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Energy Management Software – What to Look For
An energy management software should make energy data management and monitoring easier by offering your team advanced analytics, intuitive user-friendly navigation, and offer insight into how to reach today’s energy management requirements and goals.
In order to meet their strict sustainability goals, many large companies are turning to Software as a Service (SaaS) for energy management. With many legacy solutions falling behind, it’s important to understand what key features are necessary for you to be successful today. As you develop your 2020 goals, now is the time to evaluate what’s new in energy management.
What should you look for when deciding on an energy management software?
- Automated utility invoice acquisition – Gone are the days of manually scraping your utility invoices to pull the important data into one collective location. Energy management software should have the capability to connect to your utility vendor’s billing portal and programmatically extract the data from each invoice on a line-item basis.
- Customizable Reporting Capabilities – Energy management software should have the ability to provide you with customizable reports delivered to you automatically on a schedule when your team needs them. The reports should be branded with your logo and be customized to the point where there are no additional alterations to be made.
- Ability to identify operational efficiency opportunities – Benchmarking capabilities should be robust enough to allow you to create custom comparisons of groupings of buildings by characteristic or region. These comparisons should provide you with the consumption, demand, cost totals, and KPIs (kWh/ft2, watts/ft2, etc.), thus enabling you to prioritize opportunities with the quickest payback and largest impact.
- Sustainability reporting to meet your company’s requirements – Your software should cover all your needs for sustainability reporting, with direct integrations to ENERGY STAR, GRESB, ARC, and more.
- Measure and verify (M&V) ROI of energy conservation measures – All energy conservation measures and projects should be tracked by your energy management software to visualize your ROI to investors. The projects’ M&V analyses should provide ASHRAE Guideline 14-2014 metrics & align with IPMVP, and all projects should be normalized for the appropriate independent variables (weather, billing period length, occupancy, etc.).
- Generate utility budgets using historical data and actual tariff calculators – While it’s impossible to be “right on the money” with budgets, your energy management software should provide you with data-driven, explainable utility budgets. The budgets should be accurately based on proprietary consumption, forecasting algorithm, supply market projections, delivery tariff rates, and Public Service Commission rate cases.
- Variance reports to provide analysis of actual data vs. budgets and accruals – For when an explanation is needed why the budget wasn’t “right on the money”, your energy management software should provide you with a report that analyses the variances and identifies exactly what caused them.
- Notification when the grid is likely to peak for T&D and ICAP/PLC management – Energy management software should have predictive analytics to alert you when peak load hours are likely going to occur so you can track, measure, and verify the performance of your peak load management efforts.
- Visual analytics and altering for real-time data monitoring through hardware-agnostic integrations – Your real-time energy data should be fully leveraged by having the ability to analyze it alongside your actual utility bills. Energy management software should provide a real-time monitoring dashboard that enables you to identify any type of energy inefficiency utilizing various visualizations.
As technologies continue to advance, companies’ goals evolve, and reporting becomes involuntary, it’s important to stay up to date on the possibilities of your energy management software. The most important component to your energy management software is making sure that it provides you with actionable insights, not just more energy data for you to sort through.
EnergyWatch’s platform, watchwire , provides you the knowledge to thoroughly analyze your energy data and the ability to meet your company goals and reporting requirements. Learn more about our cloud-based energy management platform here.
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