- You need a way to collect data
- You need a way to make changes based on your data
Meters and Building Management Systems Have Different Functions
Meter and BMS Integration Is Possible, But Not Always Feasible:
In some cases, it is possible to integrate meters with the BMS, in order to track and control building operations on the same platform. It’s important to consider that this is easy if the BMS is very new, but otherwise can have a much longer and more expensive implementation than just metering separately from the BMS.
The Key is to Meter First
You might have a BMS that is 15 years old and works perfectly well, but cannot easily integrate with meters. More often than not, that is the case, and it’s not a reason to keep you from gaining control of the building’s performance.
Even without BMS integration, meters give you a ton of great data, and cloud meters let you access the data anywhere. With just one meter, you can see whether your building returns to its baseload at night, and your start and stop times are running. With submetering, you can separate your HVAC from your lighting, see which consumes more energy, and choose to adjust operations accordingly. Without BMS integration you can’t actually change the settings from the cloud, but you can get all of the information you need from meters to make a wise decision.
When you meter first and send your data to the cloud, it becomes very easy to integrate with the BMS later when you’re ready. Vendors are understanding more and more that it’s better to have open APIs that can work together, as opposed to having a locked system. New companies are developing their products as part of the larger ecosystem, open to connections and integration. If you choose an open system now, BMS integration may very well be affordable in the next 2-5 years.
So, whether you have an old BMS that doesn’t need to be replaced just yet, or BMS integration isn’t in your budget, you can meter first, get actionable data, and leave the option open for a full upgrade when you are ready.