There is a lot of confusion around Enterprise Energy Management (EEM) - people are unsure what it is and what it costs. For a look a general look at what EEM is, please see our article Enterprise Energy Management vs Building Control Systems. This post will dive into associated costs.
What Does Enterprise Energy Management Cost?
Unfortunately, it there is no direct answer. Firstly, what industry are you in? If you manage a university, a commercial building, or a national retail chain the answers will vary!
Secondly, you have to consider what features and functionalities you will be using. Just like buying a car, building a house, or purchasing anything that comes with a lot of features, you have to decide what you need, and then you can weigh up what it would cost you.
Some features and functionalities will be a necessity. For example, connectivity would be a necessary feature. You need to be able to source information from your buildings AND COMMAND BACK to them? In considering this feature, you’ll need to establish if you need to purchase hardware to have connectivity or if that hardware is already in place within your buildings? If it is not, you’ll need to figure out your options and how much it will all cost?
When considering functionality, you’ll need to ask yourself such questions as:
- What tools are built into the system?
- What kind of reporting is available that will allow you to see your enterprise clearly?
- Will the system allow for growth and integration into new technologies?
- Can the system automatically command back actions to my building once I have established energy strategies?
So this is why answering questions about cost is not straightforward. There are many questions that can affect your overall cost, so make sure you ask yourself the proper planning questions going in. You want to ensure you are comparing apples to apples when looking at pricing across vendors!
EEM Pricing For Universities
Many universities and most commercial high-rise buildings are typically charged as a cost per point. Once you get your features and functionalities list together, you will find that a fully installed system should range you around $10-$20 per point, or on average $100-$200 per building!
There is usually a monthly fee or minimum charged as well. Depending on your campus or buildings, you will pay at least $2000 per month or more. This range can fluctuate quite a bit if your buildings do not have building control systems in place, or have control systems that are old or proprietary.
Side Note: If you are installing a new control systems in a building, make sure to only select systems that can integrate with other systems. Open systems will save you money and headaches down the road!
EEM Pricing for Commercial (Office) Buildings
Some commercial high-rise building owners, REITs, and Property Management companies prefer dealing with cost/pricing on a (monthly) cost per square foot basis. Once features and functionalities are selected, "Energy Intensity", or the Watts/kiloWatts per square foot, needs to be established. With this information, a calculation can be made on cost per square foot. This will be the ROI, which is typically 2-3 times your energy spend.
There is usually a nominal monthly fee or minimum charged as well for base supporting infrastructure and support costs. Depending on your buildings, you will pay at least $2000 base per month.
EEM Pricing For National Retail Chains
National retailers have more complexity involved than same-location customers like universities. This is because their organizations are over thousands of different zones. The connectivity feature, for example, will involve a much longer deployment period and will cost more than a university would pay.
A national retailers typical pay $30-$55 a month per location. The number of stores, features, and types of control systems required have will play a role in establishing the monthly fee. If you are a retailer with a very large number of stores – over a few thousand, you should be able to haggle the price down a bit further.
For retailers that require analytic and monitoring services, the average monthly per location is $45-$65. And for the more high-end, fully outsourced EEM solutions, monthly averages are in the range of $75-$120.
EEM Reporting & ROI
We don’t often see university or commercial customers looking for fully outsourced solutions. At times they will ask for supplemental analytics to help drive the value of their investment.
Analytic and monitoring features give great transparency and can readily prove ROI to executives approving the funding of your EEM system.
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