Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS)

Detailed overview of innovation with sample startups and prominent university research

What it is

Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) are software-based platforms that monitor, control, and optimize energy consumption in buildings. They collect data from various building systems, such as HVAC, lighting, and appliances, and use it to identify energy-saving opportunities, automate energy management tasks, and improve overall building efficiency.

Impact on climate action

Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) under the Energy-Efficient Buildings theme revolutionize climate action by optimizing energy usage in buildings. By monitoring, controlling, and optimizing energy consumption, these innovations reduce carbon emissions, lower energy costs, and promote sustainable building practices, contributing to a more efficient and resilient built environment.


  • Sensor Networks: BEMS rely on sensors to collect data on energy consumption, temperature, occupancy, and other building parameters.
  • Data Analytics and AI: Data analytics and AI algorithms are used to analyze building data, identify energy-saving opportunities, and optimize energy usage.
  • Control Systems: BEMS can control building systems, such as HVAC and lighting, to adjust settings based on occupancy, time of day, and other factors.
  • Cloud-Based Platforms: Many BEMS operate on cloud-based platforms, allowing for remote monitoring and control of building energy systems.
  • Building Automation and Control Networks (BACnet): BACnet is a communication protocol that allows different building systems to communicate with each other, enabling integrated building management.

TRL : 7-8

Prominent Innovation themes

  • AI-Powered Energy Optimization: Advanced AI algorithms and machine learning techniques are being developed to optimize building energy consumption in real-time, taking into account factors such as weather conditions, occupancy patterns, and energy prices.
  • Predictive Maintenance: AI and data analytics can be used to predict potential equipment failures in building systems, allowing for proactive maintenance and reducing downtime.
  • Fault Detection and Diagnostics: BEMS can automatically detect and diagnose faults in building systems, enabling faster troubleshooting and repairs.
  • Integration with Renewable Energy Sources: BEMS can be integrated with renewable energy sources, such as solar PV and wind power, to optimize energy usage and maximize the use of renewable energy.
  • Demand Response: BEMS can participate in demand response programs, adjusting building energy consumption to help balance the grid and reduce costs.

Other Innovation Subthemes

  • Real-time Energy Optimization
  • Predictive Maintenance Solutions
  • Fault Detection and Diagnostics
  • Renewable Energy Integration
  • Demand Response Integration
  • AI-driven Energy Management
  • Proactive Equipment Maintenance
  • Automated Fault Detection
  • Renewable Energy Optimization
  • Grid Balancing Solutions
  • Productivity Enhancement through BEMS
  • Energy Consumption Reduction Strategies
  • Cloud-based Building Management
  • Remote Monitoring and Control
  • Smart Grid Integration
  • Building System Communication Protocols

Sample Global Startups and Companies

  1. BuildingIQ:
    • Technology Enhancement: BuildingIQ offers advanced cloud-based software solutions for building energy management and optimization. Their platform utilizes predictive analytics, machine learning algorithms, and building automation systems to optimize HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) operations, lighting, and other energy-consuming systems in commercial buildings. BuildingIQ’s solution aims to reduce energy consumption, improve occupant comfort, and lower operating costs.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: BuildingIQ stands out for its focus on predictive and proactive energy management strategies. Their platform continuously analyzes building data and external factors such as weather forecasts to anticipate energy demand and adjust building systems accordingly. This proactive approach helps building owners and operators optimize energy use in real-time, leading to significant energy savings and sustainability benefits.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: BuildingIQ serves commercial building owners, property managers, and facility operators seeking to improve energy efficiency and sustainability. Their BEMS solutions are deployed in office buildings, retail centers, healthcare facilities, and educational institutions, providing actionable insights and automated controls to optimize building performance.
  2. EnerNOC (now Enel X):
    • Technology Enhancement: EnerNOC (acquired by Enel X) provides comprehensive energy intelligence software and services, including building energy management systems (BEMS). Their platform offers real-time monitoring, analytics, and control capabilities to optimize energy consumption, demand response participation, and energy procurement strategies for commercial and industrial facilities. EnerNOC’s BEMS solutions aim to reduce energy costs, enhance grid reliability, and support sustainability initiatives.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: EnerNOC (now part of Enel X) is known for its expertise in demand response and energy management solutions. Their BEMS platform integrates demand-side management capabilities with building automation systems, enabling dynamic energy optimization and grid interaction. This integrated approach helps customers unlock value from their energy assets while contributing to grid stability and decarbonization efforts.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: EnerNOC (Enel X) serves a diverse range of commercial, industrial, and institutional customers seeking to maximize energy efficiency and flexibility. Their BEMS solutions are deployed in office buildings, manufacturing facilities, data centers, and healthcare campuses, empowering customers to optimize energy use, reduce peak demand, and participate in energy markets.
  3. GridPoint:
    • Technology Enhancement: GridPoint offers smart building solutions for energy management and sustainability, including BEMS, submetering, and IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Their platform provides real-time monitoring, control, and optimization of building systems, enabling energy efficiency improvements, demand response participation, and carbon footprint reduction. GridPoint’s BEMS solutions leverage data analytics and automated controls to drive energy savings and operational efficiencies.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: GridPoint stands out for its comprehensive approach to building energy management and sustainability. Their platform integrates energy data from various sources, including utility meters, HVAC systems, and lighting controls, to provide a holistic view of building performance. This integrated approach allows building owners and operators to identify opportunities for energy savings and sustainability improvements across their portfolio.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: GridPoint serves commercial real estate owners, retail chains, and multi-site enterprises seeking to optimize energy use and reduce operating expenses. Their BEMS solutions are deployed in commercial buildings, restaurants, convenience stores, and other facilities, helping customers achieve their energy and sustainability goals while enhancing occupant comfort and productivity.

Sample Research At Top-Tier Universities

  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL):
    • Research Focus: LBNL is a leading research institution in the field of Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS), focusing on developing advanced monitoring, control, and optimization strategies to improve the energy efficiency and performance of commercial and residential buildings.
    • Uniqueness: Their research involves the integration of sensor technologies, data analytics, and machine learning algorithms to provide real-time insights into building energy consumption patterns, occupancy behavior, and equipment performance. They also develop innovative control algorithms and demand response strategies to dynamically adjust HVAC systems, lighting, and plug loads for energy savings and grid integration.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work find applications in office buildings, hospitals, schools, and multifamily residences. By implementing BEMS solutions, LBNL’s research enables building owners, operators, and occupants to reduce energy costs, enhance comfort, and mitigate environmental impacts, contributing to sustainable building operations and resilient communities.
  2. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU):
    • Research Focus: CMU conducts cutting-edge research on Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS), leveraging its expertise in data science, cyber-physical systems, and human-computer interaction to develop intelligent and user-centric solutions for optimizing building energy performance.
    • Uniqueness: Their research encompasses the development of user-friendly interfaces, smartphone apps, and interactive dashboards that empower building occupants to actively participate in energy conservation efforts. They also explore the use of distributed sensing, edge computing, and privacy-preserving algorithms to balance energy savings with occupant comfort and privacy concerns.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work have applications in smart homes, commercial buildings, and educational facilities. By engaging occupants in energy management activities, CMU’s research fosters a culture of energy awareness, behavior change, and sustainability, driving long-term energy savings and environmental stewardship.
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):
    • Research Focus: MIT is at the forefront of research on Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS), leveraging its multidisciplinary approach to address the technical, economic, and social aspects of energy efficiency in buildings.
    • Uniqueness: Their research spans the development of modular and scalable BEMS architectures, fault detection and diagnostics algorithms, and predictive analytics tools for proactive maintenance and energy optimization. They also explore the integration of renewable energy resources, energy storage systems, and grid-responsive technologies to enhance building resilience and grid flexibility.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work find applications in commercial real estate, industrial facilities, and institutional campuses. By advancing BEMS technologies, MIT’s research enables building owners and operators to optimize energy performance, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to climate mitigation efforts, while enhancing occupant comfort and productivity.

commercial_img Commercial Implementation

BEMS are widely used in commercial and institutional buildings, such as office buildings, schools, and hospitals. They are also becoming increasingly popular in residential buildings as homeowners seek to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs.