If you plan to implement an energy management system in your buildings' portfolio, first you should carry out a prior analysis of the current situation of your buildings and facilities. So previously, check these 4 key points:
1. Why should you implement an Energy Management System in your Buildings?
The most obvious answer to this question is to save energy and reduce costs. And of course, this is usually the primary objective for all decision-makers when they decide to implement an energy management system in their organisations.
But you can achieve much more!
The most energy efficiency experts go beyond savings goals, they have a more sustainable and longer-term vision about what they can achieve in their organisations:
- Reduce their carbon footprint,
- Achieving climate neutrality in their organisation,
- Digitise the operational processes of their energy management teams, and increase their productivity,
- Provide their customers with more added-value services.
In your case, what is the purpose of implementing an Energy Management System in your company?
Depending on the objectives that you want to achieve in implementing an EMS, you should check that the chosen EMS fulfils all the needed requirements and in this way discard the systems that don’t.
2. Are there Submetering System or Digital Meters in your Buildings and Facilities
Let us now review and analyse your organisation’s equipment.
At this point, you should analyse whether your buildings already have energy submetering systems, more commonly known as digital meters.
It is really important to keep that in mind. Submetering will allow the energy management system to know the consumption profile of your installations and buildings, as well as allowing it to make reliable predictions of future energy consumption.
On the other hand, the data sent by the submeters to the BMS will provide immediate information for real-time energy analysis. This allows you to detect and correct problems before they become more costly.
In addition, being able to perform a real-time energy analysis with your BMS will allow you to identify anomalies such as energy consumption levels higher than average values, poor power factor values, among others.
If in your case, digital meters have not been installed in your buildings yet, or you would need to install new ones, you should consider these two hardware-based (energy meters) approaches to choosing your energy management software provider:
- Hardware Neutrality: it means that the software can interface with any meters or that it is very easy to integrate.
- Closed system: you will either need to conform with the hardware that the platform provider has chosen, or pay consultants to work on external software developments allowing data collection and data dumping. In many cases, you will be paying a high cost for the only compatible hardware.
Of course, the ideal is to work with a software provider that offers a “hardware-neutral platform”.
3. Do your Buildings already a BMS or BAS already installed?
When we talk about whether your buildings or facilities have a BMS (Building Management System), also known as BAS, we are referring to an automation system that manage HVAC, electrical, lighting, fire, security and lifts systems, among others.
Let’s now clarify a common misconception about BMS/BAS and EMS. Facility managers and energy professionals use these terms interchangeably, but they are different.
Sometimes this leads to believe that the implemented BAS building can manage the building energy consumption alone. But using a system that has not been developed for this purpose will result in missed opportunities for cost savings and reduction of energy consumption.
Have a look in this infographic to understand the difference between the two systems.
Working with a BMS an EMS allow you to control the operational energy use of the building thanks to your BAS or BMS.
In other words, you should ideally be able to integrate this existing system with the energy management system you want to implement, to carry out what we call “Intelligent Energy Control” in your buildings.
So, it is essential to investigate during the planning phase of your project whether the BAS or BMS that your buildings use is compatible with the EMS you want to implement.
And how can we ensure that our DEXMA smart energy management platform is compatible with your BMS?
That’s because its technology is one of the few to offer an open API for energy analysis and other data. In other words, DEXMA software executes a code that allows other platforms (in this case BMS, BAS or SCADA) to talk to each other. So you can even connect an ERP to the DEXMA Platform.
4. What Investment Budget do you have for EMS implementation?
Although we have moved this issue to the end of the list, it is one of the most important thing that you should analyse before implementing your Energy Management System and jumping in the deep.
The budget will be a determining factor in the final choice of an EMS, but you should not forget that it does not have to be decisive when choosing a specific EMS.
Now let’s imagine ourselves in the situation. Imagine that among your preferences in Energy Management Systems, there are a couple of options that fit perfectly with all the needs and requirements of the energy efficiency plan you have prepared for your buildings. But of course, when you start to crunch the numbers, your budget is too tight and even too low.
Do you have to automatically discard them? The answer is no.
When this happens, you might calculate the ROI of your energy efficiency project by taking into account the cost of implementing each of the preferred BMS. When calculating ROI, you may find that the investment is so profitable that it is more worthwhile to opt for one of these BMS because they will bring you more benefits than the other lower cost ones.
If you have reached that stage, our downloadable template will help you to easily calculate the budget and ROI for your projects.
And now that you know the criteria you need to consider before implementing an energy management system, which EMS would be the ideal one for your company’s buildings?
Help yourself with this free downloadable guide, and choose the best Energy Management Software for your project.