A new report from Verdantix found that firms with energy costs that are greater than 10 percent of their total operating costs should invest in a new wave of industrial energy management software to achieve best in class operations. The report, Smart Innovators: Industrial Energy Management Software, is based on interviews with 127 energy directors at industrial firms and energy software applications from 16 suppliers.
Since 2005, industrial electricity prices have increased by 4 percent annually in the US, 8 percent in Canada and the UK and 14 percent in France. Over the same time period, natural gas prices for industrial firms have gone up every year by 15 percent in Japan, 10 percent in France and Italy and 7 percent in Germany. Only in the US and Canada have natural gas prices declined over this time period. Software helps firms minimize the impact of increasing energy costs, the report found.
Other key findings include:
- Innovative software suppliers such as Cascade Energy and ICONICS compete with established enterprise software providers like Oracle and SAP as well as with global automation and controls suppliers like ABB, Rockwell Automation and Schneider Electric.
- Fragmented ownership of energy efficiency and a focus on maintaining plant output are the primary barriers to industrial firms investing in industrial energy management software.
- Achieving ISO 50001 certification strengthens the business case for investing in industrial energy management software.
Verdantix advises energy managers considering an investment in industrial energy management software to adhere to the following best practices for the RFP process: assess data capture and IT systems integration, check alignment with processes, test analytical and energy modeling functionality, and ensure scalability across sites and configurability for different usage scenarios.