Survey on the Enablers and Barriers to EMIS

September 17, 2019

This summer an online survey was sent to all Campaign participants and supporting partners with the goal of helping the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory project team define next steps for future collaboration with building owners and industry.  Thanks to your responses, we have valuable results to share. 

Owners that responded to the survey have implemented various energy management and information system (EMIS) technologies: 89% with energy information systems (analytics with energy meter data), 65% with fault detection and diagnostic systems (analytics with building automation system data), and 11% with automated system optimization (dynamically modify HVAC control setpoints to optimize energy use). The supporting partners were mostly EMIS products and service providers.  Both owners and supporting partners were asked about what elements have been the most helpful “enablers” for success for installation and use of EMIS.

The enablers chosen by both the participants and supporting partners point to the importance of collaboration with stakeholders ranging from management to IT staff. We also asked participants and supporting partners about barriers to installing and using EMIS.

The supporting partners and participants agree that lack of staff time to review the EMIS dashboards and reports, and to investigate and implement findings is the prime barrier.

This finding points to the need to provide more time (and training) to prioritize the use of EMIS tools as a part of the building operations team’s job duties. Additionally, building owners reported barriers in getting their EMIS installed due to lack of existing metering, data quality problems, and challenges integrating data from disparate sources. Owners work everyday with the challenges and inefficiencies of working with data streams saved in multiple locations. 

Last, we asked Supporting Partners to weigh in on the question of “What do you think the industry needs to bring EMIS into the mainstream more rapidly?

The Supporting Partners are in clear support of having an EMIS component in building energy codes.  The LBNL team is pursuing several avenues to understand what it would take to codify EMIS for commercial buildings.

If you want to hear more about this Survey and the third year Campaign results on the costs and benefits of EMIS, please see the recorded webinar “Year 3 Outcomes from Smart Energy Analytics Campaign” presented on October 30th, 2019.

Per cent respondants (may choose multiple responses)

Per cent respondants (may choose multiple responses)

Supporting Partner per cent responses (may choose multiple responses)