We get asked by building owners in both personal and professional settings about how to save money on utilities all the time. It’s easy to understand why, especially in an area like San Antonio where commercial HVAC systems are running at a high-level most of the year. In our conversations, we’ve found that commercial building owners are unaware of a key to help them save money in the long-term.
That key is an energy management system (EMS). If you own or maintain a larger commercial building with multiple HVAC systems, implementing an EMS is a relatively quick way to start seeing anywhere from 10-30% savings on heating, cooling, and electricity costs.
What is an Energy Management System?
Simply put, energy management systems offer an easy way to intelligently monitor and control the energy usage in your building. This is accomplished through:
- Sophisticated technology that constantly measures the energy expenditure of each independent system in your building
- Smart software that uses the information from your building’s different zones to identify ways that each system can be optimized for maximum energy savings
- An on-demand delivery of tailored recommendations for each of your systems
That may sound complicated, but the reality is that energy management systems make it easy to optimize your HVAC and lighting usage to produce a ton of benefits.
What are the benefits of an energy management system?
If you’ve ever been in a hotel room that never seemed to get to the temperature you were hoping for, you can thank the high-level of control of that building’s EMS. Energy management systems are a fantastic tool that gives you or your facilities director a thorough understanding of and firm grasp on your energy performance. Through a user-friendly interface, you’ll receive custom recommendations and the ability to control your HVAC systems and even your building’s lighting from one centralized place. That level of smart control not only helps save you money, but it can also make your building a more comfortable place.
Fewer Service Calls
An EMS will tell you which systems are working, which might need some optimization, and how exactly you might accomplish that — whether it be a slight temperature adjustment or something a little more robust. This diagnostic capability means you’ll be able to troubleshoot and solve many minor issues yourself. If you do need a professional for HVAC service, they’ll have access to quick and accurate information about how to fix any maintenance issues as soon as they arise.
The largest benefit of an energy management system is certainly the overall decrease in operating costs through reduced energy usage. These systems can get as granular as slight temperature change recommendations in a particular zone or monitoring which lights are on unnecessarily. They can also identify major equipment problems that may be making your systems much less effective than they should be.
What else do I need to consider with energy management systems?
High Upfront Cost
While the initial investment may be daunting, energy management systems are a long-term game. If you own or manage a larger building with multiple systems we’ve found that they are well worth their high upfront cost and can pay for themselves quickly. NEA has found the sweet spot between performance and cost with our recommended EMS. Our experts can work with you to determine whether this solution is right for you and your commercial facility.
Planning and Maintenance
Energy management systems do require some planning ahead of implementation. You’ll want to work with a professional team to ensure your current systems can work with an EMS. As with all devices, these systems will require occasional maintenance to ensure optimal performance. If a sensor is off, it won’t do a good job of telling you accurate information about your HVAC or lighting systems.
How can I learn more about energy management systems?
Your next step is to give the friendly pros at NEA a call! We can discuss your energy goals and advise on how much an energy management system can impact your bottom line.