via an accessible operational software solution.

Financial statistics of energy management software

10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs an EMS

People using software for energy management don’t need any more convincing. However, for those who are yet to experience it first hand, here are 10 benefits you can expect from EMS integration:

1. Improved Energy Efficiency

Let’s start with the most obvious and the most important reason to introduce EMS into your company. You increase the efficiency by identifying and eliminating energy leaks and smoothing out the peaks of its usage. It’s all configured right from the software screen with a few simple operations. You don’t need to waste any more energy than you actually require. This goes beyond the simple turning off of power in the hours when nobody’s working. Although it covers that as well. It’s possible for you to take control of when high impact events take place. By moving them off of the peak hours you eliminate the risks such as power shortage.

2. Cost Reduction for Utilities

Okay, my energy use is efficient, you say. What do you get from that? You cut costs. By optimizing the use of your utilities you don’t waste money on things you don’t need. Power, water, heating, lighting — all of this costs money. Therefore, these are also areas for potential savings. Emitting less power during the peak time, for example, allow you to spend measurably fewer resources with minimal alterations to your established processes. The same adjustments may be made to all of the building’s resources. Statistically, 25% of all operating costs of an average office building are spent on energy alone. You can make sure that you aren’t spending a cent more than you need to.

3. Automation of Workflow

What’s even better is that once you set up your preferences to your requirements the system is able to work automatically. No longer your personnel needs to compile all the data manually. It is all done in the background by the system and, as a result, there is zero chance of human error or miscalculations. Your employees can reallocate their time and also lower the chance of burnout at the same time. In fact, Digital Skynet’s main focus is the automation of business processes. So, if you want to learn more about this practice don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

4. Data Analytics

Data analytics are extremely valuable when it comes to any aspect of business as a whole. Marketing, growth, budgets, decision-making, and everything in between requires accurate data analysis. This is all covered by business intelligence (BI). So, where do the utilities come into play?

EMS systems are either a part or have integration with enterprise resource planning (ERP) and/or BI software. By analyzing the history of previous bill payments it paints a picture of past energy usage. Based on this information the budgets you allocate for the utilities will always be accurate. Predictive and especially prescriptive data analytics boosted by artificial intelligence show you in detail both the current picture, how it can be in the future, and what should you do to reach the maximum benefit. All of that is clearly visualized before your eyes.

5. Simplified Regulations Compliance

Incentives put forth by local agencies and governments make it more viable and often necessary for organizations to follow certain regulations. Without any type of system that can monitor the regulated processes, following them is often outright impossible.

For example, there is an international standard called ISO 50001. It specifies the prerequisites for the work of EMS. It helps with implementation, maintenance, and improvements. Its framework includes but not limited to developing a policy of efficient energy use, analyzing data to make informed decisions on consumption, and measuring the achieved results. All of that is included in the functionality of EMS systems.

6. Enhanced Performance

By this point, we mean the performance of both the facilities and the staff. Reducing the power usage during the certain hours you get the funds that you can reallocate to different departments or salaries. The lifetime of the hardware that doesn’t need to always stay on is also prolonged.

And speaking of the performance of the employees, it is enhanced by virtue of improving their wellbeing. Appropriate lighting levels and temperature are all factors that affect the quality of the work being done. The ethical aspect also may boost the morale of a certain percentage of your staff.

7. Convenient Remote Access

Software for energy management, like most other types of software, also benefits from integration with a cloud. Having access to the comprehensive overview at all times allows you to control the system via desktop, mobile, or cross-platform applications.

A lot of EMS systems have a software-as-a-service (SaaS) payment model. This means that as long as you have your login information and the internet connection you are always just a few clicks away from getting the full scope of how your company is doing on the energy front.

8. Flexible and Scalable Solutions

Solutions of this nature, especially if they were custom-built for your company, are made to suit the needs of your organization. This means that it scales and grows along with you. The system is capable to process the data of a big enterprise with the same ease as it can handle the databases of a small startup business. It adjusts according to the specific requirements and pains of your company, points out the bottlenecks and areas for improvement.

9. Customizability and Personalization

Just like with BI software, any decent EMS allows you to customize the dashboards and personalize it to be as convenient to you as possible. You can configure the software to show you the data that you deem to be relevant to you. For example, the people in charge of finance would benefit more from the statistics on expenses while others might find the emission levels more important. All of that can be set up by the user however they want. And of course, if you have a custom software solution you can tailor it to your needs even more.

10. Environmental Benefits

Last but by no means least is the impact such systems have on the environment. By introducing standards that are built into the program you can see the level of indicators such as carbon emissions your organization has. In fact, if your company decided to adopt an environmentally conscious approach to business, then energy management is simply a must. As we have mentioned, EMS helps you track and control the levels of greenhouse gas emission, your carbon footprint, and a variety of other important metrics.

Energy Management Lifecycle

Rounding Things Up

Software for energy management is the type of system that helps you be efficient when handling everything concerning utilities. It literally saves money, time, and the planet. Aggregating all the energy data in one place and identifying areas where its use can be more efficient helps you achieve exactly that.

Automation these systems bring allows you to eliminate the hassle of dealing with power bills while simultaneously improving the environment both inside and outside of your company walls.

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