Using energy management software to lower costs

Energy management software is designed to measure costs and deliver quantifiable results for companies, from 5% to 25% annual energy cost savings. It can also be integrated with the cloud to lower energy costs and provide more immediate, hands-on data for users.
By Melissa Topp, Iconics November 15, 2017

Energy management software can be used to measure how much energy is consumed and provide a detailed breakdown for companies. Courtesy: IconicsCompanies seek ways to save on operational costs while striving to be environmentally responsible. Energy management initiatives can help. This involves ensuring all possible energy sources and users are identified and measured. Energy management software analyzes factors such as: 

  • Consumption rates, such as kilowatt hours (kWh) provided from electric, wind, solar, or cogeneration sources; or l/hr from steam; or cu3/h from gas; or gph from water.
  • Costs, such as money spent on electricity, steam, water or gas.
  • Conditions, such as people per hour for occupants; hours of equipment runtime; lumens of sunlight; cubic feet per minute (CFM) in air handling units; square feet in zone footage; degrees in outside air temperature; or units in component counts.
  • Carbon elements, such as measured carbon dioxide or methane.

A comprehensive energy analysis tool should be able to deliver the back-end calculations, key performance indicator (KPI) analytics, rapid data historian storage andretrieval abilities, reporting, and visualization tools to manage and reduce an organization’s energy costs and carbon footprint. Users can receive informative reports covering a number of scenarios, such as the energy cost per square feet, or average kWh based on degree days, or measured CO2 per meter, or energy consumed per unit of product produced. Real-time views into current energy trends help catch possible problems early, which lead to better power utilization and potentially costly issues.

Software developments and the advent of the cloud can provide users with a detailed breakdown of energy usage in many ways and even across multiple buildings. Courtesy: IconicsModern energy analytics tools are available in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, which doesn’t require on-premises computing hardware to interpret and analyze an organization’s energy data. Many cloud service providers also have adopted energy analytics software themselves within their massive data centers globally. An organization’s energy calculations can be computed on a server in a data center being monitored by the same software.

Users have noted savings of between 5% and 25% annually on utility bills without sacrificing building occupant comfort using energy management software. Another benefit is its scalability. Users can connect sensors to monitor and measure one room, which can be expanded to a floor, to a building, and an enterprise. City administrations have also implemented energy management software because they have the ability to show citizens quantifiable energy savings.

Adopting an energy management plan—whether installed on-site or connected to the cloud—is a first step towards cost reduction and environmental responsibility as companies continue to strive to do more with less.

Melissa Topp is senior director of global marketing, Iconics. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, Control Engineering, CFE Media, cvavra@cfemedia.com.

MORE INSIGHTS

Keywords: energy efficiency 

  • Energy management initiatives can help companies that are striving to save on operational costs while being environmentally responsible.
  • Energy management software analyzes consumption rates, costs, conditions, and carbon elements.
  • Companies that utilize the cloud for their energy management software can further reduce their costs.

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