Building and facility managers are consistently juggling a complicated budget, trying to maximize their impact with less funding. One of the easiest ways to do that is with an energy management system.
Energy management systems are designed to help buildings improve energy efficiency, which naturally translates to cost savings through lower utility bills. Energy management systems also help ensure building components like heating, cooling, and lighting are used effectively, which decreases the need for maintenance.
But energy management systems aren’t for everyone. Systems designed specifically for buildings, known as building energy management systems (BEMS), have a specialized customer base. A BEMS is more extensive than a residential home needs, for example.
Buildings that get the largest cost benefits from building energy management systems are often large commercial or public facilities. Here are three types of buildings that can see significant savings with a BEMS.
1. Retail Shops
Retail buildings often have high heating, cooling, and lighting bills to keep customers comfortable. Adding a BEMS can help optimize energy consumption in these areas as well as other systems like security and fire-safety.
In retail shops, the BEMS will connect to electricity meters, sensors, and actuators. The system will collect data from all touchpoints, creating dashboards and identifying energy drifts so they can be corrected.
The results are significant. Many retail buildings use their savings to pay back to the cost of the building energy management system in as little as a year and a half. After reaching this point, shops see regular savings and ROI. Nokia’s Smart Building Energy Management System customers are currently seeing annual savings of 32 percent and an ROI of 25 percent or more.
Skyscrapers are some of the best candidates for building energy management systems because they typically have a large number of systems working over a large area.
In a skyscraper, an energy management system combines data come from different floors, systems, and software into a single monitoring and control center. Information is then centralized in one platform, making it easy for staff to make adjustments without switching between systems.
The BEMS also analyzes all data to provide a complete view of energy use. System users can define their own KPIs for reporting dashboards, using as many or a few as they like. Since skyscrapers are so large, many users define 100 or more KPIs, all of which can be managed through the system.
KPIs and automatic energy drift alerts then help building managers reduce areas of high use and ensure systems are using energy efficiency properly over time. Utility bills can drop dramatically as a result of these changes, and continual monitoring and adjustments over time ensure costs stay low.
3. Municipal and Public Buildings
Maximizing the budget and improving efficiency have always been major goals for cities. A BEMS can help by decreasing energy use in public buildings, generating thousands of dollars in annual energy savings.
Most municipal buildings begin by adding sensors to existing components, installing new temperature sensors, and connecting existing components like electricity meters. All sensors hook into the central BEMS to monitor the building’s energy use.
As with retail shops and skyscrapers, the building energy management system collects data from all components to create detailed dashboards and immediately alert manager when an energy drift is detected. To help ensure a quick resolution, alerts also identify the origin of the problem. This can result in nearly 20 percent energy consumption savings, equating to over $9,000 in savings every year.
Building Energy Management Systems Do More Than Just Lower Utility Bills
Reducing energy costs is just one way energy management systems can help buildings save money. For commercial buildings that need to meet new environmental and climate regulations, they can also help create a sustainable building with fewer expensive infrastructure upgrades.
In this case, BEMS software reduces costs by working with the components you already have. Instead of completely replacing old systems with expensive new versions, buildings simply need to add sensors that connect existing components to the new software. Once sensors are installed, building management staff can monitor, control, and improve energy use from a single application to support sustainability initiatives.