If you expand your thinking beyond a smart phone or a tablet as defining an ‘app’ or application, into the simple concept of why would you need, or want, an application? Then the answer is quite simple, the real benefit of any application is that it provides a pre-packaged approach to achieving a desired outcome. If you consider the outcomes that any organisation needs to achieve positive energy and carbon management they could all fall into three key categories - Energy Accounting, Stakeholder Engagement and Carbon Disclosure.
Of course, there could be overlaps in any of those areas, despite the availability of ISO50001 now as the international standard of an Energy Management System (EnMS) there are still many definitions offered to us by solution providers and experts as to what constitutes an EnMS. Not that this is totally a bad thing, regardless of whether it’s called a BMS, aM&T system or an EnMS, a solution is still fundamentally a group of applications merged together to enable good energy and carbon management - and probably more importantly, cost reductions.
However, consider applications in a holistic manner with a helicopter view of all organisational requirements and the benefits are clear to be seen. The central most important application is that of energy asset management, this is very simply best referred to as ‘one version of the truth’, it’s essential, all assets that consume energy, assets that measure energy and related assets need to be in a central register that is maintained by robust process to ensure that every other application can function effectively - too many organisations spend far too much time refactoring an ‘asset list’ for every new compliance requirement or energy project to the point that it distracts from longer term success.
With your asset register in place, data collection can be organised, again into a single application - it doesn’t matter where relevant information is collected (i.e. ERP, BMS, etc.). Systems integration can be used to enable the collection of data once in order to use multiple times. Integration doesn’t have to be complex, it doesn’t have to be via expensive hardware as sometimes simple processes can be ample.
With good asset management and all data available within one location different functions are able to use applications relevant to their role requirements to achieve success without conflict.
Financial teams are able to carry out accounting of energy costs and are able to validate the real (financial) success of investment in energy projects. Engineers are able to use detailed information to track projects and undertake measurement and verification. Automatic Monitoring and Targeting (aM&T) features will help Energy Managers set priorities with alarms, alerts and insightful reporting - but maybe more importantly - not spend all their valuable time on administration task.
Sustainability managers are able to manage carbon disclosure, for the Carbon Disclosure Project, Carbon Reduction Commitment or Mandatory Carbon Reporting - or in house Corporate Social Responsibility - without spending weeks preparing the boundary of reporting. Beyond this stakeholder engagement can be as wider ranging as required, simple or complex, owned by technical or non-technical staff. The approach is not only limited to energy, all utilities can be managed in the same approach, water being the latest consideration for many companies.
The digitalenergy team will be delivering seminars and clinics to show the benefits of connecting applications throughout the year.
Join us later in February at the 12th Annual aM&T conference on 27th February where we will be hosting clinic ‘Application based aM&T, one system – multiple uses. The key to successful energy management.’ or at the 2degrees live event ‘Engaging Stakeholders on Sustainable Business’ on 28th February, digitalenergy will be present as a solutions specialist.
digitalenergy professional is focussed on real time data to provide integrated and insightful reporting which generates relevant information sent to relevant individuals. It’s unique in its flexible approach to energy management and unrivalled in its accounting of energy performance with wider asset data.
The biggest innovation and differentiation of digitalenergy is the merger of ERP level information management with the principles of energy management. Unlike in traditional monitoring systems where the user has to find the savings – the savings find the user with digitalenergy.
Richard Hipkiss - Commercial Director - digitalenergy Ltd
Manchester Science Park
Lloyd Street North
Coventry Canal Basin