What's in store for energy management companies in 2014?

Energy management companies, especially those that make data collection software, can expect heavy interest from corporations in the coming year, according to a survey of global companies.

Only 6 percent of energy managers surveyed by analyst firm Verdantix plan to spend less on energy management next year, while half said their spend will remain the same and 45 percent will spend more.

Regardless of how much they spend, practically all corporations see the benefit of knowing more about how they are using energy, with 99 percent saying they think they need to collect and report more energy data more frequently -- and not just more data, but higher quality data.

Aiming to give insight into energy management trends, spending patterns and governance, Verdantix surveyed 250 managers from 20 industries in 13 countries. The results of the survey are detailed in the report "The State of Global Corporate Energy Management."

While informing energy management companies about the plans of large corporations, Verdantix also expects the results could help other companies benchmark their own spending plans as well as inform how they handle energy governance. Forty-six percent of corporations have a centralized system for their global energy management strategies, while the remaining 54 percent make decisions at either the division or facility level.

On average, corporations' energy management expenses account for 10 percent of their energy procurement spending, but that figure starts to vary widely when looking at it industry-by-industry. Another fluctuating figure is company use of on-site power generation, which not only changes based on industry but also on what countries those companies operate in.

As for why companies are investing in energy management, almost the same number of companies point to cost savings as those that cite compliance with legislation as the primary driver behind their spending. Companies that won't be spending more or as much as they'd like to spend said that the main factors holding back higher investments are hurdles at the chief financial officer level, a lack of quantifiable benefits and not enough cost savings.

Among other findings, the survey reveals that the most outsourced activity among corporations is utility bill management (25 percent), followed by risk management (21 percent) and energy data analytics (19 percent).

Verdantix will discuss the survey in a webinar, "Coping With The Energy Challenge: Energy Management Strategies In 2014," on Oct. 3. The report is available for free to Verdantix clients and registered users.

Editor's note: To learn more about energy management and the convergence of sustainability and technology, be sure to check out VERGE SF October 14-17.
 

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