As property managers begin to prepare for potentially another cold winter, many have started questioning their current building operations’ energy efficiency. Rising energy costs, aging infrastructure, and inefficient mechanical equipment have piled up to create an operations system in desperate need of repair.
For a property manager in this position, the most daunting question to solve is: Where do I start? Never fear! With today’s technology, upgrading a building’s operations system can be both easy and affordable.
Understand the Basics: BAS vs. EMS
Before investigating the right system for a property, it’s important to first understand how energy management systems and building automation systems are used in many buildings to improve operations.
An energy management system (EMS) is like the dashboard of a car; an EMS provides a high-level overview of the controls and components in the operating system. With this knowledge, a building operator will know the best way to schedule operations and functions in the building.
A building automation system (BAS) directs the building. Think of a BAS as the steering wheel of a car: the BAS tells the building how to operate. However, the building operator must still run frequent checks to ensure all parts of the building are working properly.
Buildings operate the same way. A good energy management software provides an overview of portfolio operations, with the option to explore a potential problem before it happens. Property managers then use this information to set the building automation system to run most efficiently.
Start Managing Energy Better
Building automation systems and energy management systems make running a building much simpler and more efficient. If your building does not have either a BAS or an EMS, it’s time to get started.
Installing web-enabled meters coupled with an energy management system is a great way to get started. Here’s why:
Web-enabled meters are a small portion of the cost of a BAS. Meters can be installed in any building, and existing meters may integrate with an EMS.
Get actionable data in under 30 days to quickly realize your return on investment. Cassidy Turley (now DTZ) identified $91,000 in annual energy cost savings in one building after installing new meters and an energy management system, justifying greater investments in energy efficiency efforts.
Identify opportunities and rationalize additional capital investments, like investing in a building automation system.
Choose the Best Energy Management Systems
Every building has different needs. A great energy management system needs to be flexible and scalable for the needs of each building it serves regardless of size or age. For buildings that are part of a larger portfolio, decision-makers need to see the entire portfolio on one platform, including submeters of tenant spaces and equipment and different resource types.
Data from an EMS is worthless without analytics. Building managers should have access to in-depth analytics to best understand how the building is consuming energy. Since a building manager doesn’t run the building alone, in-software collaboration tools are necessary to streamline operations and improve team communication. Customizable tools enable the platform to cater to the needs of each building easily. Real-time reports and alerts can alert property managers to issues within the building before they become problems for tenants.