C3 unveiled Energy and Emissions Management Version 3 this morning expanding the offering’s functionality, adding flexibility to the user interface, and broadening reporting capabilities. Most importantly the solution provides users with greater visibility into their facility operations, and provides the data management and analytics tools essential for defining and executing a comprehensive energy management strategy. A fundamental strength of C3’s new offering is the insight into t
Understanding the cost and quantifying the savings associated with efficiency improvements is a pivotal challenge for facility management decision-makers as they approach the market for Smart Building investments. The Smart Building concept is driven by a vision of fully integrated and adaptive controls that manage facility operations to drive down energy consumption for lower operational and utility costs. Smart Building analytics will be a key enabler in a facility's transformation to a Smart Building because the tools embedded in these solutions give decision-makers unprecedented visibility into their facilities to optimize operations for energy management and other strategic business goals.
There is an ever-growing list of Smart Building analytics solutions being introduced to the C&I building management industry. IDC Energy Insights first published on this market last September. It became apparent in the evaluation of the major products available at the time that the solutions would provide varying value to different customers relative to their end goals and drivers for investing in Smart Building solutions based on functionality and service offerings.
The market is competitive in this space with offerings from building automation industry majors including Johnson Controls to IT giant IBM and a whole slew of specialty niche software providers. C3 is one of the newer entrants to the market with a suite of solutions growing from their climate and sustainability software heritage.
C3's announcement today brings another layer of sophistication to their initial energy management launch last year. A significant differentiator for C3 and their new Version 3 is the toolkit that will help decision-makers prioritize investments to meet the needs of their particular energy management strategy by providing economic indicators of project costs and associated energy savings. The new version of the software solution will provide monitoring tools to measure energy consumption, identify opportunities for conservation, project the financial savings associated with those conservation measures, and identify available incentives to help pay for efficiency investments.
Integration may be the challenge that lays ahead for C3 and other niche software providers if they are targeting the largest enterprises for comprehensive energy management solutions beyond reporting and benchmarking. The concept of a fully evolved Smart Building is one in which all energy consuming operational assets are fully integrated, controlled and optimized to meet strategic business goals. What remains to be seen is just how well niche software solutions can become a two-way communications and control platform for building operators to view and manage their data associated with energy consumption and building operations and then send commands back out to these assets. C3 and their competition will have to battle the challenges that emerge as facilities become increasingly intelligent with new layers of control and automation for optimization.
Despite the challenges of integration and the future vision of a fully integrated and optimized facility, Smart Building analytics have an important role to play today. As facility managers and their decision-making teams explore new opportunities to drive down costs and increase operational efficiency, analytics & data management will become increasingly important. An enterprise view of facility operations is essential in order to promote significant cost savings and operational improvements. Tools for projecting investment costs, and quantifying savings opportunities like those offered in C3's version 3 are valuable assets that will help decision-makers establish priorities and develop comprehensive strategic plans to minimize costs and realize the greatest savings available through energy efficiency.