We’ve seen the demand for energy management continue to grow over the past several years. Investors see it, too: the energy management software market alone is projected to grow at 10% annually over the next four years. The question is: how will this continued investment change the landscape of energy management in 2019? We consulted 11 experts in the field to find an answer.
Together, these experts predict that energy management in 2019 will be in high demand from both private and public sectors; it will be automated and real-time, and it will be focused on the human experience. According to them:
Energy management in 2019 will be:
In high demand…
“Energy efficiency is the cheapest, cleanest and fastest–to-use energy resource that we have, but its massive potential has always been underused,” says Steven Fawkes, Managing Partner at EnergyPro. “Many corporations and financial institutions are now interested in changing that situation by addressing the barriers to investing in energy efficiency, such as lack of standardization, lack of capacity, and uncertainty over results. We are moving towards a world where energy efficiency can be as investable as any other energy source.”
To realize the full potential of energy efficiency, the demand for tools to guide and streamline energy reporting will continue to grow. “With limited standardization, automation, and regulation in the utility market, efficiently incorporating bill data into corporate strategies will continue to be a pain point,” says Priscilla Koeckeritz, EnergyPrint CEO. “The need for utility data service partners who bring administrative expertise and drive simple, actionable reporting will only grow in the next ten years.”
In addition to corporations and financial institutions, the public sector is taking more notice of energy management. According to Sara Theut, Marketing Manager at Choice Energy Services: “Digitalization of energy infrastructure supported by national government initiatives and swelling concern to reduce carbon footprint could turn the spotlight on the energy management industry.”
Energy management isn’t only pertinent to energy managers. Sanjoy Malik, Urjanet CEO, expects this trend to grow in 2019: “Increasingly, we’re seeing functions outside of traditional energy management take notice of the need for it. Corporations and cities are recognizing that to hit renewable energy targets, they have to reduce their total energy consumption. Solar installers are recognizing that to meet consumer demand for energy, they have to monitor peak usage.”
To meet this demand, energy management in 2019 will need to be responsive and rapid. “In 2019, the trend to have immediate insight into energy use will continue,” says Sue Pierce, founder and CEO of Pierce Energy Planning. “New technologies, real-time data, and the practice of leveraging artificial intelligence will support end users in managing energy in optimal ways.”
Logan Soya, founder and CEO of Aquicore, likewise predicts that new technologies will drive more automated and advanced solutions. “As we’ve seen in 2018, IoT devices will continue to become more sophisticated and create troves of datasets that didn’t exist for buildings before,” says Soya. “The fragmented CRE tech space will further consolidate on best-of-breed solutions, helping the industry move away from mundane manual tasks to a real focus on optimization.”
According to Chris Happ, CEO of Goby, this trend emulates that of other industries. “Like most other services today, energy will shift to an on-demand model,” says Happ. “Ultimately, real-time information and market transparency should allow organizations to trigger consumption, usage, and storage based on predictive analytics from their enterprise data platform.”
As energy becomes increasingly on-demand, energy data management needs to do the same. “With more and more of our partners and customers, waiting for a monthly invoice to take action on energy management is too late,” says Tim Porter, Director of Partner & OEM Sales at Urjanet. “As energy management moves into 2019, we expect to see more energy managers taking advantage of whole building interval data and submeter data to make real-time decisions and get proactive with their strategy.”
Of course, energy management isn’t just about numbers and savings; at its core, it exists to help people do their jobs better. In 2019, experts believe the human side of energy management will come to prominence.
Casey Talon, Research Director at Navigant Research, describes this succinctly: “Energy management is now just one part of the storyline for the intelligent building. Customers seek lower utility bills, but the future is with solutions that deliver these savings alongside occupant-focused experience improvements.”
Jeffrey Perlman, CEO of Bright Power, agrees: “With an increasing focus on pay-for-performance and energy efficiency as a driver of real estate value in mortgage underwriting, we’re going to see broader demand for measurement and verification of energy saving investments. But we’re also going to see quantification of the comfort, health, and happiness that result from energy performance improvements, and which are often valued more highly than energy savings themselves.”
Naturally, in order for energy management in 2019 to successfully deliver more emphasis on the human experience, it will take human involvement. Even with the excitement around new technologies, “for the foreseeable future, we’ll see an increased need for actual humans in the form of energy managers and specialists to guide and manage technology adoption, behavior, and culture change,” says Steve Heinz, founder and CEO of EnergyCAP.
Humans will also be needed “to fill the large void between the promise of technology and the reality of 2019’s hodgepodgeof software, sensors, hardware, regulatory actions, environmental concerns, and AI.”
The future of energy management in 2019 may not be simple or straightforward. But it will see promising advancements in both technologies and human resources, and that is something to look forward to. What are your predictions for 2019? Reach out and let us know.