The landscape for technologies that facilitate smarter energy consumption of commercial buildings continues to grow and diversify, according to GTM Research’s new report, Energy Management Platforms for Commercial Customers: Applications, Trends, and Competitive Landscape. The report analyzes areas of focus across nearly 100 key vendors of energy management platforms as these vendors seek to move beyond today’s market challenges.
Success in the commercial energy management market depends on a vendor’s ability to differentiate and to adapt to a wide array of customer needs. “Platform developers must integrate energy data with non-energy data – such as weather, building occupancy, and vertical-specific data – to create applications that establish a clear path towards energy savings and financial value,” said Andrew Mulherkar, senior grid edge analyst and lead author of the report. “Data visualization, portfolio-level control and automated optimization are all designed to remove complexity and increase efficiencies in energy management.”
These technology enhancements are complemented by financing programs for capital-constrained customers. This is especially important for the light commercial market, comprising small- to medium-sized businesses, where the cost of integrated software and hardware solutions can be prohibitive. State incentives and utility-sponsored programs are also eliminating barriers to market adoption, though most utilities have yet to explore the potential of energy management platforms to improve customer service.
Investment in building energy technologies reflects the potential transformation of the sector. Between 2010 and 2016, 48 companies received venture funding and 45 companies were acquired. “Among all the grid edge markets we track, building energy management technologies are second only to energy storage in terms of the level of venture activity,” Mulherkar said. “With the recent jump in large energy service providers acquiring energy management platform startups, we expect continued investment in this market.”