Energy Management Software (EMS) is a general term used in referring to a variety of energy-related software applications which may provide utility bill tracking, carbon and sustainability reporting, real-time metering, building HVAC and lighting control systems, building simulation and modeling, IT equipment management, demand response, and energy audits. Managing energy usually requires a system of systems approach. Energy management software often provides tools for reducing energy costs and consumption for buildings, communities or industries.

Features of energy management software are importing and gathering data, accounting for bills, reporting, benchmarking and  energy dashboard usage. In an ideal scenario, purchasing software for energy brokers would be as simple as purchasing a package of office supplies. But it’s not that easy. Vendors use vastly diverse pricing methods and conceal additional expenses associated with purchasing and operating their system.

The licensing for software

There are two primary pricing strategies for energy broker software licenses: perpetual pricing and subscription pricing.

Perpetual pricing – is when you pay one fee up front to possess the software permanently.. This pricing model has been the longest and used for software that is implemented “on-premise” on a server or local computer, an example of perpetual pricing. You can purchase software for a one-time fee of $89.95, and it will cost you the same amount every time you use it again

Subscription pricing- to utilize software in the United States, you must pay a monthly or annual membership fee. You lose access to the software if you stop paying or do not renew your contract. Types of subscription pricing

  • Consumption-based pricing relates to the amount of time you actually utilize the program, costing $99 a month plus a fee dependent on the number of transactions processed.
  • Size-based pricing bases your membership cost on the size of your company, such as the number of workers or customers. Size-based costs $1.85 per employee, each month for a firm with 200 employees
  • User-based pricing connects the number of individuals who use the product. The “Specialist” package costs $2,100 per user, per year.


Vendors could charge you for the time it takes to install their software or even a one-time cost to get it up and running at your company. Some implementation expenses can also be used to cover things like:adapting the software, migration of data from earlier systems and integration with existing systems.



Additional training on how to utilize an energy brokerage software will be available for a price. Virtual webinar sessions or self-paced e-learning courses are only two examples of how training may be provided. Extra training may be beneficial depending on the intricacy of the program you’ve selected.

Ways for an efficient cost management

Manage actively what is measurable. 

Use advanced metering and energy management systems (EMS) to capture real-time data, ensure its accuracy and, in turn, address specific issues.

In instances where building owners have utility monitoring equipment but do not have processing software, the meters or monitoring equipment become stranded assets. This is due to the fact that millions of data points have to be gathered and processed manually, multiple times during the year. A sophisticated metering system equipped with the proper EMS software will automatically collect, process, and format these data points in real time, if not hourly.

Actively manage energy consumption. 

Reducing peak demand during the summer saves electricity costs and overall greenhouse gas emissions per kilowatt. Managing consumption allows for early detection of improper set points, schedule misalignments, and system failures. Use collected data to build a strategy that manages costs and consumption on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis.



Negotiating supply contracts with third-party marketers is efficient to reduce energy costs. Work with several customers on energy specific solutions and identified opportunities to help them negotiate utility rates efficiently. These results can be achieved when you know historical consumption and have accurate projections for consumption taking advantage of available curtailment, arbitrage, and demand response programs.

Take risks. 

This is one of the major changes that drastically reduces consumption can require difficult steps and decisions, but reward outweighs risk if changes are properly managed. The ability of a trusted advisor to leverage in-house capabilities coupled with a strong commitment to change helps alleviate the burden.

Software products have a lot of hidden costs, and if you don’t account for them, you’ll end up blowing over your software budget. Understanding all of the factors that go into calculating the real costs of the organization software can help you plan ahead of time and keep expenditures under control.