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Green Building Blog

Advances in BEMIS Make Being Energy Efficient Easier and Smarter

Tue, Apr 17, 2018 @ 12:42 / by Jim Newman

Energy Efficient. Cost Effective. That’s the goal of the building engineer or facility manager. Today’s building energy management information systems (BEMIS), combined with IoT (Internet of Things), makes being both energy efficient and cost effective not only possible, but so much easier – and smarter.

So often we focus on fixing building operation and maintenance problems as we learn about them. That’s the fate of most commercial and industrial buildings, especially older ones. It often goes like this - you get a larger than usual utility bill, weeks after the energy is already spent! Had you known at the time there was a problem, you would have fixed it immediately. Wouldn’t you? Sometimes you know there is a problem because of all the complaints. But without sufficient data, how do you know what the problem really is?

Then someone said those magic words. “What if…”Buildings - are they green

  • What if we had real-time energy monitoring?
  • What if we could see, in real time, from anywhere, how much electricity, gas, water, and steam our buildings were expending?
  • What if we could turn information into knowledge, and not only monitor, but plot and analyze data so we can use it to make adjustments to the system from anywhere?
  • What if we could teach those energy monitoring systems to watch for changes, anticipate issues, and automatically make adjustments before they become a problem costing us money and time to fix?

Today’s building energy management information systems (BEMIS), with smart monitoring and web-based dashboards, turn real-time data (information) into detailed, actionable analytics (knowledge). Cloud technology allows that data to be gathered from many sources, analyzed, digitally represented and then accessed from anywhere. The facilities team gets a clear picture of what’s happening with each system in each building 24/7/365.

This article from Building Operating Management offers three success stories of how a university, a municipality, and no less than the US Capitol have used their integrated systems to improve productivity, make occupants happier, and save energy and money.

BEMIS and IoT help building engineers and facility managers mine operations data to uncover issues they would not otherwise recognize unless they were specifically looking for them. Adjustments or even emergency intervention are literally just a click away, saving money and time. It all adds up, and can mean thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars saved. In fact, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (www.aceee.org) found that “Commercial buildings could save up to $60 billion if investments in energy efficiency were ramped up by just 1-4%.”

That’s a far cry from just a few years ago when we had to wait three months to get building energy data. Who had time to look back when we were too busy putting out today’s fires?

Don’t say you can’t afford to have a BEMIS. With today’s advances, and so many municipalities driving energy efficiency through legislating the type of reporting and analytics BEMIS provides, you can’t afford not to. 

BEMIS can be part of an overall energy efficiency upgrade. PACE financing (Property Assessed Clean Energy) may help pay for it. Click to see if your building qualifies.

Click here to learn if your building  qualifies for PACE Financing

Topics: HVAC, energy efficiency, Energy Use Index, energy management system, Building Energy Management Systems, indoor air qulity, Energy Management Strategies, BEMIS, Cloud Based BAS, energy conservation

Jim Newman

Written by Jim Newman

Jim Newman's passion is helping us move toward a healthier and more secure future – for people and the planet.

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