The Importance of Real-time Energy Monitoring for Modern Businesses

Introduction to real-time energy monitoring

The world market for energy control systems, in cash terms, was thought to be worth $40.7 billion in 2023 and is set to hit $75.6 billion by 2028, growing at a rate of 13.2% from 2023 to 2028.

A graph depicting the global market trends and statistics for energy control systems

The results of the global market prove that in today's world, where environmental consciousness is on the rise, real-time energy monitoring systems are seen as a game-changer in helping businesses worldwide optimize their energy usage. These systems offer companies a look into how they consume energy, giving them an essential tool for flexible management and long term planning. The reasons for adopting technology go beyond just meeting regulations and cutting costs; they also reflect a company’s overall dedication to sustainable operations. Read on to learn more about how real time energy monitoring works.

Understanding Real-time Energy Monitoring

What is Real-time Energy Monitoring?

Daily energy consumption can vary based on the duration of activity or performance state. Businesses can utilize software and sensors for real-time energy monitoring of assets. This information can then be shared with facility managers, enabling them to make informed decisions and identify areas that require attention to reduce power usage and expenses.

In sum, real time energy monitoring involves tracking energy consumption as it happens, and is an improvement, from the traditional method of energy audits that rely on manual data collection and retrospective analysis.

Table comparing Real-time Energy Monitoring with Traditional Energy Audits

Through studies, test projects and our own experiences we have gathered evidence highlighting the benefits of real time energy monitoring in terms of saving energy and lowering costs. These statistics often depend on the specific context, such as the type of business or industry, the previous state of energy management before real-time monitoring was implemented, and the scale at which the monitoring system is deployed.

For example, to illustrate the effectiveness of real-time energy monitoring, here are some statistics from case studies and research:

  1. In a study conducted by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), buildings that implemented real-time energy management systems were projected to save $13.5 million over the course of the contract, accounting for a 41% reduction in total energy use and 3,100 metric tons of carbon reduction annually. This initiative was part of the GSA's Smart Buildings program, which aimed to use technology to enhance the energy efficiency of federal buildings.
  2. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) suggests that continuous energy monitoring can lead to a 10-20% reduction in energy consumption when combined with active control and operational improvements.
  3. IBM reported a 30% energy savings in its data centers through real-time monitoring and predictive analytics as part of their Smarter Buildings initiative.

The statistics come to prove the necessity of real-time energy monitoring for an effective energy management strategy. Moreover, despite numerous technologies used, the effectiveness of systems in place ultimately depends on their proper implementation and monitoring, as well as the commitment to the data at hand and the engagement of parties involved in the energy management process.

The Technology Behind Real-time Energy Monitoring

Real-time monitoring systems leverage a complex array of technologies to deliver granular energy usage data.

IoT sensors: These devices measure various forms of energy consumption and environmental data, transmitting this information for analysis.

Cloud computing: Cloud platforms aggregate and store the collected data, offering advanced analytics capabilities.

Edge computing: Some systems preprocess data locally to reduce latency and improve response times for critical systems and decision-making. This preprocessing is particularly vital in environments where split-second decisions can significantly affect operational efficiency or safety.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning: AI and ML algorithms play a crucial role in analyzing the vast amounts of data generated by IoT sensors and devices in real-time. By identifying patterns and anomalies in energy usage, these technologies can forecast future consumption trends and automatically adjust systems to optimize energy use. Furthermore, machine learning models can improve over time, continuously enhancing energy efficiency strategies based on new data.

Blockchain: In some advanced implementations, blockchain technology is employed to ensure the integrity and security of energy data. By creating an immutable ledger of energy transactions and usage data, stakeholders can trust the accuracy of the information, which is critical for effective energy management and billing.

Integration with building management systems (BMS): For maximum effectiveness, real-time energy monitoring systems are often integrated with existing BMS. This integration allows for seamless automation of control systems based on real-time energy data, leading to more responsive and efficient building operations.

Explore the possibilities for your energy management system!

Our team took on the tech challenge of building a customized energy storage system for seamless integration with solar panels, batteries, and PV inverters.

Read full case study

Benefits of Real-time Energy Monitoring

Real-time energy monitoring systems offer obvious advantages by providing useful information about power usage, which can help save money and preserve the environment. However, depending on their main goals for using this monitoring, companies need to be aware of the initial costs and intricacies of incorporating such systems into their existing processes if they want them to be truly worthwhile. See more below.

Goal 1: Improving Energy Efficiency

The main idea of energy efficiency is to reduce waste, save money, and support the environment through smarter consumption of energy.


Cost savings

Live monitoring allows organizations to see where they are using too much power or info about peak times to lower costs or redistribute energy.

Better decision-making

Companies that have access to detailed breakdowns regarding equipment models, hours, utilization etc. will be able to make data-driven decisions based on evidence rather than assumptions concerning whether particular hardware assets need upgrading. This increases chances of achieving desired outcomes faster within set budgets while keeping quality intact too.

Compliance reporting

Having up-to-the-minute readings enables firms to comply quickly and accurately with governmental regulations and sustainability standards, easing audits and thereby avoiding penalties, fines, legal entanglements, and other repercussions associated with non-compliance, which can be very costly reputation-wise as well. Unfortunately, because most enterprises lack visibility into their own operations, few companies know this until they find themselves facing such a situation.


Start-up costs

Real-time monitoring requires significant investment in terms of buying, installing, setting up, configuring, commissioning, integrating, testing, training personnel, and equipping premises with necessary infrastructure (such as meters, sensors, relays, servers, etc.), all of which may not see any tangible benefits for some time. That’s why smaller enterprises might find these initial expenditures prohibitive.


The more data is generated by real-time monitoring systems, the harder it becomes to handle and process said information correctly. This necessitates having a skilled software development company or hiring external experts who can work on such volumes.

Technical failure

Just like any other IT system, there is always the risk of malfunctions, breakdowns, or failures occurring due to power surges, lightning strikes, hardware or software conflicts, viruses, bugs, hacking attacks, cybersecurity breaches, data center outages, natural disasters, fires, floods, earthquakes, riots, wars, sabotage, theft, and accidents, among others.

Goal 2: Build Cost Reduction Strategy

By providing immediate insights into energy utilization, real-time monitoring systems enable companies to track and scrutinize the performance and efficiency of their infrastructure. Additionally, they open opportunities for cost-cutting and improved energy allocation. This is illustrated by a basic comparison of data from both research studies and our own experience.

Table showing potential annual savings for various energy-saving measures


Detection of inefficiencies

Immediate awareness of energy usage patterns helps isolate inefficient equipment or processes.

Predictive maintenance

The continuous stream of data can reveal irregularities in energy consumption that imply potential equipment failures. Early detection can minimize expensive repair costs and prevent operational downtime.

Demand-side management

Systems can adjust consumption based on utility pricing, engaging in load shifting during peak tariff times to lower energy bills.

Automated controls

Some systems can automatically regulate machinery and appliances, maintaining optimal energy use without the need for manual intervention, thus saving labor costs and reducing human error.


In addition to the previously-mentioned disadvantages:

Privacy and security

These systems collect vast amounts of data which must be securely stored and managed to prevent breaches, which adds another layer of cost.

Tech dependence

Increasing reliance on automation and sophisticated systems can lead to vulnerability if those systems experience failures or become outdated.

Goal 3: Enhancing Building Performance

Enhancing building performance capitalizes on real-time energy monitoring to optimize building operations, leading to greater energy efficiency, improved maintenance schedules, and enhanced occupant comfort. Analyzing sensor information alongside other relevant data helps companies running buildings or other structures make well-informed decisions that align with sustainability goals while simultaneously reducing operational costs.


Anticipatory care

This method can analyze records for equipment performance, and hence anticipate possible breakdowns, plan maintenance activities in advance, and cut down repair expenditure.

Increased convenience

The system can adjust heating levels depending on outside temperatures and lighting intensity based on natural light availability, thus ensuring an individual’s comfort throughout the day.


Technical integration difficulties

Connecting new technologies into existing building systems may prove difficult due to the complexity involved in such processes, especially if different software products are used for each component, which requires communication among them all.

Security and privacy issuesThere is need for strong security measures and trusted renewable energy software partner, because collecting real-time information poses threat, and so sensitive data must be safeguarded properly.

Implementing Real-time Energy Monitoring in Your Business

Steps for Real-Time Energy Monitoring Implementation:

  1. Identify energy targets: Clearly define goals for monitoring energy consumption.
  2. Evaluate current systems: Analyze electricity usage patterns and existing infrastructure.
  3. Select a reputable software developer: If internal expertise is lacking or if unsure about conducting an audit independently, or hiring a dedicated team to develop customized software.
  4. Choose the right technology: Select sensors and software that are compatible with your existing infrastructure and aligned with your objectives.
  5. Develop a proof of concept (PoC) and minimum viable product (MVP): Test the solution's viability and effectiveness on a small scale. Continuous deployment: Expand implementation based on the results and insights gained from the initial testing phase.

Choosing the Right Real-time Energy Monitoring System

When selecting a real-time energy monitoring system, the optimal choice depends on a variety of factors which include data granularity, compatibility with existing equipment, third-party integration capability, cost, and user interface complexity. Let's consider 3 cases.

Data granularity refers to how detailed the information the system provides. System A offers high granularity, meaning it captures very precise data, while System B offers medium, and System C provides low granularity. This implies that System A can give more detailed insights, which may be valuable for intricate analysis, but could be overwhelming or unnecessary depending on the user's needs.

Compatibility with existing equipment is about how well the new system can work with the hardware or software already in use. System A promises full compatibility, ensuring a seamless integration into current operations. System B has partial compatibility, which may require some adjustments or workarounds, and System C has limited compatibility, potentially necessitating additional investments in compatible equipment or more extensive modifications to existing setups.

Third-party integration is the system’s ability to work with products or services from other providers. System A has extensive integration potential, suggesting it can easily connect with a wide range of other tools or systems. System B has moderate integration potential, and System C has minimal, meaning it may not work well with other third-party services or may require custom solutions to achieve integration.

The cost factor varies across the systems from high to low investment. System A requires a high investment, which might be justified by its high data granularity and compatibility, yet might not be necessary for all users. System B is a moderate investment, potentially offering a balanced compromise between features and cost. System C is the lowest investment, which may make it an attractive option for those with limited budgets or simpler needs, but it comes with the trade-off of lower granularity and compatibility.

The user interface is an important aspect to consider for daily operations. System A is complex, which might indicate a steep learning curve or may offer sophisticated features that require more time to master. System B is user-friendly, suggesting that it might be easier to use without extensive training while still providing necessary functionalities. System C has a simplified interface, which may be easiest for users to navigate, but could lack some advanced features available in the other systems.

Table summarizing key features of three systems: System A - High Granularity, Full Compatibility, Extensive Integration, High Cost, Complex Interface; System B - Medium Granularity, Partial Compatibility, Moderate Integration, Moderate Cost, User-Friendly Interface; System C - Low Granularity, Limited Compatibility, Minimal Integration, Low Cost, Simplified Interface.

So, the right system will depend on the specific balance of these features that best suits your situation. It’s about aligning the system’s pros and cons with the organization's operational needs, technical capabilities, and budget constraints.

Real-World Example: Solar Energy Data Portal–A Techstack Case Study

A New York-based manufacturing team partnered with us to create a centralized Solar Energy Data Portal. The purpose of this sophisticated platform was twofold: to aggregate solar energy output from a variety of vendors and to refine the presentation, analytics, and management of this crucial data, addressing both internal and external demands.

Challenges of solar data

The team faced the monumental tasks of standardizing varied data formats, enabling real-time processing, ensuring impeccable data accuracy and integrity, tackling interoperability between disparate systems, and architecting a solution that could seamlessly scale with demand.

Architecting a dynamic solution

To transform these challenges into opportunities, the team constructed a robust solar energy production platform. We crafted an intricate solution that not only collected data hourly, but also maintained historical records, all while ensuring rapid and reliable data aggregation. Through this technological feat, the platform presented a comprehensive view of energy production data, tailored by region and inverter status.

The technology behind the transformation

The infrastructure was built upon a stack capable of handling such a demanding task. With TCP/IP, SNMP, and HTTP forming the network communications backbone, the solution interfaced with solar panels and inverters—the fundamental hardware components—to facilitate data collection.

From development to impact

The Solar Energy Data Portal is now making solar energy data more accessible, reliable, and actionable. It empowers stakeholders to optimize energy usage, discern trends, and make informed decisions. As solar technology continues to advance, this portal remains a scalable solution—ready to integrate new features and evolve with the industry, shining a light on the potential for a sustainable, data-driven future.


Real-time energy monitoring is a key catalyst for businesses aiming to excel in efficiency and cost reduction. Imagine being able to make immediate, data-driven decisions that not only slash your costs in the long term but also contribute to a healthier environment from the start.

Whether you're a thriving corporation or a budding startup, by adopting real-time energy monitoring, you're not just staying in tune with global market trends; you're also making a bold statement about your commitment to sustainable operations, much like Amazon or startups in the renewable energy sector.So, what's the next step? Explore our cases and services, and let the journey towards efficiency, cost savings, and sustainability begin!