There has been an emergence of energy management software since the passing of new European legislation that large businesses must undertake energy use audits
The EU Energy Efficiency Directive dictates that from the beginning of 2013 all large enterprises, those with more than 250 employees or €50m turnover, are subject to independent energy usage audits every four years. Under the new rules, firms will be required to demonstrate that they are delivering energy savings equivalent to 1.5 percent of their annual energy output between 2014 and 2020.
Companies are being encouraged to use EMS programs which gather energy-use information to provide a more comprehensive insight into the optimisation of full energy usage patterns. Not only can this save usage costs, but it also means that companies are more likely to be able to comply with the compulsory energy audits.
EMS works in a similar manner to programs that monitor accounting and budgeting software. They collect historic and real-time data to automate energy and emission auditing. By having EMS in place, enterprises are more likely to able to meet the specifications when they are subjected to audit by external, independent companies.
Japanese IT company Fujitsu is the latest large company to have launched their own brand of EMS. Eco Track, a cloud based software system, allows companies to monitor their environmental footprint and ensure compliance with the Directive. Japanese law means that businesses have been subject to energy audits for more than ten years, so Fujitsu are basing the new software on their already well established programs to help European companies comply with the new EU energy directive.
There is already a substantial number of EMS programs available for the American markets, which like Fujitsu, are readjusting to the new European market. One such example is EnerNoc who operate online application Efficiency Smart to enable managers to track energy consumption against previously set goals.
While the directive does not apply directly to medium and small companies, the UK government is highly recommending that businesses take up the use of EMS to help them minimise their environmental footprints.