Eventually, I expect there to be a consolidation in the power management software utility space, as this activity becomes a more natural extension of broader network management and systems management tools. But for now, your options just keep on growing.
- Energy Viewer Express, which is actually a free assessment tool that you can download, is meant to help both smaller companies and enterprise business collect an accurate reading of their energy consumption. The tool works in tandem with AVOB Energy Saver, its power management offering, which was just updated to version 4.0. The software works like many of the utilities out there by making sure a system is powered down when it is not in use; it also works by throttling power consumption to match the actual needs of a PC when it is in use. The software is compatible with the Cisco EnergyWise, so it can work across a broader network.
- Surveyor is a new energy management system that was designed specifically for the needs of small-box retail businesses that have multiple branches or locations. The maker of the software, Venstar of Chatsworth, Calif., is actually a thermostat and energy management systems company. It has tested the Surveyor software at more than 12,000 locations with companies including AutoZone and Family Dollar. Venstar says its software will help retail chain operators save an average of $20 million per year, depending on the number of locations and store sizes under management. The software can be used at individual locations to monitor and control lighting, air-conditioning and heating, and other electrical and mechanical systems. You can use it with a desktop computer, laptop or phone. The software also includes a reporting feature that allows for store comparisons.