Energy Management Systems

Tue, Dec 2, 2008

Building Basics

What is an Energy Management System?

Energy Management Systems (EMS) are devices that can be used to conserve energy in buildings and industries. Reducing energy waste can have a significant and positive impact on the bottom line of a business. Businesses that want to manage the operations of building systems to run efficiently and effectively can successfully use an EMS. EMS monitor and control environmental parameters of a building’s systems and minimize energy use. Many computer-based systems give centralized and remote control of building systems.

Types of EMS

  • Optimization Systems: These systems control the temperature of a building by monitoring inside and outside air temperature. The heating or cooling of the building accordingly varies the time of start-up or setback.
  • Time-of-day scheduling: These systems use time clocks to control the function of building systems. Factors like holidays, weekends, daylight saving time, and planned maintenance are used for time scheduling. They control systems such as lighting, space heating, cooling, ventilations and thermostats.
  • Demand Control systems: These systems help control electricity demand when demand approaches preset limits. By shutting off unnecessary loads, these systems reduce monthly peak demand charges on electric bills. Some of these systems also control burglar and fire alarm, log internal environmental conditions, record equipment running time and track energy use.


Energy Management Systems are available over a wide range from simple on/off time clocks to sophisticated computerized control systems. Simple function systems cost $100 and complex ones can cost more than $100,000.

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