According to a report from Pike Research, utilities around the world are looking to building energy management systems (BEMS) to help boost the effectiveness of their energy efficiency and demand-side management programs, better understand customer energy use and engage their commercial client base with innovative money-saving programs. At the same time, commercial energy management vendors are finding that these technologies can help them gain access to new customer bases that were previously too expensive to access. The net result is that global spending on building energy management systems will total $41m in 2012 and will reach $319m worldwide by 2020, a compound annual growth rate of over 29%.
“The market for BEMS for utility customers is still nascent, with most of the leading activity being driven by utilities in the United States and Canada,” says senior research analyst Eric Bloom. “On the vendor side, the BEMS market is made up of large, well-established players as well as smaller, more nimble companies …. Other formidable market entrants include large IT firms, which offer expertise in handling enterprise-level integration and large volumes of data.”
The capabilities of BEMS solutions vary widely, according to Pike. Active systems can control all or portions of the building’s infrastructure systems, while passive BEMS are limited to monitoring and analysis functions. Some are designed for a single building, while enterprise-wide solutions can report information across a large and geographically diverse organisation. Some systems require connection to a host of meters and building systems for their data, while others can be implemented remotely, without ever visiting the structure.
Review: The bottom line from Pike seems to be that the building energy management systems market is still in its infancy, comprises a range of solutions with different capabilities, with a diverse set of suppliers, and is growing rapidly. That pretty much defines any recently-emerged market.
There will certainly be a pitched battle between various types of vendors for ownership of the market, from monitor and sensor companies through to IT services suppliers. Companies will look to establish themselves as high up the value chain as possible, which usually results in a variety of alliances and partnerships along the way.
This research from Pike is confined to BMS systems for utility customers, although I’m not sure what that means – presumably just the solutions provided by utilities. According to Pike, that market is being driven by utilities in the United States and Canada. But for the BMS market as a whole, I would have thought that growing regulation in the UK and Europe, together with mounting energy costs in slow economies would be prompting companies themselves to adopt these solutions around the world. I would also have expected growth to be significantly higher than 29% a year, but that might be an issue with Pike’s market segmentation.