If you need to convince your CFO and/or CEO to invest in an Energy Management Solution, take paper and pencil.
In this article you will discover the main features that all business managers look for in an EMS, giving you the arguments you need to get their OK automatically.
When you need a tool that facilitates the management of your work and helps you to achieve your objectives, it is essential to explain and discuss to the right people the reasons why you need it, as well as the benefits it will bring to your team and the company.
And who are these people?
This will depend on your company’s organisation, but in general you should discuss the investment in management software or solutions with:
- Your direct manager,
- Your department manager (in this case Energy / Sustainability / Energy Transition),
- The Operations Director,
- The Financial Director (CFO) and/or CEO.
On the other hand, you have to keep in mind that when we talk about advanced solutions for energy efficiency project management, things can get a bit more complicated because of the very specific technology involved.
So, showing the true value that an Energy Management Solution will give to the results of your projects, and convincing your managers to implement it, requires knowing what they really expect from the tool.
From our experience and thanks to hundreds of conversations with business managers from all kinds of sectors, we know that there are 5 features that they always look for in an EMS to be in their top 3.
Write them down in permanent marker on your notepad, and if the solution you’ve chosen meets them, you’ve got it!
1. Create Regular, Reliable and Detailed Reports
Executives from different departments usually have regular meetings where they show and review the results of their teams and strategies.
When it’s the turn of your department, whether it’s “Maintenance, Facility and Energy Management” or “Sustainability and Energy Transition” (the department responsible for energy management in the company will vary from company to company), the most important thing for cost managers, finance managers or even the CEO, is that the data they see in your reports is up-to-date, reliable and detailed.
Indeed, the decisions they make about energy efficiency projects will be based on it. So the more reliable and detailed these reports are, the more likely they are to be successful.
So your business managers will love an energy management solution that provides them with regular and quality data.
If you want to guarantee a first “OK” on your EMS proposal, confirm that the solution works with real-time data – that allows you to get regularly updated information. Even more IMPORTANT, you should make sure that the data is of high quality.
How do you know if the data provided by the EMS is reliable? There are energy management solutions such as DEXMA that have applications available like “Data Quality”. This application proactively checks if your meters are sending energy data correctly to the platform. In case there is an absence of data or a failure of the meters, Data Quality would optimise this data, giving you an approximation of the final energy consumption.
2. Obtain Visual, Objective and Concrete Information to Monitor the KPIs
Defining and knowing the KPIs for each energy efficiency project or strategy is an essential step from the point of view of any manager or director.
We know managers love metrics! These are the ones that will tell them objectively if the actions being carried out are being effective or not.
For example, imagine that the sustainability manager needs to know the “consumption per surface area and degree day” of all the buildings in order to evaluate which are more or less efficient according to their location.
If your energy management solution allows you to create a benchmarking of the KPI “consumption per area and degree day” and show it in a simple way in a report, it will surely leave your sustainability manager open-mouthed.
This is just one example, but you will certainly need to calculate and activate multiple KPIs and EnPIs (Energy Performance Indicators) to show specific information for more than one department.
For this reason, it is important for any executive that the energy management solution you use allows you to define customised KPIs, and at the same time obtain the information in a simple, concrete and very visual way.
This information will also allow them to monitor and evaluate metrics in a more productive way, thus speeding up decision making related to modifications or improvements during the project.
Thus, choosing an EMS that offers information in a simple, comprehensible and readable way for the managers of your company will be key for them to accept your proposal.
3. Create Custom Reports for the different Departments: Financial, Operations, General Manager
As I mentioned in the previous section, being able to customise reports according to the department to which it is addressed is one of the favourite features of managers. Each department will need different information, depending on its functions and objectives.
So imagine if you have an energy analytics platform that includes a tool to create custom reports. This is something that CEOs, CFOs and Business Development Managers love, as it will allow the company to have multiple tools centralised in one.
Not only that, but having a reporting tool within the energy management software itself will allow you to display with a couple of clicks the report and the source of your data within the same window.
With all-in-one platforms such as DEXMA, not only do you have an integrated reporting tool, but you can also create customisable dashboards and receive automatic reports on demand (whenever you want and need them). And all thanks to the possibility to calculate and activate unlimited EnPIs.
Moreover, you will be able to customise it with different graphs, colours, data periods, time slots… in a couple of clicks. Even include your company branding if you need to create reports with a more corporate touch addressed to your CFO or CEO.
4. Verify the Energy, Economic and CO₂ Emissions Savings the Company is Achieving
Another essential function for an energy manager is that the energy management solution can measure and verify the energy savings achieved per project or per measure implemented.
Platforms like DEXMA have a specific M&V feature based on the international IPMVP protocol, with which you can obtain periodic savings monitoring reports and detect possible deviations. In this way you can demonstrate to your managers how the investment made in a solar installation, for example, or in the renovation of LED lighting, is paying off with savings both financially and in kWh.
On the other hand, if your company has ambitious sustainability goals, being able to translate your efforts and actions taken into CO₂ emission reductions is a plus.
For this purpose, the DEXMA Platform offers an App that will transform your company’s energy consumption data into CO₂ emissions. Moreover, thanks to this app you will not only be able to track the energy savings your company is achieving, but also create a report for the sustainability department, showing the reduction in your carbon footprint thanks to the energy saving and efficiency measures taken.
5. Know the Return on Investment at any given moment
And eventually, one of the most important features at a financial level, is that an energy management software allows the managers of your company to know the ROI of the energy efficiency project, at any time and with real data.
If you want your CFO to understand the results of your energy efficiency strategy, and demonstrate the ROI they are getting, you need to speak their language. For this reason, having an energy management software that translates your energy data into monetary values and comparing them to the investment made, is a dream and one of the features most valued by CFOs.
And now, what about discovering a real solution that fulfils all these essential requirements for your company’s managers?
Contact one of our experts in energy management software, to try and evaluate in more detail the DEXMA Energy Management Platform, with which you will cover these and many more needs of your projects.