Energy Management System (EMS) Payback: Unitary Room Controls vs Central Building Controls – Or an Integration of the Two?

(Part 3 of 5)

Energy Management Systems are—admittedly—a significant financial investment. The good news is they pay for themselves! A typical ROI (return on investment) is 2-4 years.

Some EMS providers have continually collected usage data for a decade or more, and are putting that data to valuable use analyzing project payback.

We’ve talked about the impact that natural gas rates and electricity rates have on ROI. Today we examine the impact of unitary controls and central controls.

Sluggish Energy Management System (EMS) payback is often the result of:

  1. having been caught up in the narrow approach to deploy low cost unitary room controls, or
  2. deploying central control systems, a much more expensive approach than unitary room controls.

Either is acceptable, but neither achieves the sweet spot: short payback time and greater energy savings-capture long term.  

The best payback occurs when unitary and central systems work together, hand-in-hand, to noticeably improve payback. For example, one EMS database analysis shows that a low cost—yet integrated unitary and central control system pays for itself in 3 or fewer years. And by having central control of each room’s performance, properties are able to capture additional savings through granular adjustment of the thermostats.

Bottom Line

Integrating automation and room controls with central control systems has a measurable impact on your ROI.

Meanwhile, contact us at sales@ or 888-703-9398 have a smart conversation about YOUR new EMS.