Energy management has never been more important – here’s how you can take it to the next level

When it comes to energy conservation and efficiency, forward thinking organisations realised the importance of monitoring and measuring their energy use a long time ago. As you know the key was and is, data; accurate information about water, gas and electricity use.

We’ve come a long way since the early energy management software (EMS) technology. It was good at collecting data, but that was about it. As a result, building and energy managers spent a lot of time looking at the numbers and plotting graphs to see what was going on.

Then, they had to play detective, investigating each component to try to find the exact location of an issue and even more time devising a solution. Frankly, it was hard work and energy managers spent a lot of time with calculators rather than managing.

Of course, nowadays a decent management system will give you an easy-to-read dashboard helping you to make informed decisions on energy use, ideally to reduce your overall costs and lessen your environmental impact. As energy prices and the pressure to decarbonise increase, this will become ever more critical for a company’s bottom line.

However, even though the software is better than it was, not all systems will be right for you. Some are great for really large users of energy, but not smaller organisations. Others need integration into the seller’s other software services, which you might not need. Compatibility can also be a factor if the EMS only runs on Windows but you use the Apple OS.

Also, it’s surprising how some of the software on the market gives you the data in an easier to digest way but doesn’t make it easier to make decisions based on that information. You still have to sift through months of half-hourly gas and electricity data to identify waste.

At last, that’s beginning to change. Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), we’re seeing the emergence of EMS that can learn about the buildings it is monitoring, spot problems when they emerge and even come up with answers.  This machine learning will be a game changer in the next few years for energy managers – saving them lots of time which they’ll need to cope with more burdensome regulations and the new ways we’ll be working after the pandemic.

Keeping it simple was the driving force behind our AI backed EMS, EMMA AI. We knew our friends in energy management wanted a system that not only spotted anomalies, but also sent out suggestions for how to fix them. EMMA AI sends out work tickets to the right team for each utility or facility. We also made it simple to install so it doesn’t require any computing or programming skills and is accessed via a normal web browser.  We believe we’ve taken energy management to the next level.