The ultimate power couple: Energy management and data technologies

(ACEEE blog, 10 Jan 2019) Strategic energy management (SEM) programs are expanding beyond the industrial sector to commercial and institutional customers.

These programs and data management technologies are two of the biggest opportunities to reduce energy use at large facilities. Not only do they save energy and decrease carbon emissions, they also help utilities build long-term relationships with clients and introduce them to additional efficiency programs.

In a new report, released today, ACEEE analyzed 26 programs in the United States and Canada to evaluate how they are merging these opportunities to maximize energy savings. Our report finds that such programs help organizations identify effective capital projects as well as operations and maintenance actions. It explores the potential for more programs and lays the foundation for accelerating their adoption across North America.

But what exactly do SEM programs do? They give organizations structure and methodology to discover opportunities, implement projects, and maintain practices that save energy. Energy management information systems (EMIS) help customers increase energy savings by automating data collection, integrating analysis of energy and manufacturing process information, thereby enabling data-driven process control. Integrating EMIS into SEM programs can boost the effectiveness of both approaches and ensure the persistence of energy savings by embedding standard practices in facilities.

ACEEE’s report, Features and Performance of Energy Management Programs, reveals that 11 programs focus on EMIS and there are 19 SEM programs that will support EMIS implementations. More programs are being developed.

SEM administrators are expanding their programs, originally targeted at industrial customers, to meet the needs of corporate and institutional customers. They have added capacity to meet customers at many points in their energy management journey and guide them to their endpoint, which could include a certified energy management system such as ISO 50001. SEM programs also help companies integrate and process data using EMIS and other smart manufacturing technologies.

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ACEEE blog, 10 Jan 2019: The ultimate power couple: Energy management and data technologies