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Most commercial buildings have some type of building management system (BMS) in place to help manage and monitor the facility. These enable facility managers to monitor and control all building operations, from lighting and HVAC to security systems and safety features, through one central computerized system. However, a BMS can’t provide much value beyond simple scheduling and automation.

For more sophisticated building energy management, consider investing in a building energy management system (BEMS) for your facility, in addition to your BMS. Building owners can save energy and operate more cost-efficiently using a BEMS and BMS.

Building Energy Management vs. Building Management

BEMS are more advanced energy management systems for commercial buildings than BMS with regard to energy efficiency. While BMS provide the ability to monitor all systems and control them centrally, BEMS provides monitoring and information specifically focused on systems involving energy use. Commercial energy management systems measure your energy consumption and look for areas where you can improve your building’s energy efficiency. The two building management systems complement one another, BMS focusing on macro-level data and BEMS focusing on micro-level data.

Functions of Building Energy Management Systems

Building energy management systems can be used to monitor things like HVAC units and lighting systems across multiple locations, such as retail, restaurant and grocery sites. BEMS may direct lights to dim in certain areas or decrease temperature in certain rooms to reduce overall energy load. If the BEMS detects operational issues, it may trigger an alarm.

BEMS provides real-time remote monitoring and control of a range of connected systems. Modes of operation, energy consumption and environmental conditions can be monitored to optimize performance and comfort, even when the building manager is away from the building. They also provide the ability to meter, submeter and monitor functions that gather and record historical data to give building managers insight into their energy consumption. This way, they can make more informed decisions about their energy usage across their buildings.

The Future of Building Energy Management

IoT-based analytics platforms are the latest development in commercial building energy management. An IoT-based platform uses wireless IoT sensors placed throughout your building to collect real-time, detailed information about your building’s energy consumption. These sensors can monitor several operations remotely, including lighting, HVAC, ventilation systems, hot water systems, individual machinery and more.

A commercial building’s energy consumption is constantly changing due to a number of factors. IoT-based systems are extremely effective for building energy management because they provide the real-time data that building managers need to approach energy management for guaranteed cost savings.