Energy Management Insights… Inspired by Thoreau

August 26, 2014 By Gary Brooks

Gary Brooks

Henry David Thoreau wasn’t sitting on the shore of Walden Pond thinking about energy management when he said, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

But when it comes to energy management, “what you look at” is critically important to “what you see.” You can’t manage what you can’t measure, and you can’t measure what you can’t see. If you want to identify big opportunities to reduce energy consumption, costs, and carbon emissions, you must look at complete, high-quality data sets. Looking at incomplete, inaccurate or outdated energy data will lead to missing energy reduction opportunities, poor capital investment decisions, and confusion.

Today, more than ever, companies across diverse industries and geographies are facing increased pressures to improve financial performance while achieving environmental and sustainability goals. This pressure is driving firms to increasingly view improved energy management as a significant lever to reducing cost and improving financial performance.

Organizations successfully using energy management as a lever to improve financial performance quickly realize that like most major expenses, energy consumption must be understood before it can be reduced. They also understand automated, reliable and complete energy data is the foundation of all energy management decisions

In a recent briefing with a leading energy analyst, I asked him to share his perspective on the role energy data plays in the global effort to reduce energy consumption. “Many energy decisions are based on sparse or inaccurate data,” he replied. “Historically people thought this data was sufficient, but they’re quickly realizing it’s insufficient to make today’s big energy decisions.” Today’s tech savvy and bottom line-focused energy managers, engineers, and facility managers understand the importance of basing their big energy decision on highly reliable, granular and near real-time usage data.

During a recent webinar titled Energy Data: The New Profit Lever, Alisdair McDougall, with the independent energy analyst firm, Verdantix said, “Decisions made on bad energy data are not worth making.”

I don’t think Thoreau had energy management on his mind in back in 1845 when he said, “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!” But his words hold water when used to describe an energy management trend where a growing list of multi-facility organizations, energy software companies, and energy service firms are tapping into the power of big energy data services. These new services automate the collection and normalization of data from your utilities and deliver it directly to your energy management, accounting, procurement and sustainability reporting systems.

When used correctly, high-quality, automated energy data enables you to look and see what matters – big opportunities to reduce energy consumption and costs that can be material to your business. By streamlining your energy management and sustainability processes through automated utility data acquisition, you’ll be living by Thoreau’s doctrine, “Simplicity is the law of nature for men as well as for flowers.”

Gary Brooks is the CMO of Urjanet – the world’s first provider of automated Big Energy Data that enables companies, governments and educational institutions to make smarter, more profitable and eco-friendly decisions for energy management. Gary is a B2B marketing addict, occasional blogger, innovator and change agent with an entrepreneurial spirit and a proven track record of delivering breakthrough revenue performance. He has fueled his passion for innovation by serving in executive leadership roles at Alta Vista, Ariba, Bomgar, Cortera, Fortress Technologies, TRADEX, KnowledgeStorm and Servigistics. He holds a B.S. from Northeastern University and an M.S. from Leslie University. In 2006 the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) named Brooks as Marketing Executive of the Year.

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