Before investing in the right technology for your building or portfolio, it’s important to understand how energy management systems and building automation systems are used in many buildings to improve operations and minimise energy spend. One thing we realised in our exchanges with hundreds of energy professionals is that the terms EMS and BMS / BAS are often used interchangeably, when in fact they are actually fundamentally different. To clear up the confusion, we put together this handy infographic.

Green building certifications are essential in meeting global climate targets, but here's the issue: certifications like BREEAM and LEED refer to the intended energy performance of a building, in the context of its design and construction stages. But happens once that building is occupied? The building’s energy performance on paper starts to look very different from the daily reality of its actual use. In fact, according to a RIBA CIBSE database, buildings tend to consume between 1.5 and 2.5 times the amount of energy originally predicted by their designers. That means even smart or green buildings on paper could be running inefficiently in practice - and costing you money. This discrepancy is called the energy performance gap, and our latest free guide is all about closing it using the combined powers of building automation technology and real-time energy analytics.

The transition to low-cost, highly efficient clean energy technology is being accelerated by an accompanying revolution in innovative business models to deploy that technology. As with other similar industry shifts, the fundamental drivers are sound economics combined with the right business model. You've no doubt heard of Software as a Service (SaaS) and its advantages over on-premise software when it comes to investing in energy management. In this guest post by Angela Ferrante of SparkFund, we'll learn about a lucrative new business model called Lumens as a Service.

Time to face facts: the term "energy efficiency" simply isn't sexy. Energy manager readers of this blog know it better than anyone else: uttering this bland phrase generates skeptical squints, a few eyerolls, or at best, a half-hearted shrug among colleagues and customers alike. So why is energy efficiency met with such indifference? And what can be done about it, if anything? Good news: there's a groundbreaking initiative out there that's changing the way businesses are talking about energy management, and you can become a part of it! Read on to discover more...

These days, facility operators and energy managers have a lot on their plates. Keeping up with rapidly evolving building automation technology, constantly changing occupant expectations and best industry practices and standards is getting increasingly difficult. On top of that, there is the ubiquity and security risk of data coming from the ever-expanding Internet of Things, requiring a new set of skills, not to mention the tools to manage building data properly. So how can energy teams keep up with the chaos? Read on to discover some tried and tested strategies to bake building performance into your day-to-day tasks as a facility or energy manager.

There are 6 variables that drive an occupant’s thermal comfort:
  • air temperature
  • surface temperature
  • humidity
  • clothing insulation
  • activity level (metabolic heat)
  • air velocity
The problem? These factors simply don’t tell the full story behind the maintenance involved in optimising temperature in office buildings, commercial buildings, primary schools or university campuses. Thermal comfort depends on other factors as well, like climate and occupant preferences – for example, occupants in Denmark may be more susceptible to humidity and heat levels than occupants in Portugal. The biggest challenges for Commissioning Agents and Facility Managers lie in finding a temperature which is satisfactory for the majority of their occupants, all who may have slightly different preferences, and doing so without sending the energy bill through the roof. Here to tell us the full story behind getting thermal comfort right in buildings is Brenna Buckwalter from BuildPulse.

As of 1st April 2017, the energy regulation P272 has come into force in the United Kingdom. Officially titled the Ofgem Balancing Settlement Code, this regulation has fundamentally changed the way more than 150,000 businesses in the UK are billed for their electricity use. All told, P272 represents a major step in the nation-wide smart meter rollout that is set to continue through to 2020. Read on to find out if and how your business or customers are affected, what it means for your energy bill, and what you need to know to come out ahead.

Demand response programs are opening up new opportunities for ESCOs to play a significant role in the operation and optimisation of energy grids. After all, ESCOs have a unique competitive advantage: they can combine their energy management expertise with granular customer insights to help reduce or shift their clients’ energy usage during peak periods in response to time-based tariffs or other incentives. Demand response also offers a great way to for ESCOs to extend energy services beyond efficiency by contributing to grid stability, safety and environmental sustainability while earning additional savings and opening up new revenue streams for their customers. But does this mean ESCOs will enter into competition with the new market players known as demand response aggregators?

A common myth among energy managers, operations engineers and process managers is that their operations are too small, specific or unique to be able to participate in demand-side response (DSR) programs. Good news: as demand-side management technologies advance and stakeholders push to open up this new market, more players (including smaller ones) are able to participate. That means you don't have to be a major power producer or heavy industrial user to participate in demand response anymore. In this post we'll focus on places you can look for demand response flexibility no matter what industry you're working in. Read on to discover where you might unlock your company's assets and open up new revenue streams for your business...

Landlords and energy managers for commercial buildings in the UK, pay attention: Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) are about to come into force with major consequences for your business. As of April 1st 2016, all residential tenants already have the right to request energy efficiency improvements to their properties. And starting in April 2018, only properties with an energy performance rating of “E” or above will be legally rentable - that goes for commercial buildings too!  Pretty significant changes, right? Yet surprisingly, two thirds of UK landlords are totally unaware of these new energy efficiency rules, even though they carry non-compliance penalties of up to £150,000. To learn more about how these changes will affect the UK commercial property rental sector, read on!