Analyzing Energy Data – Does your ERP suffice?

One of the major challenges facing the real estate industry today is the 30% cost of energy inefficiency and waste that is burdening owners. What can real estate owners do to address this problem?
Collection, processing and analysis of energy data allow companies to realize energy cost savings, meet sustainability goals (savings, reporting, certifications) and attract sustainable-focused investors. Can an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system perform these tasks?
Most ERP systems can collect energy spend data and some systems can collect consumption data. This information can be used for budgeting purposes and for purchasing energy on the retail open market. But the ERP system does not provide insights that lead to realized cost savings in the areas of electric load profiles, late fees, outlier identification or analytics with weather nominalization or building benchmarking within a portfolio.
Energy information is consumed by different departments (Accounting, Engineering, Property Management, Corporate Management) looking at different aspects of the energy data. These departments look at overcharges, late fees, poor performing systems and equipment, overall building performance, ESG (environmental, social and governance), stakeholder reporting like GRESB, performance and asset marketing based on sustainability performance.
Here are some questions to help you understand more about your ERP’s capabilities:
Does your ERP system capture energy data?

  • Yes
  • No

What energy data is captured in your ERP system?

  • Cost
  • Late Fees
  • Consumption
  • Demand
  • Budget
  • History

How does your ERP system present the energy data?

  • Tabular
  • Charts
  • Trends

Who has access to the data? Who needs access to the data?

  • Accounting
  • Engineering
  • Property Management
  • Corporate Management

Can your ERP system send its energy data to another system?

  • Yes
  • No

Can your ERP system receive energy data from another system?

  • Yes
  • No

What types of energy data does your ERP collect?

  • Electricity
  • Natural Gas
  • Solar
  • Wind
  • Local generated electricity
  • Water
  • Waste

Depending on the maturity of your energy requirements, your ERP may suffice for basic energy tracking. As a first step, begin adding consumption data to your ERP if you are not doing so. This will help you gain an understanding of how much energy your sites are consuming. However, to maximize your energy efficiency, you will likely need a more advanced tool beyond what typical ERP systems can provide. If you’re looking to capture more than simple consumption and cost and if you want to affect efficiency and performance, an Energy Information System (EIS) is your best option. Are you ready to address the 30% cost of energy inefficiency?
This article is written by Julius Caten.

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