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Green Software for Energy and Fuel Savings Management

Facilities and operations management with green software to monitor and manage energy, transportation, etc.

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Green Software to Control Energy and Emissions

Rising energy prices and mounting public pressure to rein in emissions are driving a spate of software solutions from startups and corporations alike. This is "green software." And green software is about conservation.

"When you look at the cost to generate electricity versus the cost to save electricity, it will almost always be cheaper to save electricity," says Ron Pernick, co-founder of Clean Edge Inc., a market-research and consulting firm based in San Francisco and Portland, Ore., that tracks the clean-technology industry.

Software companies such as Carbonetworks Corp., Optimum Energy LLC and Verdiem Corp. are making software programs to help businesses monitor their energy use and deermine when to use power at times when power rates are cheapest.

Verdiem's Remote Energy Use Adjustment Software

Verdiem says the number of electronic devices in businesses using its Surveyor program for remotely-adjusting energy use of computers and other equipment

Some examples:

Roth Bros. Inc. energy-management software

Cadence Network Inc., software for controlling energy use in buildings as well as to measure emissions

IBM Tivoli Monitoring for Energy Management software for a facility's ITinfrastructure. enables data centers to be more energy efficient and sustainable.

PeopleCube software for managing rooms and resources in buildings, has added energy efficiency features that can gather information to optimize office building energy usage. Carbon Footprint Tracker links the company's resource management software to building climate control systems.

Applications of Software-Based Energy Management

Glenborough LLC, a San Mateo, CA, property-investment and management company, says that for one building last year it paid about $350,000 after rebates for software designed to make air-conditioning chillers use power at times of the day when power is cheapest, such as the middle of the night. The software by Optimum Energy, was installed in an office building in La Jolla, CA. RESULT: The energy savings are expected to run about $110,000 a year, Glenborough says.

Simon Property Group, with more than 300 malls and properties in its portfolio, says use of the company's green software over the past five years reduced its energy usage by the equivalent of 70,000 tons of carbon emissions a year and helped avoid power-bill costs of about $11 million in additional energy costs required by company growth.

"It's imperative, with what we do, that we get control of the energy we use," says Andy Marsh, a senior manager of energy systems at Simon.

Energy Software by Fortune 500 Companies

Fortune 500 companies are also spurring the trend of green software by designing their own applications to reduce energy use.

UPS - Route Optimization Software

United Parcel Service Inc. The Atlanta-based delivery giant wanted to cut down on the fuel its fleet of 94,000 ground vehicles uses, so UPS began developing their own software program to optimize driving time on routes by programming, for example, right turns only on certain New York City runs. RESULT: a reduction of almost 2% in the company's annual global mileage.

Microsoft Measures and Tracks Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Cities

Microsoft Corp. is launching out software to help measure and track greenhouse gas emissions in 40 cities around the world as part of a collaboration with President Clinton's Climate Initiative, which helps address global climate-change issues.

EERE's Bulding Energy Software Tools Directory

The selected strategies in the Green Building Advisor are each designated 'strongly recommended' or 'moderately recommended', and are grouped into environmental topics (energy, water, or indoor environment) and subtopics for easier browsing. GBA provides several screens of information on each strategy, including links to detailed green building case studies that illustrate the strategies in context.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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