Big data and the Internet of Things hold incredible potential to change the way enterprises manage their energy, and new survey data released by Ecova reveals just how close many companies are to reaping the benefits. The 2015 Energy Management System (EMS) Survey Analysis: Findings from Industry Professionals report paints a clear picture of how the energy management lifecycle is on the precipice of significant change, fueled by unprecedented access to and analysis of energy data.
The Value of EMS and Trend Telemetry Data survey we conducted for the report revealed that the majority of survey respondents—a full 82 percent across a variety of industries—indicate they have EMS (energy management systems) installed at some or all of their facilities. The biggest growth came in the big box retail and lodging industries, where 68 percent indicated EMS is installed at more than half of their facilities, up significantly from the 45 percent who said as much in 2013.
This continued growth in the EMS infrastructure is enabling more enterprises to implement building controls and collect and monitor trend and telemetry data, two important steps toward the advancement of the energy management lifecycle. EMS trend and telemetry data drive results for businesses at every point on the energy management continuum by enabling such things as:
- Benchmarking and prioritization of energy savings initiatives,
- Evaluation of asset performance and identification of troubled assets,
- Management and planning for HVAC, equipment and lighting upgrades,
- Reconciliation of energy bills and disputed usage.
In fact, some 90 percent of our survey respondents said they see value in collecting and analyzing telemetry data from an EMS. But, the value of the data gathered by EMS reaches far beyond the management of energy procurement, consumption, and expenses at the enterprise level. The connection of enterprise-level EMS devices to the Internet of Things drives the value of collective Big Data deep into the energy supply chain. This creates great potential for more intelligent energy generation and transmission at the provision and transportation levels, effectively the outset of the energy lifecycle. With improved insight into volumes of usage data enabled by EMS, utilities and cooperatives can more efficiently manage holistic supply and demand.
While recent advances in Big Data analytics and the proliferation of EMS represent a powerful combination for change, two significant, but not insurmountable barriers to full effective use of the data remain:
- Proprietary legacy EMS technologies are still prevalent in the marketplace, hampering data access and sharing among systems.
- And, even among the 56 percent of respondents that are collecting and capable of analyzing 15-minute interval data, our survey reveals that the data—and more specifically, trend telemetry data—is not being managed consistently.
We’ll explore these trends and more in upcoming blog posts. To read the additional survey highlights, download the 2015 Energy Management System (EMS) Survey Analysis: Findings from Industry Professionals.