Managing energy over energy saving

Joost Demarest, chief technology officer of the KNX Association looks at why it’s become pivotal that buildings proactively manage energy consumption for a sustainable future.

In recent years, we have seen a rapid rise in energy consumption in buildings, which now demands a more sustainable approach. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), buildings account for nearly one-third of global final energy consumption and 55% of global electricity demand. The last 25 years has seen the growth of energy needs for buildings make up 60% of the total growth in global electricity consumption.

As these figures continue to increase and the need for energy in buildings around the world keeps growing, it is clear that the approach to making energy consumption more sustainable has become more important.

KNX has made moves in its mission to help make the world a more sustainable place by transitioning from the traditional approach of maximising energy efficiency in homes or buildings to now adopting the sustainable outlook that is now required. This includes managing energy enabled by digital technologies that have transformed the energy industry in the last decade or so. Energy management is the proactive approach to plan, monitor, and optimise all aspects of energy, from power generation to consumption or storage.

Office buildings are just one example of how KNX has transitioned from energy efficiency to energy management. Thanks to this digital revolution, smart devices and advanced communication and data capabilities have enabled buildings such as offices to estimate their energy needs and manage it accordingly.

In addition, rising energy costs have pushed businesses to look into producing energy locally using renewable energy sources to reduce their reliance on the power from energy generation stations that are not consistent with their pricing. Smart systems such as building energy management systems (BEMS) allows synchronisation of energy demands with different energy sources to maximise energy savings. This shift towards locally generated energy with renewable sources has in turn boosted the movement to making homes and buildings more self-sustainable.

Possibilities in managing energy

To maximise the potential that energy management brings, it is vital to have a clear understanding of energy consumption behaviour in order to manage energy in the best way possible.

Linking KNX solutions to metering and sub-metering of a home or building allows for much better energy management methods. Home and building owners need to gain better understanding of how their energy is used in order to identify how to improve energy efficiency. Having a smart meter is crucial for any energy management system planned for a home or building.

Over the years, KNX and its members have been able to gain a deeper understanding of measuring and managing energy in buildings. KNX started with a focus on energy efficiency and specialised in improving the heating, ventilation and air conditioning within specific rooms or sections of a building. However, the shift from energy efficiency to energy management has introduced smart devices to enable its automation. KNX members have even started to develop solutions that measure the energy consumption down to the level of the circuits within installations.

This shows that the capabilities of energy management have both broadened and deepened and these possibilities will only grow from here. The administrators or building owners can therefore be more confident, efficient, and flexible in their energy management practices.

Energy management & KNX

With energy consumption continually increasing, there is a growing demand for more sophisticated energy management systems. With he emergence of smart grids, smart homes or buildings, coupled with independent renewable energy sources and electric car charging stations, the energy ecosystem is becoming more complex than ever before.

Therefore, KNX has shifted its focus and ventured into the domain of better energy management applications. A central intelligence unit, for example the KNX customer energy manager, is pivotal for efficient and uninterrupted energy use. They also manage the storage of independently generated energy. These applications can handle bidirectional information and energy flow between the infrastructure and the smart grid to ensure stability of smart grids. It can also handle communication between various charging stations from different manufacturers to align and optimise the charging of electric vehicles.

To learn more about energy management and how to implement management systems with KNX solutions, KNX offers the website: which will walk visitors through the world of KNX’s energy management products, solutions and projects.


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