Energy Manager - Poacher or GameKeeper

Building Management Systems
Poacher or GameKeeper - who will police the police ?
Old Poacher and Gamekeeper Watercolour

 - It's is a well known question, so let's apply it to looking after the greatest asset of all - our environment.

The answer as always boils down to simple ideas of trust, independence, integrity and local knowledge. Let's look at these in turn, in the context of Building Management Systems ( BMS ) or Building Control Systems ( BCS )...

Effective Policing relies on trust
BMS are like policemen : -  not 100% reliable, and they will sometimes fail, and they are responsible for keeping behaviour of very un-intelligent things under control - that is the plant that determines both the comfort in a building, and the cost of achieving that comfort. In short they cannot be trusted not to waste energy, so an external mechanism or "energy audit" function is needed.

Any audit function, must be above corruption, whether by "bent coppers", "fraudulent financiers" or "flawed intelligence".

It is the last that concerns us - because of the Garbage In Garbage Out principal, if we use a BMS to audit the control of a BMS we are hopelessly lost.

It is like trying to measure your waistline with an elastic tape-measure - you will see what you want to see.

Here we are not talking about a control system of 'good character' - we mean by this that a complete or integrated picture is required.

To contend that say a boiler is well-controlled in absence of occupancy schedules or weather conditions is a nonsense.

Local Knowledge
Every copper must "know his beat" - who are the "usual suspects".
Two identical buildings are not alike in every respect.

  • They may be identical internally, but be used for different purposes or at different occupancy levels.
  • They may be constructed identically, but one is in the lee of a building and the other on the shore of the sea.
  • They may have different shading characteristics, maintenance programmes, and a million other variables.


Any method of assessment to control wasted energy, must have the above conditions satisfied. This means local independent weather data, independent verifiable consumption data, and local building use context.  We can help !

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