Archive for July 2012
Every day energy, facilities, real estate and sustainability managers receive inbound voicemails from vendors emphasizing that their energy management solutions will help save energy, reduce carbon, save the world, etc….The term energy management is now so overused it has become meaningless.
Its easy to understand how we got here.
Post the 2008 “track your carbon footprint” crash, large vendors shifted their messaging. They recognized that in a down economy “save money by cutting energy consumption” would outperform “cut your greenhouse gases.” At the same time, start-ups on the VC funding hunt needed to describe how their products could universally address a large energy-related market.
And the more vendors started using energy management to describe what they did, the less it began to mean. Even the press (who have heard every pitch and don’t have engineering degrees) started asking “what exactly does your company do? ”
Our Enterprise Smart Grid framework divided the market into eleven application areas, including utility bill management, BMS, lighting and data center/IT. Any vendor in one of these sectors probably describes themselves as energy management. And clearly there are many subcategories within each of these eleven.
Lately, with cleantech venture capital in retreat, a crowded vendor landscape and another year of sales experience behind them, the most focused vendors have started to refine their marketing pitches. Look at the recent EL article covering JCI’s view on building energy management. Or announcements on new VC fundings for data center energy management. A single word in front of energy management makes a big difference. A few years ago this outbound messaging was not happening.
Like most overused marketing messages, it will take some time before energy management is supplanted by a newer term. Let’s just hope whatever replaces it doesn’t use cloud, crowd, mobile, multiplayer or social…