The majority of public funding on energy efficiency within the EU is proposed for the building sector. The federal funds in that sector add up to €5.4 billion in 2014. One way to increase the energy efficiency of buildings is to implement a building energy management systems (BEMS). BEMSs are centralized, computer-based systems, which provide real-time monitoring and integrated control of building services and equipment to optimize energy usage. They typically control the lighting, power, hot water and HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) systems. The system monitors the information received from various sensors in the building (smart meters, occupancy, temperature, carbon dioxide and humidity sensors, etc.) and optimizes the energy consumption while maintaining safety and comfort.
These systems can also be used to improve the health and security of the inhabitants by control and monitor of the environment, emergency responses and regular maintenance schedules. The technology can be applied to both residential and commercial buildings and at varying scales from small independent building to complex sites with multiple buildings.
Improving energy usage efficiency
Reducing energy bills
Reducing operation costs
Enhanced data security
Improved data accessibility
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Due to steadily increasing energy costs and the upcoming focus on environmental performance, the energy efficiency of buildings will become even more important in the next years.
According to a report from Navigant Research, global BEMSs is expected to grow from $2.8 billion in 2016 to $10.8 billion in 2024. The graphic below shows the revenue of the market for building energy management systems by region from 2015 to 2024. As shown the market for building energy management systems is a globally growing market, whereas Europe is considered to be one of the primary markets.
(Casey Talon, 2015)
The business value of building energy management systems does not directly correlate with the solution's complexity. Due to the diversity of customer needs and building infrastructure, different types of building energy management systems can be most profitable. The graphic below shows different possible complexities of building energy management systems.
For example, for an owner of a single building who is just starting to explore the opportunities of more strategic energy management, a building energy management system, which enables the visualisation and reporting of the energy consumption may be the ideal investment. On the other hand, an executive seeking to manage energy across a corporate real estate portfolio may require an integrated building energy management system that manages a broad spectrum of equipment, helps expedite a centralised maintenance team, and tracks progress toward corporate sustainability targets. In this situation, the most beneficial building energy management system would include the sophisticated capabilities in each of the four classes: visualisation and reporting, fault detection and diagnostics, predictive maintenance and continuous improvement and optimisation. Furthermore, a Building Energy Management System that is initially implemented with a focus on a particular building or equipment type but is scalable to add complexity and integrate across systems over time may generate more business value and support a phased investment approach.
(Casey Talon, 2015)
The graphic below illustrates the functioning of a Building Energy Management System. The comparison of the power consumption over time with and without an Energy Management System (EMS) shows that the consumption is shifted to times where the energy price is as low as possible. The case study based on varying electricity price demonstrates that the proposed algorithm can reduce the electricity bill by approximately 20 %. Simulation results show that the combination of the proposed energy scheduler design and the price predictor leads to significant cost reduction about 1 $ per day (365 $ per year).
The graphic shows all available EU subsidies in the sector energy from 2012 to 2014. These subsidies are steadily growing. The central part of the subsidies refers to increased energy efficiency in buildings and therefore also to the solution building energy management. Especially in the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic Germany, Italy, Great Britain and Finland these subsidies are expected to increase in future.
(Janeiro et al., 2016)
In 2012, the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) was adopted in the EU. This directive intends to trigger new energy efficiency policies and financial support mechanisms across the EU to reduce energy consumption in several economic sectors. The overall goal of the EED is to reach the 20% energy efficiency target for 2020.
(Janeiro et al., 2016)
There are two main directives in the EU covering the reduction of the energy consumption of buildings.
- The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive:
- Energy performance certificates are to be included in all advertisements for the sale or rental of buildings
- EU countries must establish inspection schemes for heating and air conditioning systems or put in place measures with equivalent effect
- All new buildings must be nearly zero energy buildings by 31 December 2020 (public buildings by 31 December 2018)
- EU countries must set minimum energy performance requirements for new buildings, for the major renovation of buildings, and for the replacement or retrofit of building elements (heating and cooling systems, roofs, walls and so on)
- EU countries have to draw up lists of national financial measures to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.
- The Energy Efficiency Directive:
- EU countries make energy efficient renovations to at least 3% of buildings owned and occupied by central government
- EU governments should only purchase buildings, which are highly energy efficient
- EU countries must draw-up long-term national buildin
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