Energy Monitoring vs Energy Management

The terms energy monitoring and energy management are used interchangeably. No distinction is made between these terms. We however believe that there is significant difference between monitoring and management. The difference is not only of form but also of substance.


The energy monitoring can be understood as the collection of the energy data such as kW, Voltage or Current and the visualization of the same. In general, it provides a good insight about the usage of energy. But on its own, it does not provide useful data such as energy consumption in a unit in a day or in a month.

Energy Management starts with the conversion of the energy monitoring data into some useful data. The example of the useful data would be energy consumption for a unit is one hour or in one day. Once such a data is available, it can be used for various business applications.

One may say that it is quite easy to get the build energy management on energy monitoring data. But that is where the details become important. A typical energy monitoring system would have a time stamped data, for example energy value of 27.32 kW at 10:26:30 hrs. But most of the energy monitoring system by default do not give a data at fixed time stamps or at fixed time intervals.

They also do not have an ability to access the historical data from the instrument. For example, if the communication between the meter and the data acquisition system is broken, a standard energy monitoring system does not access the historical data which may be contained inside the meter.

A good energy management system does put such a requirement for the energy monitoring system to collect interval data and/or historical data from the meters. Once the interval data is available, it becomes more authentic because now the comparison between two sets – whether of same unit or of two different units becomes relevant.

Some of the control systems such as building management system, SCADA or similar system are very good energy monitoring system but do not fulfill the need of an energy management system.

As the saying does, the devil lies in the details. It is especially true in case of energy monitoring vs energy management.

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