Making Energy Visible: Energy Management Information System (EMIS) Audit and Design

Located in the heart of Saskatoon, the University of Saskatchewan (UofS) is a fully accredited public university comprised of over 100 buildings and nearly 642,000 square metres of floor area.

Making energy visible on Campus

In 2016, the University of Saskatchewan’s (UofS) Energy Management Team recognized that they were missing an effective solution to measure and report on energy and other utility streams in a way that would allow staff and students to act on the performance data they received. Numerous utility meters were installed on buildings throughout the Saskatoon campus, which were connected to various control networks. Data collection was done on a manual, ad-hoc basis. In short, UofS was missing the critical link to consistently turn data into actionable information.

At Prism, we believe that an effective Energy Management Information System (EMIS) is an integral part of a Strategic Energy Management (SEM) program. The system is made up of the following components:

  • hardware, such as utility meters and networks, that measure consumption
  • software that analyzes the data that is collected and provides meaningful reports
  • people that take action on the reports to drive improvements  

EMIS is a tool for continuous improvement that helps make energy visible within an organization. 

The University engaged Prism Engineering to assess and provide recommendations for how to turn their current system into a more comprehensive EMIS. Through time on site and extensive analysis, Prism Engineering identified gaps in the current metering, data capture, and management systems and provided UofS with an EMIS audit report, a set of conceptual designs, as well as detailed designs for a recommended EMIS implementation plan.

Read the Project Presentation Poster for more details.

The university is currently in the process of implementing the new EMIS design. As an added benefit of reviewing the data, Prism identified several opportunities that would generate an estimated 6% in electricity savings, 3% in steam savings and 3% in water savings as well as reduced labour costs by eliminating manual readings. The simple payback on the net cost is estimated at 1.1 years, with an ROI of 38%.