Groom Energy Solutions has released its Enterprise Smart Grid research series, called “2013 Enterprise Smart Grid and a Corporate Buyer’s Guide for Energy Management Software.” This report is based on 68 interviews with corporate energy, facility and sustainability managers, vendors and an online survey of 158 companies.
Enterprise Smart Grid (ESG) is the integration of energy metering, hardware and software by organizations seeking visibility, control and management of their energy consumption. According to Groom Energy’s research, ESG is a $6.2 billion U.S. market in 2013, growing at 15 percent per year during the next four years.
With an explosion of new technologies and solutions, the landscape has been changing and evolving quickly. The report reduces confusion for corporate energy managers, utilities, investors and vendors by defining 11 distinct functional areas and categorizing vendor solutions in each of these areas. It categorizes the latest changes by vendors, acquisitions, and latest product or service introductions.
“Applying the principles of the Enterprise Smart Grid, large organizations can effectively drive energy-efficiency performance across their operations,” says Paul Baier, report author and vice president of research for Groom Energy Solutions. “Our report helps corporate energy managers categorize the overwhelming number of vendor offerings, each with its own capabilities, benefits and limitations.”
Major findings from the interviews and research are:
- The overall market for ESG-related offerings is $6.2B remains promising but growth slowed a bit from 40 to 15 percent because of flat energy prices and slower than anticipated economic growth.
- Energy savings remains the primary driver for corporate ESG investment in projects, people and process.
- Eighteen percent of large companies surveyed plan to invest in energy management software in 2013.
- The term “energy management” is overused and vague. Anything from the procurement of electricity to utility bill analysis or the implementation of a building management system is put into the category.
- Vendor awareness by corporate leaders remains low with no single vendor recognized more than 31 percent of survey respondents.
- When evaluating a particular vendor solution, managers should focus on the functional needs within their industry type and a vendor’s installed base. Solutions differ significantly by industry vertical (such as retail or heavy manufacturing).
- Many venture-backed, software-centric startups have struggled. Growing ESG vendors have a combination of energy efficiency industry expertise, software and broad services, including consulting, call center support and outsourced energy analytics.
- Enterprise Energy Management Software is a growing category and includes management of bill and interval data, energy projects and carbon emissions.
- Software that actually controls equipment has the highest ROI.
- BMS manufacturers have finally opened up their BMS systems for data access and to third-party vendors.
- Traditional vendor boundaries continue to merge. Examples include lighting controls vendors expanding to Internet-based monitoring and control of non-lighting assets and demand response vendors offering energy management software.
- The cost of meters for submeters and data logging fell 30 percent in the last two years.
The report also names 10 2013 Enterprise Smart Grid Leaders on the strength of product, financial strength, financial payback of solution, number of customers, sales momentum in the last 18 months and vision. The 2013 Enterprise Smart Grid Leaders are (listed alphabetically):