Rob Bernard said the company is working with partners to figure out what software and services it can offer and how it can marry building management systems with predictive analysis tools, Greentech Media reports.
“What are the right ways to structure this ecosystem?” Bernard asked, at a Commonwealth Club event in San Francisco. “Today it is all disconnected sources of information.”
Microsoft’s new target is a big market with lots of major players involved already. Last week, Fortune 100 company Johnson Controls announced that its current public sector building efficiency projects are “guaranteed” to save more than $4.7 billion in energy, water and operational costs over the next ten years.
Also last week, MIT-incubated startup Retroficiency launched a software platform that analyzes the potential benefits of thousands of energy efficiency measures in buildings. The company also announced that it had secured $800,000 in angel funding.
Analysts Verdantix predict that the related market for carbon and energy management software will see a 51 percent compound annual growth rate between 2010 and 2014, from $108 million to $558 million. Last week HP announced it was joining the energy software fray with its new Energy and Sustainability Management (ESM) platform, as well as an agreement with Hara to market a joint energy management and emissions reduction software package.
Microsoft’s energy reduction techniques could include a radical redesign of traditional data centers, Bernard said. “What if you got rid of the building?” he asked. Bernard conceded that servers need some type of enclosure, but that “is not necessarily a big concrete building.”
Bernard also said customers have been slow to adopt Hohm, a home energy management platform Microsoft released last year.