Public sector / Efficient Energy Management in public buildings by application of EMS systems


References are provided regarding 2 showcases:

  1. Energy management in public buildings in Burgas municipality
  2. Monitoring of energy performance in public buildings in Primorje-Gorski Kotar

Who needs to act?

The process of energy management and monitoring in public buildings is responsibility of the local and regional governments as the main actors and owners of the buildings. Outsourcing company.

Who is affected?

The primary beneficiaries of the measure are the buildings’ owners and users, represented by the public authorities, institutions, etc. while the secondary recipients are the visitors and citizens using the services provided in those buildings.


The energy efficient measures used for retrofitting of the building itself, replacement of windows, fuel switch, etc. do not often effect the practical decrease of energy demand. Researches have shown that the building users’ personal behaviors and patterns keep a significant impact on the energy performance. Therefore, the energy management and monitoring is a direct response to the matter.

Energy management and monitoring provides a very detailed and accurate database with real figures for the actual energy consumption in each building. By utilization of energy monitoring system (EMS) the real energy performance identification and energy losses estimation in the respective premises would be enabled. The EMS provides detailed and complete information needed for energy audits and at the same time it decreases the costs and terms for the measures implementation at higher quality and accuracy of estimations, assessments and recommendations. It allows better control of energy flows in the buildings, and adequate thermal comfort and rates for building lighting can be provided with minimum use of resources.

It is very important the main energy consumers in the building to be determined and differentiated. For example, in the kindergarten the main consumers are: inside light, outside light, kitchen equipment, office supply consumers (computers, PV systems, television, DVD players, etc.), special equipment (sterilizer machine), boiler, inside heating system. In some cases, inside heating systems have to be subdivided according to specific purpose of the building use (e.g. sub divisions: by floors, by premises, by location, east and west part, etc.). Measurement devices have to be installed on each of the identified consumers to measure electricity, gas, oil, etc. Each measurement device has to be designed on the basis of each specific case taking into account the available consumers, heating of the building, resources, etc. and to be able to send data to the main control system. All data have to be collected in a main data center. The special software analyzes the data received and if there are some deviations from the standard the software has to give a signal to the operator. Outside and inside temperature is necessary to be measured as well. All measurable data are compared with standard or statistical data. The measurement timing is at least at every 15 minutes.

The benefits such EMS installations provide are the following:

  1. in case of unnecessary energy consumption, the system detects and gives signal to the operator. There are possibilities for the manager to regulate the system manually or some consumers to be switched off automatically.
  2. a very precise determination of the necessary energy efficiency measures.
  3. measurement of the saved energy from every concrete retrofitting measure. For example, the EMS is adjusted so as the lights to operate only during the nights, but for some reasons during the day the lights are switched on. In this case the system detects that and there two options: it will automatically switch off, or the EMS will give a signal to the operator. Or during a very hot winter day, the system detects very hot radiators, again on time the system understands that and reduces the heaters. In these cases, the advantages are related with a reaction on time, or the manager understands immediately the unnecessary consumption and stops the process. When there is a sufficient statistical data it can be analyzed and opportunities for increasing the energy efficiency can be found through bench marking. Example: we are aware of best examples which report energy consumption of 2 kWh/sq.m for LED lighting. However, our showcase reported 3 kWh/sq.m. So, if we switch the bulbs we will report saving of 1 kWh/sq.m. Thanks to these data we can estimate the necessary investment as profitable. In case of implementation we can measure real results.

This system has proven to be very efficient both in terms of energy management and energy planning by the local authority


The overall investment is estimated to medium high depending on the building stock and energy performance of the respective buildings.

The investments are related with ICT facilities and applications which include equipment, measurement and monitoring devices and specific software.

Costs for measurement and monitoring should be foreseen the main of which are for human resources and education of experts to work with the application.

Purchasing equipment and facilities can be done by the authority own sources and/or using external funding.

The practical application of energy monitoring can be made either as internal action where an expert is assigned and trained to work with it or as it can be an outsourced activity for the municipality.

Return of investment

Return of investment is estimated to mid- term reflecting mainly in reduction of energy consumption in the buildings. Accordingly, it leads to improvement of the energy performance of the building itself.

Other resources to be used

It is necessary to build up or acquire the energy management system software if such is not already available. Additional ICT applications can be installed as part of the EMS for data processing which will enable forecasts and target setting for implementing actions in mid-term and long-term period.

Local and regional funding (own sources) can be used as well.

Available tools

Operating practices

Energy management in public buildings in Burgas municipality

The process:

An innovative model has been applied for upgrading the conventional energy efficiency measures in public buildings.

Initially feasibility study for building inventory has been made for the energy performance in public buildings. Based on the outcomes 3 pilot buildings (two kindergartens and a secondary school) have been selected on the following criteria: (i) building functionality; (ii) hours of active exploitation of the building; (iii) type of the installed energy consuming systems and facilities (heating, cooling, domestic hot water, ventilation, etc.). Consequently, three prototypes (design and specification of system hardware and software, censors, devices, modifications to existing equipment and combinations of hard/firmware) of energy monitoring systems were developed and installed in the buildings. Trainings have been organized for building managers how to supervise the controllers and manage the systems. Thus, efficient control of energy buildings’ energy performance has been ensured. Series of campaigns have been organized to inform the residents about the new investments as well as to raise the awareness of the building performance.

Indicative amount of investment: It was estimated that 10,000 EUR per building were allocated, which included: 1. human resources, 2. ICT facilities and applications: equipment, measurement and monitoring devices, specific software, 3. Costs for measurement and monitoring, 4. Costs for campaigning and informative actions.

Return of investment: The estimated period of investment return is set to 4 years. The investment reported energy savings up to 30% per annum depending on the type and purpose of building operation (number of hour of active use).

Monitoring of energy performance in public buildings in Primorje-Gorski Kotar

The process:

REA Kvarner monitors energy consumption and energy savings in public buildings owned by the regional authority. It is part of the national project Systematic Energy Management, being a regional coordinator.

Regional administration and some local administrations have been motivated to introduce separate internal management systems and monitor the consumption of buildings in their ownership. The National Energy Management Information System (ISGE) is developed and established as the basic tool for collecting, analysing and reporting on energy and water consumption in the facilities owned by cities and countries. ISGE is a computer program that serves as an essential tool for support Systematic Energy Management. Data on electricity consumption, energy for heating and water should be continually and regularly uploaded for all buildings to ensure the effective monitoring and management of the energy flow. In addition to regular monitoring of energy and water consumption in the building, ISGE can register possible failures in the building, such as for example the release of water from the pipes. As an example, consider building schools, to be used from Monday to Friday. Consumption is recorded on Friday and Monday, and if the recorded water consumption in the period of the weekend, it means that there is water leakage at certain places.

In the case of Primorje-Gorski Kotar, REA Kvarner was appointed to monitor energy consumption and energy savings in public buildings owned by the regional authority and is part of the national project Systematic Energy Management. It currently monitors the energy consumption in 323 buildings. Buildings that are analyzed are divided into labels depending on their purpose. Division of etiquette is as follows: elementary schools, secondary schools, health centers, hospitals, administrative buildings, pharmacies, museums, sports halls, retirement homes, dormitories, public buildings. The categorization of buildings in the label enables a better comparison of buildings that have a similar regime of using. In this way, within each category can allocate those objects which are the largest consumers. Compares the specific energy consumption (kWh/m2) building within a particular label, which together with data on the energy class of the building makes it a good indicator of those buildings for which it is necessary to apply some of energy efficiency measures.

Recently the municipal administrators appointed to monitor consumption in buildings no longer enter bills in ISGE. In order to improve the accuracy of the entered data, the obligation of entering monthly bills into the system now passes to the energy suppliers. People in charge of it still need to control the data, use consumption data for a more rational use of energy and, if necessary, enter weekly readings, but herewith their job is made considerably easier.

Indicative amount of investment: It is estimated that by monitoring, energy consumption of regional buildings is reduced on average by 5%.   

Return of investment: Approx. 15kEUR / year (annual gross salary of an officer in charge of Systematic Energy Management)

Key success factors:

  • Active commitment of the local and regional authority and taken decision for the undertaken measure
  • Effective collaboration between the building managers and company providing the physical installations
  • Constant flow of data processing, input of accurate data needed for the measurement and monitoring
  • Regular information to the local communities for efficient energy savings, progress of efficiency and cost savings

Main steps of implementation

It is the local and regional government decision to implement energy monitoring in public buildings. The national legislation in the countries states the opportunities and ways how these activities can be realized, the key actors involved and the available financing schemes.

Expected results

Short and mid-term

  • Reduction in energy consumption due to better monitoring, problem detecting and resolution.
  • Reduced fuel consumption, electricity and water lose.
  • Reduced costs for heating and cooling.
  • Mid and long-term
  • Increased energy efficiency in the buildings up to 30% per annum.
  • Improved energy performance of the public buildings.
  • Improved quality and period of stay in the buildings.
  • Better planning and investments.

Contribution to SEAP & indicators

Reducing CO2 emissions, decrease energy demand.
Cost efficiency.
Energy savings in the buildings.
Awareness raising.

How to integrate in SEAP?

Can be included in a SEAP as a measure, applicable in Buildings sector, and Public lightning.

Contribution to SUMP & indicators

The action does not directly contribute to SUMP yet its results can lead to behavioural changes reflecting the transport indicators as well.

How to integrate in SUMP?

Development and installation of EMS system for electric fuel stations to monitor and supervise the energy performance.

Organisation of information campaign for alternative transport use as to reduce the green house emission complementary to the raising awareness campaign for energy performance of buildings.

Lessons learned

In order for efficient energy performance in buildings to be achieved it is vital a proper monitoring system to be established with the active involvement of competent professional collaborating the local and regional authorities.

Contacts & links