Energy management software is software that helps manage energy consumption in buildings. Its aim is to reduce the expenses associated with energy costs and aid users in developing sustainability plans. Energy management software can be used for reporting, monitoring and engagement. Different types of energy management software deal with all or any of these aspects.
To understand energy management software types, its potential functions first have to be understood. Reporting can be described as the collection of energy usage data. A benefit of this function is that the costs and consumption of energy from different locations can be collected and reviewed automatically. This spares the work and possible mistakes that can take place during manual reporting. Accurate and meticulous information — more than what would appear on a utility bill — can allow users to formulate feasible energy savings strategies.
Monitoring is, of course, an important feature of energy management software. Software that monitors energy can do so in real time and can compare recent data against historical data. Monitoring can be useful for those users who wish to track the energy consumption of very specific areas in a building, analyze days while taking weather into consideration and identify energy consumption that is unexpected or incongruous with previous data. All of these monitoring functions provide a user with opportunities to streamline energy usage. For example, the software can pinpoint a specific area of a building that uses more energy than is expected and that can lead to the replacement of old energy-related parts with modern ones that promote energy conservation.
Energy management software also can help with engagement. For instance, if the software is used in an apartment building, it can keep tenants apprised of how much energy they are using. This can inform tenants' decisions about energy usage. Some software can help a user devise ways to conserve energy with apartment buildings and tenants in mind, can give tenants suggestions on how to conserve energy or can provide a platform for dialogue between managers and tenants about energy issues.
Certain software, however, can be used only in specific locations, such as industrial buildings. Similarly, some software might deal only with electricity, and others can deal only with natural gas. Users should verify that their software is compatible with their location and energy source before purchasing it.
Software that allows users to compare meter readings to energy bills can help users keep track of energy consumption and identify possible mistakes and anomalies. With some types of energy management software, users can set their own acceptable energy usage levels or implement energy savings plans. If these levels or plans are exceeded, the software can alert a user through email or text messages.