Top 5 reasons for using a cloud based energy management software

The world has seen an increase in energy regulations recently proving the greater necessity for energy management tools. In the energy market, especially for utilities, asset managers or O&M companies it has become incredibly important to be able to manage tons of data. Cloud based energy management software have become the dominant tool and here are the 5 reasons why they should be used by energy companies to support their management practices.

1. Accessibility

Cloud based systems allow energy managers to access information with greater flexibility. By utilizing a cloud based system, users can store information from many different data acquisition systems and access and analyze this information from different sites with one application. In fact, such a system allows for easier portfolio management as it is possible to view all managed sites at once. Because energy managers are able to access information remotely, this also reduces on-site maintenance to only when absolutely necessary, saving time and cost in manual maintenance.

2. Cost Reduction in Development

Cost reduction proves to be one of the greatest benefits of cloud based energy management systems as it allows energy companies to curb costs for the development of local infrastructure. Innovation of the software as needed is crucial to remain competitive. Because these systems are generally sold as a service, the consumer does not need to take care of maintenance and updating of the database and infrastructure which again reduces wasted time and money that could be spent on implementing energy and money saving practices based on the data received. Clients also only need to pay for what they use thereby reducing excessive overhead cost.

3. Cost Reduction in Man Power Resource Allocation

Not only do cloud services minimize costs of software development and maintenance but also direct monetary costs, the cost of time, and spent resources on maintaining in-house IT professionals and infrastructure on gathering, storing and analyzing energy data. This proves most beneficial for sectors that do not or cannot prioritize in-house energy management software experts.


4. Elasticity


Cloud based systems allow for greater deployment flexibility, meaning that it is easy to either upgrade or downgrade resources which proves a great advantage for energy management systems compared to owned infrastructure. This allows the consumer to reduce or increase site data acquisition and maintenance much easier as demand dictates. For energy management specialists and consultants, this proves especially beneficial as clients change, more sites are easily implemented into the system for better facilitated management.

5. Disaster Recovery

Every business possesses sensitive, important information that is crucial to business operations and must be protected. Cloud based services are the simplest way to keep information backed up and safe. Specifically, it is cited that small businesses are twice as likely as larger companies to implement cloud-based backup and recovery solutions. This solution saves time and large up-front investments. With cloud based energy management software, energy data and savings analysis is securely maintained and updated without much work from the customer.


These reasons why cloud based energy management software provide more efficient and cheaper tools for energy management on any scale are important to understand for any asset manager or O&M company looking to take their business to the next step. But at the same time, they should look for a solution which is also highly customizable as needs of their company may not be the same as other energy companies or change over time.

This is the one of a series of articles, where we take a look at how energy companies can boost their performances through digital energy. In this series we will discuss:

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Top 5 topics at Intersolar 2018

Intersolar Europe 2018, the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry and its partners, just finished. 3 full days of great meetings, exhibitions, conferences and workshops in Munich, Germany. What were the main topics discussed?

Here the top 5:

1 E- Mobility: charging infrastructure implementation and technology

Without a comprehensive and user- friendly charging infrastructure, e-mobility will never get off the ground. Car manufactures, utilities and commercial enterprises are thus investing in their development with state support. And it’s now becoming possible to charge your car while you shop, as supermarket chains install charging stations for customers in their parking lots.

2 Floating PV – the next big thing

Rooftop and ground installations aren’t the only options for solar modules. Developers have now designed systems that can float on channels, lakes or ponds, so that no land is needed for the installation. The floating power plants have not yet prompted a surge of investments, but around 1 GW of capacity has already been installed around the world.

3 Sustainable energy systems for smart cities

More and more cities plan to modernize their infrastructure. They aim to become smart cities by addressing the growing challenges with innovative technologies and improve the quality of life of their citizens at the same time. A sustainable energy supply based on renewable energies is a core component of a smart city and energy companies are now exploring approaches to the integrated design and smart management of sustainable energy systems in cities.

4 Storage projects: already energizing the financial and insurance sector?

Energy storage systems are jostling for space in the market; without them, the energy industry cannot make the transitions to renewables. Innovative storage projects are no longer only available in sizes suitable for household use and storage technology has long been offered in power plant scale. The information service Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that investments in the storage market will reach 103 billion US dollars by the year 2030.

5 How digital infrastructure enables new energy realities

The opportunities and business models in decentralized power generation and energy management would not be possible without the supporting digital infrastructure. Opportunities provided by software services and the role of regulation and innovation in the field of digital energy developments are a hot topic in these days.

This is the one of a series of articles, where we take a look at how energy companies can boost their performances through digital energy. In this series we will discuss:

  • New revenue opportunities in the digital energy era
  • Main struggles with energy monitoring and management software
  • Vertical all in one solutions Vs. Building your own energy software

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Top 3 features of an asset management software

Not all energy asset management software are created equal. With a vast array of options available, selecting the right one for your organization can feel completely overwhelming. If you don’t know where to start, here are the top 3 features you should look for:

1) Integration:

You need to look for a truly integrated asset management solution, which allows you to care for all aspects of your energy asset within one platform. You should be able to add many different local and external data sources, according to those you need and choose a solution that can integrate them smoothly in one place. In fact, a fully integrated software saves hundreds of work hours every year and when it communicates seamlessly, your work runs smoother.

2) Accuracy:

Your energy asset management software must provide and keep accurate data for your company and it also should provide an automated solution. If you’re manually pulling spreadsheets or data reports, you substantially increase the risk of inaccurate records and, corrupted data, or human error.  Furthermore, the data provided by an energy management software allows you to make decisions based on historical information, rather than best guesses. This data enables you to have strategic (rather than reactive) planning – providing an even more profound financial benefit to your company.

3) Customization:

Time is a precious resource. If you’re like most energy asset managers, your time is always in demand, and there just isn’t enough of it to go around. This is why you need an energy management software solution that provides the functionality, efficiency, and support to meet the needs of your organization. In order to be fully efficient, a software should be extremely customizable to fit exactly your needs.

 

So, now you know what to look for in an energy asset management software but of course, you also need to understand other key aspects. For example, what you really need is a vertical all in one solutions or building your own energy software

This is the one of a series of articles, where we take a look at how energy companies can boost their performances through digital energy. In this series we will discuss:

  • New revenue opportunities in the digital energy era
  • Main struggles with energy monitoring and management software
  • Vertical all in one solutions Vs. Building your own energy software

Subscribe to our Newsletter "Digital Energy Insights"

3 ways energy companies manage their data

Many companies realized that, in order to compete in the renewable energy sector, they need to invest in managing their data effectively.

Indeed, this investment can bring multiple benefits such as:

  1. Enhanced productivity
    According to the number of power plants a company has, there are several people spending many days each month for logging in, downloading, checking, organizing and copy-pasting data. Automating these tasks allows to focus on more valuable activities.

     

  2. Customer satisfaction
    Each customer has her own needs regarding the types of information she wants from the asset manager or O&M company. Delivering effective analyses, reports or bills to your customers greatly affects your perceived reliability and transparency.

     

  3. Increased asset ROI
    Overall, having the right data at the right time lets you improve your operations, increase the efficiency of your maintenance activities, also enabling predictive capabilities. All together, these enhancements can increase your asset ROI by 40%.

Renewable energy companies have multiple sources of data, such as those coming from monitoring systems, SCADA systems, sensors, meters, web portals, weather services and so on…

According to the volume of data, their variety and the velocity at which they need to process them, companies choose one out of three options to manage their data:

  • Spreadsheets

In many companies, energy asset managers find themselves using Excel sheets to make reports. Excel was not designed as a solution for energy asset management, so it is often inaccurate and inefficient for managing energy assets. Plus, it is really struggling to copy and paste data all day long, and the larger the portfolio the more difficult it is to handle all the data using just a spreadsheet.

  • Custom software

When portfolios grow, companies often ask a software house or the monitoring system provider to develop a customized system that automates reports or alerts. The immediate pro for a custom system is obvious: it is tailor-made to fit one’s specific needs. But what many don’t realize is how expensive a custom platform can be, or how long it takes to build.

  • Web based platforms

This is doubtless less expensive and fastest option to deploy than a custom software. In addition, Saas platforms are used by others too, so they are tested and improved constantly. Obviously there are risks too: while buying a platform that isn’t custom-made it won’t perfectly match everybody’s needs.

Each choice has pro’s and con’s. In order to select the best option, an asset manager should carefully analyse the three V’s (velocity, volume, variety of data), the internal resources of the company and the customer needs. 

 

This is the one of a series of articles, where we take a look at how energy companies can boost their performances through digital energy. In this series we will discuss:

Subscribe to our Newsletter "Digital Energy Insights"