As intelligent energy management technology has evolved, it has expanded considerably beyond the initial systems and platforms designed to help enterprises manage energy in their facilities. We’ve seen some energy management players – from enterprises to utility customers – reorient their offerings to serve as a demand-side management tools. Others have decided to specialize in certain high-value applications such as demand response.
One of the newer frontiers in intelligent energy management is the integration of energy management and facility management technology. At first, it might appear that these two services have little to do with one another. The former is concerned primarily with monitoring and reducing energy consumption and consumption, while the latter is focused on a range of issues affecting interior spaces (such as space planning, mail management, catering, janitorial services, and security). However, several of the IT systems used to monitor and govern many of these facility management services also create data relevant to energy management. Thus, they create opportunities to build additional applications onto the same IT backbone.
Yin, Meet Yang
One of the best examples of this integration is Jones Lang LaSalle’s IntelliCommand offering, which is a white-labeled version of Pacific Controls’ energy and operations management software. The tools provide Jones Lang LaSalle’s commercial real estate customers with a suite of applications, such as energy visualization, energy management, and demand response, that help reduce energy costs while maintaining (or improving) building operations and the quality of the interior environment. In addition, the system ties directly into Jones Lang LaSalle’s existing workflow management system, which its customers are already familiar with, an advantage over similar offerings that have independent user interfaces and functionality. Meanwhile, IBM’s acquisition of facility management software firm TRIRIGA in 2011 and Ameresco’s acquisition of FAME Facility Software Solutions in 2012 also demonstrate the rapid integration of facility management with business operations and energy efficiency offerings.
The Jones Lang LaSalle model, which integrates energy management into a broader facility management offering, would appear to be the inverse of the IBM/Ameresco model, which adds facility and asset management capability to energy management systems that offer a multitude of energy-related applications. Rather than arguing that one or the other is the “right” model, I will say that both models will likely coexist within the building industry for years to come. This yin-yang effect – with facility management nested into energy management and vice versa – will ensure that customers have options that suit their priorities, budget, and existing building IT infrastructure.
Tags: Building Energy Management Systems, Building Systems, Energy Management, Smart Energy Program
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