Energy Management Systems Work Smarter, Not Harder

Energy Management Systems Work Smarter, Not Harder

Businesses are constantly searching for ways to reduce energy consumption and protect their bottom line. Recently, this has become even more important due to the painful hike in energy prices. As some of the most energy-intensive buildings in the world, retailers and restaurants are feeling especially pressured to become smarter and more sustainable.

Thankfully, there is an innovative technology that optimizes power consumption and reduces operating costs. An energy management system (EMS) is a platform used to connect, analyze, and control major energy loads in a facility.

Why an Energy Management System?

An energy management system delivers energy efficiency by combining hardware, software, control systems, and reporting that work in tandem to reduce overall energy use. The technology helps control energy consumption and can provide insights into where energy is consumed, how to reduce it, and the performance of key, energy-intensive equipment.

How an Energy Management System Works

An EMS connects, analyzes, and controls key equipment such as HVAC, lighting, temperature sensors, and kitchen equipment. In a modern EMS, the controls and sensors typically communicate with a local gateway—essentially a hub that sends and receives data and commands to and from the EMS hardware at a location and connects those components with the EMS software in the cloud.

With an EMS, operations leaders can:

  • Remotely control equipment from a desktop, laptop, or mobile app
  • Drill into diagnostics to analyze and improve equipment performance
  • Automate essential facility functions across hundreds or even thousands of locations
  • Establish and enforce schedules for lighting, signage, and other equipment

Benefits of an Energy Management System

There are three main benefits when using an energy management system:

  1. Save 20% or more on energy: When there is enterprise-wide control and visibility into HVAC, lighting, and other equipment, it’s possible to control energy use and reduce operating costs without compromising comfort.
  2. Reduce reactive repair calls: Shift away from reactive maintenance, which is three times more costly than scheduled maintenance.
  3. Benchmark across locations: Multi-site operators can identify detailed, individual drivers of energy costs, including HVAC systems, lighting, and refrigeration systems.

Best Practices When Using an EMS

The popularity of energy management systems continues to rise because they transform how a business operates. In fact, last year’s Energy Management Systems Market Report predicted the Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) segment would experience notable growth due to the increased footfall of IoT devices and digital building solutions.

Here are some best practices when using an EMS:

  1. Implement a staggered schedule when powering up equipment.
  2. Use a solution like Open Kitchen or SiteSage to control and monitor equipment, which will help identify problems, lower energy and maintenance costs, and help avoid catastrophic failure.
  3. Automate scheduling and reporting to reduce energy waste and increase revenue.
  4. Leverage text and email alerts to your staff when there are equipment issues so you can make proactive repairs and identify catastrophic failures before they happen.
  5. Transition to a just-in-time equipment replacement strategy using the following steps: (1) gather data, (2) analyze data, (3) identify all equipment beyond its useful life that could fail any day, (4) develop the systems and support to begin a planned equipment replacement strategy using total cost of ownership, and (5) replace the oldest, least-efficient equipment first.
  6. Benchmark energy consumption and performance of individual pieces of equipment across your business, then identify and share best practices with every location.

Wondering if an energy management system is right for your business? Contact a member of our team to start a conversation.

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