The commercial energy management market is just now coming into the mainstream, what might be called the “early majority” phase of customer adoption. This is due to a strong business case and improving technology (like wireless standards and the Cloud used in our EnTouch EMS) that makes systems more powerful and cost effective.
What’s going to move it to the next phase is strong innovation, and the future of that was on displayat the recently held Haystack ConnectConference, an open forum for “people who are leading the way to more efficient and sustainable buildings,” where the debate centered around open standards for EMS.
Many older systems on the market are closed; that is they use proprietary systems and protocols that can work with other systems.
Open standards are important because EMS manufacturers can now collaborate with each other. These standards also allow more entrepreneurs to work on the energy management problem.
So, for example, some day you might see apps that you can buy for your EnTouch EMS that will provide specialized control or analytics functionality. Or, you might see the ability to centrally manage an EnTouch system for smaller facilities with another EMS designed for large facilities.
One of the key initiatives that was discussed at Haystack was developing and standardizing tag elements recognizable by every EMS system that would allow those systems to communicate. Other work is done on analytics that would allow businesses to be even more fine-tuned about eliminating waste.
The goal is to build an ecosystem of software providers that can develop solutions to leverage the EMS hardware inside a facility. Will there someday be an app store for EMS? That’s not certain. But what is certain is that more innovation will bring value and savings to energy management. Thanks for Eric Stromquist of Stromquist & Company for recognizing the benefits that next generation hardware platforms like ours can bring to accelerating these trends.