The building stock is a major consumer of energy and accounts for 40% of total energy consumption in Europe. Approximately half of this consumption occurs during the design and construction phase and has to be controlled by builders, engineers, architects and other actors.
The other half occurs during the lifetime of buildings (IDAE), as they require lighting, heating, running water... Once the building is up and running, energy consumption is constant during its lifetime. Part of this consumption is necessary for a building to function normally and for users to be comfortable in a safe space.
The problem is that it can sometimes be difficult to make the distinction between necessary and superfluous energy consumption, which leads to overconsumption.
The first step to identify necessary consumption and start reducing your energy consumption is to gather data which can come from your invoices, your meters, your monitoring systems, etc. The more detailed the data is, the easier it is to interpret them and thus the better the results (and therefore, the treatment chosen for your building). Indeed, if the data is incorrect, your conclusions will be biased. This is where implementing an Energy Management System (EMS) will be of great help to your company.
Keep on reading if you are not sure to have a good understanding of how an EMS works if it would be a useful investment for your company, or if you just want to convince someone to get you started.
Barriers to Energy Efficiency
Barriers and difficulties can arise in all energy efficiency projects, and in any company that has an interest in energy efficiency. In the real estate sector the main ones we have identified are:
- The lack of data, or the availability of too much-disorganised information. Both unexistent data and excessive data can be a problem when managing your energy.
- The compartmentalised information, not shared and separated by departments or teams
- The lack of a centralised system to monitor and analyse your energy data. According to the World Economic Forum, only 9% of companies use software solutions to process and manage their data.
- Your management team or your manager, if they are not convinced of the usefulness of the efficiency measures and the return they can provide
Although you may have encountered some or even all of these obstacles there is a solution. In the following section, we detail why you should overcome these barriers and move forward with your energy efficiency project as well as how to calculate the economic performance of an energy efficiency system.
Main Benefits/Uses of an Energy Management System in the Real Estate Sector
Are you wondering what is the purpose of an Energy Management System? With the use of an EMS, you will obtain reliable and exploitable energy data from your buildings that will help you identify areas for energy savings.
Although it may seem obvious, if you do not have valid data, you will not be able to evaluate your results, the potential savings to be achieved, or the return on investment of your energy efficiency project.
In other words, here are the main uses and benefits of an EMS such as the Dexma Platform in the real estate sector:
- Understand your energy consumption to reduce your operational costs (the cost of your energy bills) and your environmental impact (emissions of polluting gases).
- Optimise your reporting processes and create customised reports and dashboards to display clear, easy-to-digest information.
- Benefit from AI insights and data for market benchmarking. In addition, this information is transformed into specific metrics to derive savings opportunities in your portfolio.
- The utilisation of Artificial Intelligence to carry out automatic anomaly detection and gain efficiency in the energy management of your assets. The technology here is of great help as it identifies inefficiencies that are difficult for the human eye to see.
Sounds good, doesn't it?
How to Calculate the Return on Investment of an Energy Management System?
Investing in energy efficiency is paying off. But if you want to know more about the economic return you can get and how to justify the cost to your organisation... Here are the basics:
Energy Saving Potential
Imagine that the energy consumption indicated by your bills is 550,000 € per year, that the installation cost of your BMS is 20,000 €, with an annual cost of 10'000 €, and the savings potential is 85,000 €... It is obvious that in this case investing in a BMS is more than justified, don't you think?
Every company has the potential to save energy, regardless of their sector. The more you consume, the highest the savings potential is. The diagnosis of what these potential savings are, and the identification of energy-saving measures to be implemented are the reason why investing in an EMS will help you on your way to savings and efficiency.
Saving you Time in Report Writing
In the context of the energy crisis and the transition to a cleaner energy scenario based on renewables, emission reduction and energy savings are crucial issues for organisations. We see more and more energy managers having to prepare annual, monthly and even weekly reports on their facilities’ energy consumption, and on the reduction of emissions. In our experience, an organisation’s energy management team spends between 10% and 40% of their time compiling and writing reports, dedicated to:
- Gathering data from multiple sources (invoices, meters, spreadsheets, etc.)
- Consolidating and validating data
- Creating graphs and tables
- Compiling and writing the report
- Sending the report
All these tasks, which require several days of work, can be automated by means of an EMS, reducing the time consumed by managers and avoiding calculation errors, which is common in manual processes.In this way, the energy manager will be able to dedicate this time to something more productive: designing, implementing and supervising the energy-saving plan of their organisation, which is so important nowadays given the context of energy prices.
With an EMS like the Dexma Platform, you can track and show the data to your shareholders or customers. If your contracts or loans contain clauses related to your emissions, this tool will be of great help.
Operational Improvements to your Energy Management
Energy savings are not only obtained by turning off lights or changing thermostat settings, but also by monitoring the energy consumption of your buildings through control panels, alert systems, and measurement and verification projects, which are crucial to achieving your organisation’s energy savings targets.