Energy Management System vs. Building Automation System: The Basics
An energy management system and building automation system work closely together but their functionality differs in a few key ways.

There tends to be some confusion between what exactly an energy management system (EMS) is and does and how a building automation or management system (BAS or BMS) differs. These terms are often used interchangeably and even though they can work together closely, the functionality of such systems differ.

Energy Management System (EMS) Basics

Energy management systems (EMS) are computer-based systems that measure a site’s energy consumption and look for areas to improve energy efficiency.  Energy management system platforms improve energy performance by detecting, monitoring, and controlling energy consumption and costs.  

EMS are primarily a reporting tool, as they are used to track information and record it over time. They are useful for sites that want to monitor and manage their energy expenditures such as water, electricity, steam, gas, and heat.

What is a Building Management System (BMS)?

A building management system or building automation system is a computer-based system that automates the control the buildings’ mechanical and electrical equipment such as ventilation, lighting, HVAC, power systems, and fire and security systems. The BMS is used to make sure the mechanical systems work individually, but also in conjunction with each other, to determine that the building can operate effectively and keep occupants comfortable. A BMS typically lacks the energy efficiency insights of an EMS.

How can an Energy Management System impact efficiency?

Energy management systems meter, submeter, and monitor functions that allow facility and building managers to gather data and insight that allows more informed decisions about energy activities in properties and sites. EMS can benchmark energy use with other nearby buildings and track weather changes to project expected future facility behavior, identify savings opportunities, and reduce energy expense overages.

Can an Energy Management System Work with a Building Management System?

Yes, EMS and BMS are quite compatible. An EMS can function as an overlay on pre-existing BMS/BAS system or it can also work alone. EMS functionality has been added to many BMS and vice versa over the years as facility managers want to optimize energy consumption in their building for sustainability purposes and/or to reduce costs that were being spent on excess energy consumption.

What BMS and EMS work best together?

tekWorx bridges the gap between BMS and EMS with Xpress® , an easily installed energy savings platform that significantly lowers the energy consumption, and therefore the cost, necessary to meet temperature requirements for commercial, institutional and industrial facilities.

The Xpress® optimization solution can be overlaid with the building’s existing BAS and control hardware.  Xpress® adaptive algorithms determine the most efficient settings for all equipment responsible for cooling production in real time (chillers, valves, pumps, drives, AHUs, etc.) and passes these instructions to the BAS to execute. These two platforms then work in tandem to provide complete HVAC system operational control, energy optimization and performance monitoring and ensure the most energy efficient combination of cooling equipment is in use 24/7/365.

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