Integration of building and enterprise data to transform the energy management sector
With the increasing emphasis on sustainability across industries, building energy management (BEM) has emerged a fast growing sector, with both established players and start-ups introducing innovative ways to manage energy. Companies that focus on the integration of building data with enterprise data will find themselves in an enviable position in the long term, while companies offering strategic pricing and infrastructure-friendly solutions will be the BEM service providers of choice in the short to medium term.
Data analytics to help manage energy consumption
The years from 2009 to 2012 were marked by a period of linear growth in the EM market. The market initially dealt with capturing, analysing and managing energy using EM software; in due course, it started employing smart, self-learning hardware for measuring, monitoring, and optimization. From a supplier of basic automating and monitoring solutions, the EM sector has transformed to a provider of analytics-based decision support system hosted on cloud. While smaller companies have turned their attention to data analytics, larger conglomerates such as HCL are partnering with cloud vendors to deliver low-cost building management solutions driven by Internet of things (IoT).
EM companies are currently adopting real-time delivery of EM on the cloud, but by 2016-2017, they will turn their attention to leveraging machine to machine (M2M) solutions and IoT to balance the supply and demand of energy to cities and infrastructure. Energy management systems, already a regular fixture in commercial buildings, are now gradually gaining traction in the residential space as well. With consumers becoming increasingly digital, the need to find energy-effective alternatives to non-renewable energy has also risen considerably. To make the most of the potential in the home energy conservation space, companies such as Cozify, Smappee and Ecowatt are developing app-based and wireless monitoring solutions that are set to revolutionize the home energy management segment. Meanwhile, market-savvy entrants such as SkyFoundry and Lucid are offering software as a solution (SaaS) -based BEM solutions that include dashboards with real-time information on energy usage.