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Why CAFM software is not suitable for energy management


Need for energy management software

11.12.2022 3 Minutes

Energy management is currently developing in such a way that it is no longer just about the data, but increasingly also about mapping processes. All important approaches that go beyond the mere visualisation of meter data can be summarised under the heading "digitalisation". Processes in facility management can be mapped in CAFM software. In most cases, an energy management module is also available that advertises seamless integration into the CAFM system.

Such modules fail on at least two points: Since long-term analyses must be possible in energy management and data is received with varying time offsets, the structural change over time must be mapped. If there are many automatic measuring devices, millions and billions of data records are quickly collected – and even individual outliers make the evaluation worthless.

The city of Wuppertal, a pioneer in automatic data collection in the municipal sector, has been using IngSoft InterWatt since 2014. A CAFM system is also in use. Automatic reconciliation between the two systems allows the municipality to benefit from the advantages of both worlds.

Adjacent processes

In a professional energy management software, not only the data is digitally recorded. Adjacent processes are also integrated. This is also the case at Remondis, Europe's largest center for industrial recycling. The company has digitised its billing for energy supplied in the area network with the help of IngSoft InterWatt.

Consumption is automatically recorded in IngSoft InterWatt. In addition, the tariffs agreed with the users are stored. In this way, monthly bills can be generated at the push of a button. The service charge settlement is historicised and fully traceable at any time. Correction invoices are possible.

Flexibility and efficiency

Energy management is dynamic: change of meter, change of tariff or supplier (and thus of emission factor), installation of additional sub-meters, new finer-grained structure, expansion or reduction of buildings, introduction of smart metering, and much more.

This aspect must be taken into account through a high degree of flexibility. An example: Vorarlberger Kraftwerke AG (VKW), where 70,000 data points are integrated in the energy management system, is an energy supplier and energy management service provider at the same time. This requires powerful, flexible software with mature multi-client capability, open scalability and an interface to the existing SAP system.

With IngSoft InterWatt, VKW's consulting services for household customers, energy management services for commercial customers and public institutions, as well as its own properties and power plants are all on a single foundation with an integrated system.

When evaluating consumption, various changes must also be taken into account, especially when using additional meters or switching from manual to automatic recording.

Minimising effort

Facility managers also have to manage other tasks in addition to energy management. Therefore, the workload in energy management should be minimised. Import functions for existing data, reusability of modules, hierarchical assignment of rights, prepared interfaces to CAFM systems, etc. reduce the initial setup effort. For typical tasks in energy management such as plausibility checks of values, meter changes and the regular dispatch of reports, professional software offers clever functions that reduce the daily effort.

Meter tree validation in IngSoft InterWatt enables the user to quickly gain an overview of the meters of an energy property and the consumption values recorded there in the last month, for example.

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