10 Questions to Ask When Selecting an Energy Management System

Foodservice and retail establishments face significant energy consumption challenges, making it crucial to find ways to reduce utility costs and protect the bottom line. Fortunately, there’s a game-changing solution that optimizes power consumption and reduces operating costs: Energy Management Systems (EMS).

An EMS platform connects, analyzes, and controls major energy loads in a facility. It combines hardware, software, control systems, and reporting to reduce overall energy use, control consumption, and provide valuable insights into equipment performance.

If you’re considering implementing an Energy Management System for your business, here are ten essential questions to ask:

1. What specific equipment can the EMS connect to and control?

Knowing if the system can integrate with your HVAC, lighting, temperature sensors, and kitchen equipment is essential. Ensure that the EMS is compatible with the critical equipment in your facility. Solutions like Open Kitchen and SiteSage control and monitor such equipment, which helps identify problems, lower energy and maintenance costs, and help avoid catastrophic failure.

2. Does the EMS provide remote control capabilities?

Check if the system allows you to remotely control equipment from a desktop, laptop, or mobile app. Remote control functionality offers convenience and flexibility in managing energy consumption.

3. Can the EMS provide diagnostics and equipment performance analysis?

Look for a system that allows you to drill into diagnostics and analyze the performance of your equipment. This feature helps identify areas for improvement and optimization.

4. Does the EMS support automation of facility functions across multiple locations?

If you have multiple locations, consider an EMS that enables the automation of essential facility functions across hundreds or even thousands of sites. Centralized control and management streamline operations and maximize energy efficiency.

5. Can the EMS establish and enforce schedules for equipment?

Check if the system allows you to set lighting, signage, and other equipment on/off schedules. This feature ensures consistent and optimized energy usage throughout your facility.

6. Can the EMS achieve a certain level of energy savings?

Inquire about the average energy savings achieved by using the system. A reputable EMS should offer immediate energy savings, with some systems delivering up to 20% or more in energy reduction.

7. How does the EMS help reduce reactive repair calls?

Ask how the system reduces the frequency of expensive reactive repair calls. A good EMS should monitor equipment performance and provide proactive alerts to prevent failures and costly downtime.

8. Can the EMS provide benchmarking capabilities?

Check if the system offers benchmarking features to compare energy consumption and performance across multiple locations. Benchmarking helps identify areas for improvement and drives energy-saving initiatives.

9. What security measures does the EMS have in place?

Data security is crucial when adopting a cloud-connected technology. Ensure the EMS has data security certifications and, when implemented, follows best practices, such as using a separate internet connection dedicated to facility equipment and avoiding the use of networks intended for either customer use or point-of-sale devices.

10. Is the EMS user-friendly and easy to implement?

Consider the user-friendliness and ease of implementation of the EMS. Look for turnkey solutions that allow for quick deployment and immediate cost savings. A pilot program with a reasonable number of locations can also be an option for testing and forecasting success.

Implementing an EMS can be a game-changer for businesses seeking to reduce energy consumption and operating costs. By asking these 10 questions and carefully selecting the right system for your needs, you can pave the way for increased energy efficiency, cost savings, and a more sustainable future.

Interested in how an Energy Management System can help your business? Email one of our experts to start a conversation.

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