Choosing the Right Energy Management Software (EMS)


The Key to Efficiency Success for Commercial Real Estate Professionals

Energy Budgets are going to be due soon: Are you ready to automate? And are you still looking for a software that can begin reducing costs immediately without incurring a large upfront investment?

What advice have you gotten on what to look for in an EMS? How do you determine which software is right for you? Here are our tips.

Haven’t installed an EMS yet? (An EMS is different from a building automation system or BAS/BMS, which we have discussed in detail here.) Nearly 50% of your industry peers are already using these smart analytics systems in their buildings, indicated by our recent nationwide survey. An EMS such as MACH's has proven to be a low-cost service that can not only save you time and money, but can also make your job easier. Skip to the ** section of this article for essential questions to ask when considering an EMS.

If you are already using an energy management software, congratulations on being ahead of the curve! But remember, it is always a good idea to check in during the budget season and ask if you are truly happy with the service. Luckily, Appfolio[1] has put together a few good questions about property management software that can also apply to EMS:

1. Is it complicated to perform even the most routine tasks? 2. Is the onboarding staff training time consuming? 3. Is your current software not cloud-based? 4. Does your current software lack the support for your mixed-portfolio need?

If you’ve answered yes to even one of the questions above, it is probably time to explore new services. Read on to learn what to look for in a good energy management software!

**Dexma, a Spanish hardware provider, has provided some guidance for buyers on what to consider when choosing an EMS.[2] Here are what we deem the most relevant to building teams:

1. Creating your own reports

All EMS vendors claim to have deep analytics, but the true differentiator is in the ability to create actionable reports however and whenever you want. MACH Energy’s software not only provides these capabilities, but our highly customizable and automated reports can be both pushed and login-to-view (from desk top, or on mobile devices), a feature that has garnered much appreciation from our customers.

2. Data security

In this era of IoT, we cannot emphasize enough just how critical data security is in a software that has full access and insight into your building’s energy use. At MACH, we pride ourselves on utilizing the same high-level security that is found in online banking.

3. Platform speed

A good EMS not only saves you energy and money, but also invaluable time! And when the EMS is designed to be as intuitive and easy-to-use as MACH’s, a high-speed platform is always part of the equation.

4. Energy savings verification

Regardless of whether you are employing zero-cost operational initiatives to decrease your energy usage, or investing in capital projects to increase energy efficiency, you cannot manage what you are unable to measure. A good EMS should provide data-driven insights that track the energy savings of your projects on an ongoing basis. Our software not only tracks, measures, and verifies any of your efficiency programs, it also includes a feature called Initiatives – automatically identifying savings opportunities in the form of actionable energy advice that you can implement.

5. Hardware approach

The report notes there are essentially two types of hardware approaches for EMS: hardware-neutral and hardware-closed. The first option is ideal as building technology can evolve and changing out the hardware may result in increased costs if your software is not hardware-neutral. Since MACH can work with your existing utilities data directly, we belong to the hardware-neutral group of EMS.

6. Customer support

This should be a no-brainer: good software customer support can help you maximize the benefits of your EMS. MACH was founded by and employs real estate and energy veterans that are devoted to just that – making sure your jobs are easier, lowering building energy consumption, and increasing building performance and efficiency. We offer many educational webinars and customer-exclusive trainings, so please contact us to learn more how we can offer our support to you!

7. R&D in the provider

"If the [EMS] company you choose does not re-invest resources into evolving their product, then you need to understand that the EMS software that you are buying is the one that you will be stuck with for a long, long time.” MACH's product team is constantly working to provide added value, key updates, and new features to our EMS.

What are some of your questions that you’d like to know about EMS companies? Comment below and we’d love to share with you our thoughts!

[1] “Keys to finding the right property management software – a checklist”, Appfolio