Cleantech Market Intelligence
Building Energy Management Evolution Accelerates
The building and property management industries have been invigorated over the last few years by the advent of building energy management systems (BEMSs) that harvest, visualize, analyze, and report energy-related information in buildings. The market is crowded and highly competitive worldwide; over 300 players – from Azbil to Zerofootprint – offer solutions that tie energy-related data to the decision makers that are in a position to act on them.
No two of these BEMSs are exactly the same. Each offering pulls in unique data sets, runs proprietary algorithms on the data, and provides a front end designed to report the information in the most actionable way possible. The overwhelming number of solutions and the fast pace of BEMS technology evolution have made it difficult for many software vendors to grasp the state of the art today and how best to differentiate their products. These conditions have also led many would-be BEMS customers to hesitate to invest in BEMS technology, as they are waiting for the products to mature and commoditize before making major investments in new enterprise technology.
Given the complexity of the BEMS market structure, Pike Research has developed a typology of BEMS technology to provide a simple way to understand the market. As explained in Pike Research’s recent research brief, Building Energy Management Technology Landscape, the landscape for BEMS technology can be classified based on the four primary types of data upon which the platforms are built:
- BMS/BAS data
- Facility operational data
- Utility data
- Enterprise-level data
This data is then folded into the software applications available today, as shown in the diagram above.
Most of the offerings available today focus on squeezing value out of one of these data sources. However, some software platforms allow users to access and compare data from a much broader range of sources. For example, Schneider Electric’s StruxureWare platform ties in information from the building management system (BMS), utility bills, asset management schedules, and corporate sustainability metrics into a single interface. Other players with a stronghold in one type of data management are increasingly looking to diversify their features to gain broader reach.
As software vendors look to elbow their way into a competitive position in the BEMS market, the existing offerings will continue to expand. What will the market look like in a few years? Some consolidation is inevitable, either through targeted acquisitions of specialty firms or the demise of insufficiently differentiated offerings. Yet, firms in this space need to be mindful not only of providing robust solutions independently, but also of the opportunities available through strategic alliances with other firms and interoperability. The rapid expansion of this market means there’s opportunity for many players to succeed – but many will fall aside as well.