Energy monitoring as a “hosted” service: this is my choice!
Yesterday, very few commercial buildings had a building energy management system implemented, even less a system actually used regularly by the facility manager. Tomorrow this will become common place, if not mandatory, even for small size buildings.
The drivers behind this trend are known:
- improve the bottom line often requires to reduce the energy bill
- get voluntary labels such as LEED, BREEAM, HQE/BBC
- new regulations will de facto imply such system implementation
To meet those requirements, solutions do exist and leverage existing technologies:
- meters of all kind: electricity, water, gas – main or sub-meters, smart or basic
- networking: cables, gateways, wireless, etc.
- server and associated data base
- energy management software
But I believe the challenge is huge to get this implemented in each and every building, in a cost effective manner.
In fact it is unlikely to happen unless a change of paradigm takes place: switch from on-site solutions to online energy management.
For a managed service solution, often called “hosted”, the on-site metering infrastructure is the same. The main change for the infrastructure is the server replacement by a basic, low cost gateway which will “push” all energy consumption data to the service provider servers, through Internet. Then those data will be safely stored and processed by the service provider and the facility manager will access his dashboards and reports through his browser, from anywhere.
In short, I can see that the “hosted” building energy management solution provides the same features than an “on-site” system: energy dashboards and reports enabling energy savings and energy reporting.
In addition, even control functions could be triggered remotely through hosted solutions.
So, why does it change the game?
From my analysis, the key online energy management benefits compared to on-site solutions are:
- Reduced investment costs
- Energy data safely managed and stored through proved procedures
- Multi-site solution by nature
- No in-house and on-site competencies needed for energy management and IT management
- Regular software upgrade, transparently
- comprehensive functions and dashboards, even for small buildings
So, ready to go for managed services or still reluctant?