The move to smart buildings is here, and with it the demand for “smart power.” Innovations in wireless technology, monitoring hardware and cloud-based data are all making energy management systems a must have for FMs. Energy management ensures true power digitalisation—a state where every watt is recorded, stored and used to make informed, real time decisions about a building’s power usage.
One key component to power digitalisation is the energy power management system (EPMS). An EPMS is a specialized software that works as the “brains” for your energy monitoring strategy, giving you a broad look of your overall grid along with insights into every connected electrical asset. Here are a few ways an EPMS brings value to your properties.
Lower Electrical Costs
Because an energy management system provides transparency into your power consumption, you can lower energy costs by identifying ways to optimise your electrical usage. For example, use an EPMS to locate your biggest energy consuming assets. Then switch run times to off-peak hours when electrical rates are lower. Audit your current usage in low demand areas to see if you can cut waste completely by installing motion sensitive lighting or switching to automated HVAC scheduling. All this new energy efficiency will also help raise your power factor rating, and your provider may offer a discount if your rating is above average for your area.
Increased Equipment Lifespans
Advanced equipment and technologies within many sectors (e.g., healthcare and IT) are becoming more sensitive to power fluctuations. Complex equipment also requires a consistent energy supply to function properly. Insufficient or inconsistent power supplies significantly impact their lifespan. Therefore, electrical supply monitoring is critical to avoiding damaged assets. Modern EPMS software warn staff to power quality issues like power sags, swells and harmonics before failure or harm occurs.
Reduced Carbon Emissions
In addition to cost savings, optimising your energy efficiency also lowers your carbon footprint and makes your more competitive. Properties with hybrid-grids can use their EPMS to identify the best times to switch to cheaper, greener energy supplies like solar, wind or battery. And because energy management systems benchmark your consumption, reporting on energy reduction and savings against targets is more accurate. That makes your efforts more sustainable over time.
Power Event Tracking
When the power does go out, it can sometimes be difficult or impossible to determine the cause. You may only have a few seconds to troubleshoot the issue before it happens. And your electrical provider may try and place the blame on your property. Flying blind to power events leaves you vulnerable to hefty fines for blown transformers and labor costs. But the accuracy of an EPMS can track your system down to the individually connected device. It records every power event with your grid, so you’ll have documented proof when the power company shows up if you’re to blame.
Expanding Your Energy Grid
Not only does an EPMS warn you if you’re exceeding the capacity of your circuits, it forecasts if a new renovation or piece of equipment will push you past safe limits. Historical data of your electric usage and top-down views of current load capacities help managers and engineers easily determine their wattage budget for any area. This can be critical when updating to more efficient equipment or more robust units with larger amperage ratings.
As the old saying goes, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” But too often managers and owners still see power as a fixed expense, something measured primarily by the end-of-month cost. But today’s wireless technology and the IoT have transformed energy consumption and distribution into a flexible outlay that can (and should) be adjusted to meet an ever-changing supply and demand. Smart buildings run on smart power, and smart FMs who get ahead of the game by adopting energy management systems can increase the value of their portfolios for owners and tenants.