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EMS what's next

How AI is a game-changer in Energy Management of buildings

18 Apr

14 minutes

minutes of reading

We recently noticed a lot of confusion about what Energy Management Systems actually are. So we put our thoughts together in a little blog on what an EMS for commercial and industrial buildings should be, and how powered by AI it can make all the difference on your sustainability goals. Hope you like the read!

Caring about a sustainable future

Your Energy Management System, often referred to as EMS, today is the type of tool you've come to appreciate because it centralizes all your energy data into one convenient platform with the idea to monitor and control your company’s energy consumption. But in today's world, the status quo is far from enough. Markets, regulators and communities increasingly expect your organisation and business to take credible action to achieve a greener and more sustainable future.

It calls for urgent actions to:

  1. Combat climate change and protect ecosystems. To keep global warming to no more than 1.5°C – as called for in the Paris Agreementemissions need to be reduced by 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.
  2. Reduce and being in control of carbon emissions while energy prices are fluctuating and can be really expensive at any times.
  3. Rapidly revise your sustainability plan to yield positive ROI.
  4. Cultivate a resilient and flourishing greener economy for both the present and future generations.

The mounting pressures to build a greener future come with opportunities to make your operations, especially in the area of Energy Management of your commercial and industrial buildings, leaner and better.
Commercial and industrial buildings
Caring about a sustainable future or your commercial and industrial buildings

In this article, we'll dive deep into the world of Energy Management Systems, their features and benefits you’re already familiar with.

Moreover, we'll unveil the transformative potential of integrating artificial intelligence as a top layer on your EMS, showing you how this synergy enables clear collaboration among various Energy Management departments, ensuring that all layers of an organisation are aligned on Energy Conservation Measures, often referred to as ECM. You might know this already, but we’re going to say it again anyways: artificial intelligence is literally disrupting how you manage the energy and water consumption of your commercial buildings and facilities.

Understanding Energy Management Systems

What’s an EMS System?

Before diving into how AI is changing the game, it is important to understand what an EMS means and should be. A correctly set-up EMS system should help drive the energy consumption of an asset portfolio to its optimum as fast as possible, and keep it there in the long term. It should monitor and manage the energy efficiency and effectiveness of your commercial and industrial buildings, and assets.

Many organizations and companies around the world have some sort of Energy Management System (EMS) in place. It's important to know that there is an ISO 50001 standard that defines how organisations of any size can improve their energy consumption and efficiency in a practical way. A well set-up EMS system should enable you to decarbonise your commercial and industrial buildings and run them hyper-efficiently, whether you care about the standard or not. 

The first step is gathering data. Unfortunately, in most cases it stops at data collection and visualisation where most of the real value remains untapped. 
energy monitoring system vs virtual energy manager
EMS: What's next? AI as your Virtual Energy Manager

What about BMS Systems?

A second known efficiency system used by organisations and companies is a Building Management System (BMS).

There is often a mix-up between an Energy Management, Monitoring or Metering System (EMS) and a Building Management System (BMS). This can lead to missed opportunities for improving your energy efficiency, reducing your carbon footprint and energy bills.



An Energy Management System measures the energy and water consumption of facilities and buildings and looks for areas where you might improve your energy efficiency.  It allows the Facility and Energy Managers to explore potential problems before they arise.
Energy Management System focusses on ensuring that your buildings and other assets operate efficiently.


A Building Management System is used to automate controls like HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), lighting, fire safety mechanisms, and security systems throughout the building. A Building Management System focusses on ensuring that a building operates effectively.

MPC System

A third type of systems are Model Predictive Control System (MPC). These are systems that optimize the energy consumption of individual sub-consumers in technical installations and buildings. These systems are often confused with EMS systems while they have a very different scope and use case. They optimize BMS or process parameters to, for example, weather conditions or systems managing car-charging infrastructure on local sites. While these systems can be a very useful and a good energy conservation measure in some cases, these are not the EMS systems that provide transparency across the board. Without effective collaborative energy management, it becomes difficult to measure the impact of both operational and structural efforts.

How AI changes the Energy Management game

Current EMS systems

Companies that comply with ISO 50001 or ISO 14001 are familiar with Energy Management Systems (EMS) and their use. These systems are employed by Energy and Facility Management teams to monitor energy usage across multiple assets in their portfolio. However, these systems can be challenging to manage, leading to an increase in resources required per building for maintenance and action. Furthermore, it's a highly manual process to measure the impact of minor adjustments and map those savings to the organization's sustainability goals.

From Metering to automatic Management with AI

What the above systems are not capable of doing is to reveal a ton of actionable insights that are embedded in the energy data of your commercial and industrial buildings and technical installations that otherwise remains obscured or difficult to detect. They are minuscule fluctuations or disturbances, imperceptible to the naked eye, that are virtually impossible to detect without the power of AI. Yet these often have a major impact in your ability to achieve net zero carbon as well as your energy savings targets.

EMS: What's next? AI as your Virtual Energy Manager
EMS: What's next? AI as your Virtual Energy Manager

A Virtual Energy Manager

This is where the revelation and revolution starts. Advanced and automated data analysis and insights powered by AI and machine learning are the only way to detect and reveal a lot of otherwise hidden and expensive problems in the masses of raw data gathered by your Energy Data Platform. It cuts through the noise. Questions such as “Is this consumption normal?” and “What is the impact of external and internal factors?” become much easier to answer.

Some important tips on your way to energy data management for hyper-efficiency

1. The importance of a modular and open EMS

When you are considering the architecture of a comprehensive technology stack for energy management, it’s important to adopt a modular approach. Choose an open system that adopts an IoT and data-platform approach and have the metering layer, data layer, and analytics layer. Modular technology stacks ensure that the platform can adapt to changing requirements or technology advancements without the need for a complete system overhaul. Ultimately, this approach is more future-proof towards other energy-related applications that need access to the same data and not be locked in with legacy providers regarding insights and energy operations.

2. The key to supercharging your EMS

The ultimate goal of adding an AI solution like Enersee’s Virtual Energy Manager to your Energy Management System is understanding and using your data of your streams and sub streams. Energy Management Systems lack the clarity and simplicity needed for effective data utilization. It is too often too complicated. At the same time, your EMS is key to collect and visualize a huge amount of data.

By adding a powerful Artificial Intelligence engine on top of your EMS, it becomes a tool of immeasurable value to improve your energy efficiency. It will help you to:

  1. Monitor near real-time operational energy performance, fix what’s broken and tweak what’s needed.
  2. Contextualise historical data by comparing current data to previous years and periods.
  3. Contextualize external factors from weather conditions and occupancy to the level of activity, thus enhancing your understanding and control over energy savings.
  4. Break down your organisational silos and makes stakeholders accountable for their efforts toward energy efficiency.

3. Getting all stakeholders on the same page

When incorporating AI to enhance energy efficiency, ensuring alignment among all stakeholders at every level is crucial. Often, different Energy Management departments within an organization lack a common understanding of Energy Conservation Measures (ECM) and do not collaborate transparently towards shared goals. Energy, Facility, and Sustainability Managers frequently initiate separate projects and initiatives. As a result, the Energy Manager may not have a comprehensive overview of which initiatives significantly contribute to the company's energy efficiency and sustainability goals.

When an organization fully adopts an Energy Management System (EMS), it provides the Energy Manager with an overview of various initiatives. It is important to recognize and acknowledge the positive outcomes and accomplishments achieved through these actions, crediting the Energy Management teams for their contributions. Ultimately, the C-suite should evaluate the efficiency of funds allocated to different energy-saving projects.

Using Enersee's Virtual Energy Manager can act as a catalyst to achieve this alignment among stakeholders and streamline energy management efforts.

The Energy Management Committe Big on EM Enersee
The Energy Management Committee

Next level Energy Data Management

An extended top layer of AI, like Enersee’s Virtual Energy Manager, on top of Energy Management Systems (EMS) is changing the way you manage energy and water consumption. By harnessing the power of AI, you can reveal hidden insights from the vast amounts of energy data, helping companies and all levels of the organisations to reduce their carbon footprint, enhance energy efficiency, and achieve sustainability goals. The adoption of a modular and open EMS, effective utilization of data, and alignment of all stakeholders are crucial steps towards a greener, more sustainable future.

Energy Management Glossary


An Energy Management System is the full system as intended in ISO50001. An Energy Metering System or Energy Monitoring System, is a data platform that collects data of all your meters and sub meters across multiple buildings which provides you with the data layer to built the full system on top off.


A Building Management System is a system that collects all sorts of energy data, but limited to one specific building.


Model Predictive Control systems are the systems that use models to tweak parameters of a specific subsystem live. E.g. a temperature setting in your HVAC system. Useful if deployed in a targeted fashion for very large consumers, but not overarching Energy Management Systems.


Energy Conservation Measures are measures to reduce and control your energy consumption and energy bills.

IS0 50001

The ISO 50001 Energy Management System standard provides organizations with a systematic approach to continually reduce both energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
Originally voluntary, but becoming an obligatory system in more and more regions. Either directly enforced or indirectly through policy implementing the norm.

IS0 14001

ISO 14000 is a family of standards related to environmental management that exists to help organizations (a) minimize how their operations (processes, etc.) negatively affect the environment and comply with applicable laws, regulations, and other environmentally oriented requirements; and, just like ISO 50001, continually improve on them. ISO 14001 has a broader scope then energy but is not as specific or actionable as the ISO 50001.

Want to understand and use your Energy Data Management collaboratively across thousands of buildings?


Discover what your EMS is not telling you

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