BOULDER, Colo. — Industrial and manufacturing companies in the United States must take additional measures to ensure they remain cost-competitive on a global scale, and the efficient use of energy is one area that U.S. industrial companies can improve upon to accomplish that, according to a report from Pike Research.

U.S. industry has had to understand energy use since it is such a critical input to their processes, says Pike Research. Industrial companies already have relatively high adoption rates for energy management initiatives. More executives are beginning to understand that they will lose substantial competitive positioning if energy management programs are not initiated in the near-term future. Facing high price volatility and stiff global competition for market share, these companies are quickly coming to the realization that energy and sustainability issues are a critical requirement for the competitiveness and even survival of their businesses.

This realization will lead to significant growth in industrial energy management software and services through the remainder of this decade, states Pike Research. The U.S. market for industrial energy management software and services is forecast to rise from $960 million in 2011 to $5.6 billion by 2020, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.6 percent.

“The energy management industry is entering a dynamic period of renewal and innovation,” said Bob Gohn, vice president of the research firm. “New technologies are allowing greater insight into energy procurement and use, as well as the management of energy as an input to the industrial process. At the same time, a variety of assistance programs, plus new standards and certifications, are helping to drive energy performance initiatives into the organizational cultures of companies wishing to gain efficiencies in their industrial processes.”

In addition, a range of economic and market forces — including the economic recovery and increased scrutiny by consumers, shareholders, and other stakeholders of businesses’ sustainability initiatives — are changing the climate around energy management initiatives. Just as quality was a major competitive issue in the 1980s and 1990s, says Pike Research, so is energy management today.

Publication date: 04/23/2012