Often we ask people, “Do you have an Energy Management System? What we mean by this is a full EnMS, like an ISO 50001 EnMS”. Often, the other person says “Yes” but what they really mean is that they have a monitoring or energy data analysis system or a building energy management system (BMS/BEMS) for equipment control.
“Energy management” is a term that is being used quite broadly at the moment. Clearly, it can mean very different things to different people. In this article we’re going to explain what the difference is between the two terms, Energy Management System (EnMS) and Energy Management Information System (EMIS).
We aim to explain how an EMIS is part of a complete EnMS. The key is how one integrates them!
An EnMS is a framework by which an organization establishes processes to achieve control and improvement of energy performance – a systematic approach to energy management.
Think of an EnMS as the umbrella under which those processes relate and interact. An EnMS is often viewed as having two aspects: “Management” and “Technical”. The relationship diagram below supports this concept.
The left hand side of the diagram illustrates the “Management” type processes involved in an EnMS, such as, gaining management commitment (e.g. top management providing necessary resources for the EnMS to be successful), the establishment of good systems for audits, corrective actions and management review. It also guides an organization towards nurturing and promoting an energy efficient culture by training, communicating and promoting good energy saving practices effectively with all staff from top management downwards.
On the right, the “Technical” processes involved are illustrated, such as, energy planning (e.g. establishing an action plan based on relevant objectives and targets, realized during an energy review, establishing an energy baseline, Energy Performance Indicators (EnPIs), Monitoring, Measurement and Verifying action plan results. Within this analysis, an EMIS deals directly with monitoring and measurement.
The EMIS is a critical part of the EnMS. The EMIS collects data that supports very many aspects of the EnMS (the energy review, the calculation of an energy baseline, EnPIs, and to verify the action plan results). However, the EMIS delivers no value unless the right data is collected and it is analyzed and used in the right way.
For example, we have often heard the following statements:
- “I never have time to look at the data”;
- “We are swamped with data”;
- “We have 100 meters for electrical consumption but only 1 meter for steam”;
- “I can’t remember how to generate new energy reports”
- “I do a lot of work producing great energy reports but no-one does anything with them”.
These statements are clear signs of a non-systematic approach to energy management.
This is where the EnMS supports the EMIS investment. For example, the EnMS:
- ensures that the team has objectives set and time allocated for energy reporting;
- defines the key data to be analyzed and what the important EnPIs (Energy Performance Indicators) are;
- based on SEUs (Significant Energy Uses), defines the key locations where metering investment is really needed;
- ensures training is well managed;
- ensures continuous action is driven by key performance data, based on clear policy and energy management plans
The bottom line: EMIS is an important part of the EnMS; EMIS data (properly used) supports good EnMS decision-making; the EnMS guides EMIS design and ensures good return on the EMIS investment.
Author: Mark McCaffrey Energy Engineer, Enerit Ltd
Co. Author: Paul F. Monaghan Ph.D., CEO, Enerit Ltd
Note* This article was also published on the online Magazine Energy Manager Today. You can view this article here.
Enerit overcomes the challenges with implementing an energy management system and sustainability practices across a large portfolio of hotel properties, Director & Senior Lead Auditor – GreenPartner (Netherlands & Chile), German Hotel Management Company