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Energy Insights

The Power of Energy Management Software for Australian Businesses

As energy costs continue rising in Australia, business owners are searching for better ways to track and reduce consumption across facilities. Energy management information systems (EMIS) provide the visibility required to drive strategic efficiency initiatives. This guide explores how energy management software reveals savings opportunities while enabling smarter operations.

Key Benefits of Energy Management Software

  • Pinpoints wastage and anomalies through granular usage data
  • Quantifies savings from efficiency efforts to justify projects
  • Optimises HVAC, lighting schedules and equipment operating hours
  • Helps right-size onsite generation systems like solar PV
  • Automates building controls to improve response time and precision
  • Assists in identifying peak demand windows and demand response opportunities
  • Monitors real-time performance of renewables to maximise self-consumption

Why Australian Firms Need Energy Insights

Several factors make leveraging quality energy usage data crucial:

Rising Prices – Better understanding of consumption and waste is key to controlling rising energy costs.

Growth in Onsite Generation – Monitoring solar and batteries helps get the most from your investment.

Sustainability Goals – Granular information enables setting baselines and tracking progress on carbon and renewables goals.

Operational Efficiency – Optimising energy usage reduces overhead and enhances productivity and competitiveness.

New Rate Structures – Time-of-use pricing and demand charges make flexible consumption essential.

Technology Integration – New building tech like HVAC and lighting rely on data flows to optimise efficiency.

Major Capabilities of Energy Management Software

Top systems offer powerful insight functionality:

Data Consolidation – Collects meter information from all utilities and facilities into one centralised database

Usage Analytics – Advanced reporting on consumption peaks, trends and anomalies to pinpoint waste

Tariff Modelling – Simulates cost impact of different rate structures to minimise utility bills

Demand Forecasting – Predicts future consumption patterns using machine learning algorithms

Automation Integration – Interfaces with smart building controls, EV chargers, batteries and other systems

Simulation Tools – Models scenarios like solar sizing and demand response to optimise planning

Delving Into Your Data

Effective analytics help uncover opportunities:

Interval Data – Minute or 15-minute usage data helps identify usage peaks to shave.

Metered Equipment – Submeter individual processes to compare and optimise consumption.

Usage Profiles – Compare hourly, daily and monthly patterns to pinpoint irregularities.

Weather Correlations – Relate usage spikes to temperature swings to inform HVAC management.

Location Benchmarks – Contrast usage per square metre against peers to highlight outliers.

Building the Business Case for Software

Quantify the value before investing:

  • Price - Compare upfront and ongoing licence costs across vendor options
  • Capabilities - Align functionality with your priority insights like usage statistics or solar monitoring
  • Scalability - Ensure ability to add meters, locations and integrations over time
  • Payback - Estimate savings from actions like optimised TOU scheduling and calculate ROI
  • Implementation - Vet required IT infrastructure, installation services and ease of rollout

Driving Change with Data

Leverage insights to initiate efficiency efforts:

  • Load Curtailment – Reschedule production processes and equipment usage to smooth peaks
  • Automation – Use data to actively control lighting, HVAC and other systems based on occupancy and conditions
  • Maintenance – Fix anomalies like excessive runtimes and tune up or replace underperforming equipment
  • Staff Engagement – Share visibility into usage and encourage energy saving behaviours
  • Capital Projects – Identify upgrade requirements and size onsite solar/storage systems

Conclusion

By leveraging energy management software, Australian businesses gain unmatched visibility into exactly where and when electricity is used across facilities. Converting this big data into actionable efficiency insights unlocks significant additive savings over time. The analytical power of energy information systems makes them a strategic investment for any growing enterprise.

FAQs

What core functionality should I look for in energy management software?

Prioritise robust energy analytics, easy data consolidation, demand forecasting, tariff simulation capabilities, automation integration and API connectivity to drive other systems.

What are typical cost payback periods for investing in energy management software?

With optimisation benefits like adjusted production scheduling to reduce peak charges, most commercial systems pay for themselves in 1-3 years.

What IT infrastructure is required to support energy management software?

At minimum, network connectivity and adequate server storage space for data. Cloud-based options remove onsite server requirements. Live meter integration needs secure networking.

What energy usage data sources can these systems track?

Most consolidate utility meter information, submeters, EV chargers, solar production, battery systems, building automation systems and smart appliances into single dashboards.

How can these tools help manage time-of-use electricity rates?

Insight into hourly usage patterns allows shifting flexible loads outside peak windows. Software can even automatically enact programmed rate optimisation schedules.

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