One more year, the energy manager’s priority is to close more energy efficiency management projects. But while they have the project in their hands, where do they find the greatest difficulties? What challenges do they face during the energy management process?
These are some of the questions from our annual survey on the state of energy management 2019, and this is what they answered…
For the 4º consecutive year, DEXMA has carried out its annual study on the current state of energy management. Every year we obtain very valuable data such as, for example, the PRIORITIES of the energy manager for 2019, in whose question 46% of the +300 surveyed have as their main objective to close more efficiency projects. 25% say they give priority to improving energy efficiency in the projects they already manage.
One of the conclusions we have drawn from the results of the survey is that their priorities are closely related to their challenges. You will understand this when you discover the 3 main challenges faced during energy management processes.
TOP 3 Challenges facing the Energy Manager in 2019
The question posed to the +300 professionals surveyed was, what is the biggest challenge for you in the energy management process as a manager?
Of the 6 options that participants had to choose from, these were the TOP 3:
1. Identify and close new projects
A 22% marked as their biggest challenge to be able to identify and close new projects. Although this is at the same time the priority of 46% of the professionals surveyed, it is not the main challenge for everyone.
It is clear that the task of closing new projects is not an easy one. I’m going to put you in 3 different situations, which you may feel identified with:
Situation 1: Difficulties in calculating return on investment (ROI).
Imagine that you get a customer who needs to reduce their energy costs, and you plan to carry out an energy management project. The first thing the client will want to know is, how much is this going to cost me?
Here, more than how much it is going to cost, you have to make them see it and clearly understand “how much it is going to benefit them”. So you will show them the ROI of the project.
Here you can observe another of the challenges of the energy manager, which is how to calculate the ROI of your projects to show their viability to customers and/or financial managers. To give you a hand in this arduous task we provide you with a free downloadable template, which will help you to calculate the budget and ROI of your projects in a simple way.
Situation 2: Lack of interest on the part of management.
Now let’s put ourselves in a different situation. This time you have your whole plan presented. The person in charge of the management or the technician of the company is convinced that carrying out the project is a great idea, but … do the management think the same? Does the financier of the company see it that way and will give the approval to finance it?
Here you will find another barrier to jump, convincing management and/or financiers. You must explain the benefits of an efficient energy management project for them.
Show them the numbers, what the expenses and the ROI will be. This is the way they can see it clearly, the language of numbers. So, prepare yourself a good analysis and show the numbers, they love the numbers.
For the best results, rely on adequate technology, such as an energy management solution that detects, analyses and controls energy data.
Situation 3: Lack of funding
Energy managers and consultancies often meet clients who are eager to start an efficient energy management project and know the strengths and cost savings benefits it will bring. So why don’t you end up with the project?
In most cases, it is because they do not have the funding to carry the project out.
Certainly here you will think… “Well, if there is no money, there is nothing to do”.
This is not so!
If you want to overcome this barrier since the project is practically closed, why don’t you suggest an aid and subsidies for energy efficiency?
As an energy manager, you must keep up to date with the different aids that exist in order to be able to support your clients. You will improve your relationship with them and give them extra value by providing them with this information.
2. How to analyze a huge amount of energy data
Analyzing an enormous amount of energy data is not easy, especially if you are still working with huge Excel sheets or old analysis tools. 20% of the professionals indicated the analysis of large amounts of data as their greatest challenge. This is completely normal among energy managers since the data coming from energy consumption are enormous.
The problem comes when you get the data and you start asking yourself, what do I analyse or need to know? How do I analyse it? With what or where do I analyse it?
All this can be solved with the use of solutions or energy management software (EMS). And the 4 main reasons why Energy Managers use an EMS are:
- The analysis of the data obtained helps them in achieving the task of reducing energy costs.
- They have the ability to control energy performance on a recurring basis, thanks to the possibility of configuring the KPIs of projects in a personalised way.
- Some EMSs, such as DEXMA Platform, offer them the ability to forecast future consumption to improve overall efficiency. In the case of DEXMA Platform, you have the App called Forecasting.
- Being able to have a tool that helps them to detect the savings of buildings and facilities.
Remember that choosing the right energy management software for you might be difficult. If you want us to give you a hand in this task, here is a Guide that will give you 10 key questions to ask your potential energy software suppliers.
3. How to collect and track all required data
18% of energy professionals say they have difficulties or challenges in collecting and tracking all the required data. The solution is doing a good “Monitoring”, that is, in measuring energy consumption variables and automatically tracking them in real-time.
And for this, you will need the help of technology: hardware or meters that collect the data, and monitoring software.
The problem comes when some professionals try to monitor energy without the help of software. And maybe you are wondering, how else do they do it? They make the mistake of continuing to download and create complex Excel sheets that must be updated manually. So we advise you not to fall into the same error and save that time with the help of an EMS.
These are just 3 data obtained from the energy management and innovation survey launched in 2019, but there are many more statistics and information in the full report. And you can download it in pdf for free here!