Ecova Survey Reveals More Companies Are Using Energy Management Systems

Report offers insights from key decision-makers and users as well as Ecova’s best practice recommendations

Spokane, WA — July 21, 2015—Ecova, the total energy and sustainability management company, today released a report with the results of its survey, Calculating the Value of Energy Management Systems (EMS). The report, titled “EMS Survey Analysis, Findings from Industry Professionals,” summarizes the findings from a survey of nearly 200 multi-site companies, across multiple industries, to better understand how companies select, manage and maintain an EMS and how they utilize real-time telemetry data.

Ecova’s survey reveals that a majority of respondents – 82 percent – have EMS installed at some or all of their facilities, while 68 percent have systems installed at over half of their facilities, which is a substantial increase from 45 percent in 2013. While energy and sustainability management is becoming an essential part of daily operations for multi-site companies, limitations on human resources and internal expertise make it a challenging task. EMS is a solution for remotely collecting and reporting meter data, managing operational systems and alarms, and identifying sites for improvement.

The Value of Energy Management Systems (EMS)

To understand what is driving companies to utilize EMS, the survey collected information about purchasing criteria, how the systems are used, and whether the companies are achieving expected return on investment. The Ecova report outlines key findings:

Twenty four percent of companies with EMS cited integration with current assets, technology and infrastructure as the number one criteria for EMS.

As is the case with any capital expenditure, cost is an important criterion, but companies indicated greater concern regarding EMS integration with existing systems. While there is no clear market leader in EMS brands, there appears to be a shift toward open platform technology and a move away from proprietary, closed protocol systems. Across a site portfolio, there may be multiple EMS systems under management by a facility team.

Ninety percent of companies see value in trend or telemetry data, from identifying troubled assets to benchmarking energy savings.

In keeping with the “Big Data Awakening,” a strong majority of respondents understand that trend data analysis enables a baseline that guides a number of sustainability strategies and initiatives, from identifying wasteful, troubled assets to managing overall energy consumption. Fifty six percent of companies – an increase of six percent from 2013 – are also collecting and analyzing 15-minute interval data to add value to their organization. This value includes standardized set points, demand response management, back-office budgeting and financial management advantages, baseline measurement to drive efficiency gains, and overall support of sustainability initiatives

Fifty two percent of companies were provided a return on investment (ROI) analysis to assist in EMS purchase decision.

Multi-site companies that implement EMS systems can see initial payback in as little as 18 months. However, people and lack of processes may hinder ROI expectations by overriding system schedules and set points, which is why more than 50 percent of companies felt they did not know if they were achieving their expected ROI.

“This survey revealed great news – that EMS is growing, indicating that more multi-site companies are committed to energy and sustainability management,” said Jamie Daubenspeck, director of facility technology at Ecova. “However, there is still work to be done by companies to more fully leverage these systems and the data insights that they provide.”

Leveraging the data provided by these systems is an ongoing opportunity for many companies, especially those with hundreds, or even thousands of locations and systems to manage. Ecova has partnered with Powerhouse Dynamics, Verisae and Lucid to provide the most appropriate continuous monitoring solution to clients looking to bring insight from the data to benchmark facilities, track equipment operations in real time, diagnose issues, and assess the ROI of efficiency measures.

For more information on the survey and Ecova’s best practice recommendations, download the complete report or view the infographic.



Ecova’s 2015 Value of EMS Survey was conducted with input from nearly 200 professionals. Respondents represent a broad spectrum of job roles and functions—such as operations, facilities, energy management, real estate, construction, property management and C-Suite executives—and were drawn from a wide range of company sizes and industries.


Ecova is the total energy and sustainability management company whose sole purpose is to see more,save more, and sustain more for its clients. Using insights based on consumption, cost and carbon footprint data spanning thousands of utilities, hundreds of thousands of business sites and millions of households, Ecova provides fully managed, technology-optimized solutions for saving resources, which in turn increase returns, lower risks, and enhance reputations. Ecova is a subsidiary of Cofely, ENGIE Group. For more information, visit the company’s website at, on LinkedIn at, or follow Ecova on Twitter at @ecovainc.