Cloud-based energy management systems bring simplicity to cutting energy waste in restaurants and retail businesses.
For many restaurants it’s hard to manage rising energy costs, because it’s hard to know where electricity dollars are going.
Typically, managing the HVAC is critical to reducing power consumption, but that can also have the biggest impact on guest experience. Traditional thermostat systems lack security and multiple HVAC coordination, resulting in excess HVAC runtime, excess energy usage and increased maintenance requirements.
These systems also lack remote management leaving facility managers blind to a problem until it becomes serious enough to impact facility comfort. By this time it is too late, and customers suffer while the problem is fixed.
To combat this and other issues, many restaurants are turning to energy management systems (EMS) to reduce energy costs intelligently — by understanding where it is being used so that changes can be most effective. As a side benefit, these systems are also alerting facility managers to abnormal power consumption by HVAC and other systems that could signal an impending failure.
EMERGING EMS TOOLSET — USING THE CLOUD
EnTouchOnePhotoThere are new EMS tools that give owners control over a facility’s footprint. These tools take advantage of the cloud — essentially the Internet coupled with powerful remote servers — to provide remote control, quick alerting of problems, and tools to benchmark and optimize across a large facility footprint.
In the past, these tools have been prohibitively expensive. They required extensive re-wiring and expensive service contracts. To make matters worse they were difficult to use and designed for an organization with a large facility maintenance team.
Cloud-based systems have the advantage of low cost, simplicity of use, and couple remote access with mobile apps that keep a facility owner in touch and alerted at all times and places.
HOW EMS SAVE MONEY AND IMPROVE PERFORMANCE
Cloud-based energy management systems have three main features. First, they enable remote communication to critical facility equipment like HVAC systems and lighting.
Second, cloud-based EMSs take active control of this equipment, optimizing performance and monitoring for problems. Third, they monitor energy usage and provide detailed facility reporting and optimization tools.
By using advanced controls and wireless technologies, a cloud-based EMS takes active control. In the case of HVAC systems, the EMS implements security and coordinates operation of the multiple HVAC systems in a facility. This results in consistent temperatures, limits local user adjustments and reduces system runtimes. Most facilities achieve a 25% reduction in HVAC equipment runtime and an improvement in comfort.
EnTouch PortalThe key element of a cloud-based EMS is that it monitors real-time energy usage and continually monitors performance. Energy usage is a key indicator of performance problems; thus an EMS can detect hidden problems with equipment settings or potential maintenance needs.