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Using a Building Energy Management System for Energy Control

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Jon Schoenfeld

Commercial buildings account for nearly half of total energy consumption in the U.S. at a cost of more than $300 billion per year. Much of that energy is wasted through inefficiencies, resulting in significant and unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. The energy waste also translates to higher electricity bills that can be avoided by adopting a strategic Building Energy Management approach. 

A building energy management system (BEMS) is a powerful tool for real-time monitoring and integrated control of a wide range of energy-related systems. A well-architected building energy management system for energy control brings sustainability, performance, comfort, and cost savings to the next level.  

The Benefits of a Building Energy Management System for Energy Control

Since their introduction in the 1960s, BEMSs have undergone rapid developments. Today, BEMSs are increasingly considered essential for efficiency-focused facility management. This is reflected in the rapidly growing size of the global BEMS market, which is projected to reach worth $12.72 US billion by 2025—more than double its 2018 value.  

A BEMS encompasses an integrated network of equipment and sensors along with a smart building management platform that monitors and controls energy-related building services. With the right components, this system provides deep insight to help stakeholders understand energy consumption and opportunities for optimization in a building, including those related to HVAC, lighting, hot water, electrical supply and distribution, and vertical transportation. 

A smart building energy management system for energy control has significant advantages: 


Optimize Energy Efficiency

Reduce energy consumption and associated costs.

Develop Demand Response Solutions

Implement demand response solutions.

Improve Occupant Comfort

Monitor and control temperature, humidity, air quality, and lighting to improve comfort.


The Challenges of Conventional BEMSs

Despite the enormous potential of BEMSs, conventional BEMSs have shortcomings. These include:

  • Limited access to reliable data: Data provided by meters may not be reliable. Inaccurate data compromises the energy management strategy. 
  • Lack of benchmarking: When an organization’s assets span multiple buildings, building types, and/or climate zones, it can be difficult to know which buildings are performing efficiently and which are using too much energy. 
  • Limited Scope: Conventional BEMSs are essentially high-level dashboards providing information on energy usage and identifying inefficiencies, but they do not offer deep insight and do not give users a meaningful way to move forward. 

A comprehensive smart building management platform with energy automation services allows a BEMS to overcome these challenges.

onPoint Drives Smart Energy Management

Deploying a building energy management system for energy control typically begins with a consultant reviewing the building and creating a plan to address efficiency challenges. The plan may involve changing controls sequences, bringing in controls contractors, and/or commission reprogramming. 

This approach is expensive, difficult, and doesn't last. The solutions may be appropriate for the challenges present at the moment of consultation, but they may no longer be relevant as building conditions, needs, and goals change. In fact, the typical retro-commissioning lifespan is just 1-2 years, and savings can be lost even faster. Even a simple manual temperature adjustment by an uncomfortable tenant can quickly erase efficiency gains.

But there is a better way. 

onPoint is a cloud-based smart building management platform that gives you extraordinary insight into building performance and conditions. With onPoint as the heart of your building energy management system for energy control, you gain powerful new capabilities that transform the way your building functions.

Key features that facilitate effective energy management include:

  • Analyzing data from disparate sources: By analyzing data gathered from different sources, onPoint can report on a full spectrum of changes that affect energy optimization. From occupancy to air quality to HVAC equipment, onPoint shows you the full picture.

  • Energy automation: Increasingly, energy costs are tied more closely to when energy is used, rather than how much is consumed. onPoint provides both real-time and historical insight into when energy consumption happens and reliably forecasts future use. By adjusting energy consumption to avoid peak times, you can realize significant savings.

    Savvy facility managers are also seeking out renewable energy sources to counter peak demand. By integrating building-scale renewable energy systems with smart grids, demand peaks shift and become less predictable. onPoint continuously analyzes the demand curve of a building and identifies the optimum time to pre-cool or shed load to minimize utility demand.  

  • Insights and reports: onPoint’s advanced Insights and reports proactively detect and diagnose faults and are integrated into your optimization strategy. The platform only optimizes the systems that are operational and have the potential to contribute to energy savings.      

With onPoint, facility managers can not only identify equipment contributing to higher energy consumption, but also resolve the issue and optimize efficiency. By providing real-time, accurate data on equipment performance, energy demand, and others, and reporting on changes that affect optimization, onPoint allows for dynamic planning and implementation of building energy management for energy control.  

Ready to see how onPoint can support an effective building energy management strategy? Watch this 5-minute demo video to learn more!

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