Commercial buildings are becoming more and more sophisticated. More than just a building, they are dynamic entities with constantly changing occupancy and needs. Continuous improvement is pivotal to energy management and a long term reduction in usage. However, to achieve this, first real information is required…
Companies must first monitor and understand their energy usage in order to make informed decisions. Therefore, it is crucial to have access to building data to establish an effective control strategy that can be tested and implemented to maximise savings.
What is needed is an EMS which collects data from the building’s BMS and energy monitoring solution. A typical energy monitoring solution provides real time monitoring of energy and utilities and live data relating to energy consumption.
This can be achieved by linking an energy monitoring solution to the BMS via an interface, such as our very own SIPe IF-Log. This is an ideal solution as it effectively integrates the building systems such as HVAC and lighting with the information which is available from on-site meters to provide a single source of comprehensive data which can be properly analysed.
This analysis enables the building owner or manager to understand when, and how a building uses energy and subsequently develop a detailed energy reduction plan and target different parts of the network for improvement.
It is also possible with the right energy monitoring solution to analyse both current and historic trends in energy consumption which is useful for identifying anomalies, for example when plant is not operating efficiently or building occupants are not using energy responsibly.
Therefore, by combining a BMS and an energy monitoring solution with data analytics, a building owner or manager has easy access to highly useful performance data and can unlock a whole host of potential energy savings in a building.
Long term, detailed monitoring is fundamental in allowing an organisation to develop an energy reduction strategy. But it is also critical to encouraging behavioural changes, such as making building occupants think twice before turning the heating up…
With an EMS, building owners and managers can access building performance data with the use of an intuitive graphic ‘dashboard’ user interface. This allows key performance information to be presented in an easy-to-read format and enables comparisons to be made across different buildings in an estate. It is also extremely beneficial when it comes to assisting the decision-making process for major building improvements such as an update to HVAC plant or an investment in new lighting.
Furthermore, with one simple graphical interface, building owners and managers will be able to establish their baseline energy consumption and accurately track the return on investment (ROI) for each energy saving initiative. This is vital in achieving long term success.
Access to real-time data will also allow occupants to see how their behavioural changes affect the overall energy usage of a building. This is important as it provides the catalyst for behavioural change which motivates occupants to take ownership of their actions. By becoming energy conscious, occupants can make small adjustments to their everyday routine, such as turning lights off in a meeting room when it is not in use and so forth…ultimately this leads to a reduction in energy usage and cost savings.
Surely, if we going to monitor energy usage and collect the data, it makes sense to use this information to create a change in behaviour of building occupants?