Building energy management systems are critical tools to reach sustainability goals and to curb waste

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According to the European Commission, buildings in the European Union (EU) are responsible for 40% of the region’s energy consumption and 36% of its greenhouse gas emissions. If building energy and water consumption is not properly monitored, through the use of energy management systems (EMS), it becomes difficult to control how much is used and wasted. Left unchecked, this hurts both the environment and impacts the building owner’s energy bill. Energy waste costs businesses and households billions of dollars each year. In 2019 France consumed 473 TWh of electricity and residential customers consumed 36% of total electricity, while companies used 27% and large industries consumed 17%. According to the French Ministry of Ecology, commercial buildings represent 44% of gas emissions in France.

To formulate an effective sustainability action plan, it is important to determine a building’s consumption and energy distribution profiles. Without such knowledge, it is difficult to identify opportunities for energy savings.

We at Automatique & Industrie, a Schneider Electric Certified EcoXpert partner with extensive experience in smart building management systems (BMS), and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, meet with clients regularly to help them better manage their energy consumption and sustainability challenges.

Deploying a viable energy management system (EMS) makes it possible for building owners to overcome energy challenges by allowing facility operators to better understand energy consumption drivers. The system can even alert owners in the event of any consumption deviations. In addition, facilities staff can identify areas of waste, and use the data generated by the energy management system to provide feedback to building occupants, thereby increasing their levels of awareness, communications, and conservation. The consolidated energy data also helps to shape an effective long-term investment and maintenance strategy that accounts for improved energy efficiency into the future.

How energy management systems work

To monitor a building’s energy consumption, sets of smart meters and power sensors are deployed. These devices measure variables such as electricity and fluid flows, temperature, humidity, and air quality. These measuring devices then communicate to the central EMS. Devices can be connected over a wired or wireless network. By using proper protocols, the data can be collected automatically and stored in a database. Communication gateways, linked to third-party computer systems (such as ERP, MES), access the data necessary to perform analysis of the energy data.  They can then communicate to the actuators and valves what to action in order to reduce over-consumption in heating and water to help control costs and waste.

This data can then be easily used by the energy management system to allow operators to control their energy consumption. As the EMS is configured, models can be generated that establish expected performance parameters, thus making it possible to identify sustainability initiative benefits or to identify defects that are generating energy waste. An energy management system can also analyze billing data to allow for better optimization of electricity contracts.

Operators have the option of producing hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly personalized energy reports that can be shared with both internal and external stakeholders. These reports share energy performance data and can also generate carbon emissions and utility invoicing data.

Energy management implementation combines expertise with leading-edge technology

Our Automatique & Industrie teams support customers who wish to deploy energy management systems by configuring and installing the EMS software, collecting data from measuring devices, and training users so that they can run the energy management system on their own. We also get involved in the post-commissioning phase by carrying out maintenance operations and executing changes to the system when new meters and features are added to the system, or if additional training is required.

Schneider Electric supports our efforts to reduce client energy consumption and emissions by providing open systems software that interfaces with a wide spectrum of meter types and third-party computer systems. This enables the EMS to easily integrate and act as an overlay to the existing building automation systems. Customers who have deployed such EMS solutions in their buildings have generated energy consumption reductions of up to 20%.

For more information about energy management systems

To learn more about how energy management systems can reduce your building’s energy consumption and carbon emissions, visit us at the Automatique & Industrie or consult the Schneider Electric web pages.

Global100 Schneider Electric has been recognized as the world’s most sustainable corporation in 2021 by Corporate Knights Global 100 Index.

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