In the last decade, the energy management industry has changed considerably. New technology and new energy standards have been put in place in order to increase efficiency, reduce costs, all while conserving energy. However, in recent years, the focus from depending and relying on technology has shifted to focusing on energy performance and outcomes, and reaching overall energy management goals.
Technology is still a crucial piece in many energy management plans, however. In fact, energy management software isn’t going away any time soon. But by incorporating technology and implementing and executing the right energy management tactics, organizations and enterprises can reach energy efficiency and management goals.
Recently, in the last five months, the U. S. General Services Administration, or the GSA, released new energy standards that have impacted how federal buildings operate and measure energy efficiency. The new standards are referred to as P100 and dictate how plant and facility managers run their plants in order to achieve higher levels of efficiency and save energy. Furthermore, the P100 also applies to all new construction projects that are in progress on existing buildings and facilities. For example, in October 2013, the GSA recommended that the federal government use either Green Globes or LEED to monitor energy usage and performance in its construction and renovation projects.
As briefly mentioned above, the new P100 standards now focus on performance and outcomes in order to meet specific energy management goals. These performance standards are ranged according to tiers. These tiers include a mandatory tier, or baseline, and three higher tiers. While the end results are already determined by the P100 standards, the front end of energy management, such as the technology used to measure energy efficiency data, is left up to plant and facility managers to continue to oversee, exemplifying their management and leadership in this area.
All in all, the new P100 standard was first introduced in order to ensure that companies and enterprises are actively seeking out ways to implement “green energy” methodologies and technology within their plants, facilities, and buildings. While this new standard was put in place for federal buildings and facilities, it is safe to say that we can expect to see more companies and organizations implement similar standards across the country.
Energy management teams across businesses, organizations, and enterprises can use a variety of tools and resources that help them monitor performance metrics. Some of these tools include energy consumption and carbon footprint charts, tracking energy consumption bills such as water and electricity, and on-demand reporting statistics. Many energy management software products can also be integrated with many accounting programs for reporting ease and flexibility.
While the energy management focus has shifted slightly from technology to performance, technology is still a useful and needed resource in determining overall performance of new energy management tactics and standards. The right products and software can help plant and facilities managers and project managers monitor and oversee energy management performance by reviewing and analyzing appropriate data and metrics in order to enhance energy management methodologies, strategies, and improve decision making.