Energy Management Software Market
The use of energy analytics for the growth of business success and cost reduction in many industries has been a significant asset in Western Europe with the high prevalence of energy consciousness and a shift towards more efficient energy use and production. In North America, strategic energy management technologies and programs have been adopted more recently as both the consumer base desires companies to be more energy conscious and companies desire cost reduction with efficiency .
An Accenture study states that North America in general has the consumer base that wants energy regulation but there is not much headway in the industry. Many still use basic utility bills to review energy use as opposed to advanced energy analytics systems, so there is a growth market available for energy consultants, managers and even utility companies wishing to provide a more advanced service for energy use analytics to customers .
Overall, more companies are investing in sustainability as there is a “collective consciousness and a desire to make a difference in the world.” So far in 2017, more than eight in ten companies also agree that their view on energy procurement is shifting from merely a cost reducing measure to an opportunity for reducing risk, improving resilience and creating new value . In creating value, companies are not just gaining a competitive edge, but now as more companies adopt these energy management systems, it is necessary to just remain competitive.
Social corporate responsibility also adds value to any company even if not directly in the energy industry. An important distinction, especially for this generation is that approximately 70 percent of those considered “millennials” indicate that “giving back” or being “civically engaged” is a high priority and this includes a company that is energy conscious and efficient . Therefore, not only as service providers, but also as employers, companies throughout North America benefit from implementing energy management systems.
There are a few certifications that are affecting companies around the world; however, their impact on North America, specifically in the United States proves to be beneficial as they provide incentive for companies to adopt energy management software or monitoring in general to mitigate waste either because of legal regulation or social pressure.
The U.S. Green Building Council of the United States launched the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED certification in 1998 growing from a single standard for new construction to a system of interrelated standards covering aspects from the design and construction to maintenance and operation of buildings . Specifically, LEED certified buildings are resource efficient by using less water, less energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions of which it is responsible. The certification is based around materials, smart grid, water efficiency and is performance-based . Green certification and construction has become a growing industry in the United States and around the world as LEED is now the top energy certification around the world. This economic driver is estimated to generate $1900.3 billion in labor earnings by 2018 and expected to contribute $303.5 billion to U.S. GDP . More than half of states in the U.S. are requiring LEED certification or acknowledgement of some kind, many in association with federal, state or local agencies. Energy management software systems are incredibly beneficial for working towards LEED certification as consumers are able to track and understand their energy use to input proper energy reducing measures.
In order to support global measures of energy management, LEED certification also integrates ISO 50001 measures as this recognition creates a convergence between LEED and European directives on energy efficiency .
The ISO 50001 is a voluntary international standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization that provides a framework to manage and improve energy performance . This particular standard addresses:
- Energy use and consumption
- Measurement, documentation, and reporting of energy use and consumption
- Design and procurement practices for energy-using equipment, systems and processes
- Development of an energy management plan and other factors affecting energy performance that can be monitored and influenced by the organization
With the implementation of this newer standard, organizations, especially those not already equipped with energy management systems can accrue benefits such as:
- Energy reduction of up to 10% within the first 12 months
- Reduced green-house gas emissions and carbon footprint
- Globally recognized international standard
- Assist in compliance with current and future voluntary and/or mandatory energy efficiency targets
- Improved corporate image and credibility among customers, clients and stakeholders
- Informed decision-making processes from system design through to operation and maintenance
- Increased energy awareness among staff members at all levels
- Improved operational efficiencies and maintenance practices
As ISO 50001 has grown in prevalence in markets of Europe, Asia and the United States, many multinational organizations are finding value in implementing ISO 50001 measures across building portfolios to fulfill energy efficiency targets for LEED .
With both these major accreditations, globally, companies gain a competitive edge because of their cost reduction and perceived responsibility in the eye of the consumer. In the United States specifically, as this movement has gained more traction in recent history, by demonstrating energy responsibility with energy management system opportunities, company value increases.
Political Influence on Energy Management in the United States
The United States government’s role in energy policy and regulations has changed relatively drastically since the presidential election of 2016. Although the federal government’s role in energy regulations has and will change, state and local governments continue to uphold policy requirements and many companies have still pledged to pursue energy efficiency as it is what the vast majority of the consumer base wants. The initial claim of withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Accord is a great example of how many large companies in the United States such as Apple, Microsoft and IBM confirmed their continued work on reducing energy waste and becoming more energy efficient even without government support. The CEO of General Electric indicated that industry must now lead as it cannot wait for the federal government to do so . As the current administration continues to pursue its goals, industry giants are remaining at the forefront of energy efficiency and that includes energy management and analytics.
As LEED and ISO 50001 certification continue to drive growth in this market from green construction to renewable energy use to energy consulting and management, energy management platforms continue to grow in importance. The United States continues to be a growth market for energy analytics with the growing reach of energy certifications and as companies are pressured socially and in some cases legally to uphold a certain amount of energy efficiency in their buildings and business practices.