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Energy Management Systems (EnMS)

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines an Energy Management System (EnMS or EMS) as a system “whose purpose is to enable an organization to follow a systematic approach in achieving continual improvement of energy performance, including energy efficiency, energy use and consumption.” Energy Management Systems are a set of business processes that enable facility managers to act on energy usage data and optimize efficiency while identifying areas for improvement. The USDOE has developed a Strategic Energy Management (SEM) checklist and other tools and training to provide a foundation to optimize building operation using an EnMS.

Energy Management Systems include energy assessments and the development of action plans that detail sustainability and energy performance improvement efforts to be implemented in buildings. Consider the following resources when implementing these action plans to improve building performance:

  • The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) provides minimum energy efficiency requirements for product categories, as well as approved products that can help your facility meets its energy goals.
  • Check out the Green Procurement Compilation for details on green purchasing facility-wide to help meet goals.
  • Submetering is a great way to monitor energy usage by building system and identify significant energy uses.

Always remember to track and report on the effectiveness of action plans. DOE’s eGuide provides direction for establishing baselines and evaluating them against energy performance indicators to help identify what’s working and what isn’t, which helps with assessment and remediation, if necessary. And remember that an EnMS is based on a Plan-Do-Check-Act methodology that will help ensure the building performance improvements resulting from the EnMS are continuous, rather than a one-time result.

Starting any aspect of an EnMS can be challenging. Read up on program development here and use DOE Better Buildings's Toolkit.

Related Topics

Energy Management Systems (EnMS)

Energy Management Systems are a set of business processes that enable facility managers to act on energy usage data and optimize efficiency while identifying areas for improvement.

For more, see Energy Management Systems and DOE Better Building's Toolkit.

Energy Performance

Assessing a building’s energy performance involves comparing its energy use to that of peers or a standard. The ENERGY STAR program provides recognized benchmarks for assessing a building’s energy performance.


Sustainability and sustainable mean to create and maintain conditions, under which humans and nature can exist inproductive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic,and other requirements of present and future generations.

Sustainability Program Development

Sustainability Programs incorporate all building stakeholders into the green design process, promoting awareness, goal development, implementation, acceptance, and effectiveness of facility sustainability efforts.


Did You Know?

People in the U.S. spend about 90% of their time indoors.

Source: Environmental Protection Agency (1987). The Total Exposure Assessment Methodology (TEAM) Study.

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