Energy Management Software Accelerates Energy Transition

The words “energy transition” probably conjure up images of windmill covered hillsides, vast solar farms, high-capacity storage batteries and fleets of electric vehicles. But the picture is incomplete unless smart, energy-efficient commercial buildings are also included in the conversation.

Buildings come in various shapes and sizes, and each has a particular mission. Yet every building consumes energy and leaves an environmental footprint. In fact, the world’s existing inventory of more than 100 million buildings uses 40% of all energy and produces one-third of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.[1]

Commercial buildings are also notoriously inefficient, with a typical building wasting up to 30% of the energy it consumes.[2] Optimizing the energy use in underperforming buildings complements the worldwide shift to renewable energy, reduces strain on our energy grid and supply chain, and makes buildings more sustainable.

That’s good news for the planet and good news for building owners and operators. Organizations with building portfolios are constantly seeking ways to manage their buildings’ energy consumption, reduce energy and operating costs, comply with current and emerging regulations, and meet their environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments to stakeholders.

Energy management software (EMS) provides building owners and operators the tools they need to achieve energy-related business objectives and enhance building performance while creating a safer, healthier and more comfortable experience for building occupants.


Energy efficiency has been on most organizations’ to-do lists for decades and most use building management systems (BMSs) to control their buildings’ heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. In a typical building the BMS turns the AC on and off based on established temperature setpoints, building occupancy levels and prevailing energy costs.

Operations and maintenance account for about 60-80% of a typical building’s environmental footprint,[3] so managing heavy load factors – like HVAC – using well-tuned building controls can have a major impact on GHG emissions, energy consumption and utility costs.

The best EMS creates an integrated, end-to-end approach to energy optimization by digitalizing six key facets of energy management:

  • Energy procurement and risk management
  • Utility bill management
  • Energy monitoring and reporting
  • Operations and control
  • Carbon Management and control
  • Project management

The primary purpose of EMS is to help organizations decarbonize and optimize building operations. That hasn’t changed much in the last decade and a half, but EMS functionality has increased exponentially.

Today’s most capable software takes full advantage of artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) to make buildings more efficient and sustainable. In addition, EMS helps organizations navigate a complex energy ecosystem, deal with volatile energy prices and tougher regulations, and empower their energy transition – all at the same time.


Complicating matters is the fact that about 80% of today’s buildings will still be in use in 2050[4], which creates a formidable challenge for building owners and operators who will need to update these structures to optimize building operations and drive down carbon emissions. As they explore ways to future-proof their buildings, organizations will recognize that EMS software is fundamental to their opertional technology investments.

Here are several things they need to look for in an EMS partner:

Domain Expertise. Building operators improve their chances of a successful EMS implementation by choosing a partner that understands the commercial buildings industry and what it takes to realize and sustain meaningful energy efficiency improvements.

Integration with the Legacy BMS. Organizations can improve efficiency, reduce capital outlays and cut implementation time by choosing agnostic EMS solutions that integrate with the legacy BMS and other equipment of different types and ages.

Ability to Connect. Many BMSs use outdated connections and infrastructure to connect sensors and equipment, making complex communications challenging at best. IoT and cloud connectivity allow for connections of outdated systems and assets.

Multiple Client Flexibility. In large organizations, different people have different needs. The best EMS solutions are flexible, scalable for one building or a whole portfolio, and equally valuable to the chief sustainability officer and the plant facilities team member.

A Sense of Balance. The best EMS partners enable users to monitor, control and optimize data to meet energy-efficiency objectives, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a safer, healthier and more comfortable experience for building occupants.

When it comes to energy, the epitome of sustainability will be achieved when we successfully reduce the rate of growth in global energy consumption, generate only the energy we need and produce the energy we use expending as few nonrenewable resources as possible. With that in mind, we need to recognize the enormous role energy optimization can – and must – play in energy transition.

Honeywell Forge Sustainability+ for Buildings Carbon and Energy helps organizations achieve their toughest energy optimization and carbon reduction goals. The application sits on top of the building management system and provides value to building owners and operators with configurable packages. Honeywell Forge Sustainability+ for Buildings ends the hassle of accessing and analyzing siloed energy and carbon data by helping organizations monitor, control and optimize building performance to manage energy consumption and carbon impact from a central location.


[1] Buildings are the foundation of our energy-efficient future | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)
[2] About the Commercial Buildings Integration Program | Department of Energy
[3] Strengthening Sustainable Building Operations | BCG
[4] For net zero cities, we need to revisit our older buildings | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)