The Future of Building Performance

Community Energy Labs' building management solution offers up to 30% reduction in demand charges and a return on investment in the first year—all with a simple, single-day installation that costs a fraction of traditional building automation.

how it works

Our solution integrates with your existing systems to monitor, learn, and adjust your building performance. It’s your virtual engineer, working around the clock to manage your facility’s setpoints, schedules, and energy use–all while keeping occupants comfortable and happy.


CEL’s friendly team gathers your building data.


We train your virtual engineer to your specific needs based on findings from your data.


After six full days of training, your virtual engineer is ready to work!
If your facility is already equipped with solar, our technology aligns energy use with solar energy production, further reducing your operating costs and carbon production.


Our solution is compatible with many of the most common smart thermostats and building automation systems in public works and education facilities today—and we’re constantly adding more.

works best with:

  • 20,000+ sq ft of conditioned space (~200+ students).
  • Electric cooling and/or heating.
  • Rooftop (RTU) units, packaged units, variable refrigerant flow (VRF) units or heat pumps.

compatible systems

Determine if our technology will work with your existing system.

Can our solution communicate with your system?

Yes, if:
  • You have a building automation system (BAS), a smart and communicating thermostat with an open API, or a control system that uses an open protocol such as BACnet over IP, Modbus, OpenADR2b, or an open API.
  • Your HVAC units have or can be retrofitted with smart thermostats such as:
    - Venstar Thermostats (Local and Skyport Cloud)
    - Pelican Thermostats
    - Ecobee
    - Carrier i-vu
    - Honeywell T9
    - Or any networked thermostat with a local or cloud based open API

What needs to be communicated?

Here are the types of information our solution is looking for, based on system.

Smart Thermostat

Does the building have a thermostat with local or cloud-based API and:
  • Temperature resolution of 0.1ºC?
  • Thermostat setpoint control?
  • The following readable data points:
    - Zone air temperature (minimal resolution of 0.1ºC) and
    - Compressor/fan stage?
  • Communication capability (5 min sampling time)?

Thermostat Retrofit

Does the building have HVAC units that can be retrofitted with a smart thermostat outlined above? 

BAS Connected System

Does the building have a thermostat or control systems using an open protocol such as BACnet over IP? Don’t worry—most systems installed after the mid-to-late 2000s meet this criteria.

CEL will require a guest account with access to the same information as outlined in the smart thermostat section above.

How does the communication happen?

Primarily, we use IP over Ethernet and WiFi to communicate between our virtual engineer and devices, but we can also support Zigbee, Z-Wave or LoRaWAN if needed.

what do we install?

The short answer is, just enough. Because of our understanding of buildings, we only need to install a fraction of traditional sensors and controls to get the data we need. This translates to installations at a fraction of the cost.


Some systems require a CEL Gateway—but not all of them. If all of your system’s thermostat controls and meters are cloud-based, then you won’t need one. However, nearly all BACnet over IP integrations will require a CEL Gateway.

gateway requirements

Gateway proximity requirements

  • If the devices we are talking to are on a VLAN then the CEL Gateway also needs to be on that VLAN.
  • If the location uses a BAS system then the CEL Gateway needs to reside on the same network as the BAS.

Physical details of the CEL Gateway

  • Intel® Celeron® J4125 Processor
  • Dimensions: 118W x 109.4D x 44.4H (mm)
  • Datasheet PDF

Gateway proximity requirements

  • Our gateway requires unrestricted outbound TCP connections as well. Our team is happy to provide more information upon request.


We use submeters to report on the energy use for select high-use equipment. We then use this data to train your CEL virtual engineer. Adding submeter’s isn't always necessary—for example, when you already have submetering through your BAS, or when we can use a live feed from your utility company. When we do add submeters, we’ll also install multiple current transformers (CTs) at your electrical panel, which enable the submeters to collect information.

eGauge (EG4015)

  • 15 channel energy meter with 0.5% revenue grade accuracy compliance.
  • Measurements range up to 3-phase 277/480VAC and 6900A.
  • The meter has an Ethernet port and 2 USB ports for additional options, like WiFi and serial.
  • Dimensions: 17 x 8 x 4.6cm (6.7 x 3.15 x 1.81in)
  • Weight: 300g (0.66lbs)

eGauge Pro (EG4030)

  • The eGauge Pro combines an energy meter, data logger, and a web server. 30 channel energy meter, 0.5% accuracy, 5-6900A max per channel.
  • Dimensions: 17 x 8 x 4.6cm (6.7 x 3.15 x 1.81in)
  • Weight : 300g (0.66lbs)


  • The WattsOn-MCM is a modular power and energy metering system, consisting of a main board, voltage interface, and expandability for up to 20 input cards with 3 channels per card, a power supply and communication interface card.
  • The on-board communication coordinator features RS-485, Ethernet and WiFi interfaces. Compatible with Modbus/RTU, Modbus TCP, HTTP Post, web server, and API.
  • Wall Mount Enclosure.
  • Dimensions: 30.5 x 25.4 x 10.2cm (12 x 10 x 4in)


We use CTs to measure the energy use of specific electrical circuits (HVAC circuits, for example) that are representative of your daily electrical load. We use this information to train the virtual engineer and for measurement and verification. If needed, these small devices are installed at the circuit breakers and send data to the connected submeters.


  • Split-core CTs accurate to +/-1% from 1%-100% of their stated current rating. Physical size options: 10mm/0.39in, 24mm/0.94in, and 36mm/1.42in Each CT size has a hinge and clipping mechanism. 8ft of twisted pair wire and a 2-pin CT plug attached.
  • Split-core CTs in a range of ampere ratings can be "split" and attached without disconnecting a conductor from its respective breaker. These CTs have 8ft of twisted pair wire and a 2-pin CT plug attached.
  • Rope CTs are excellent for bus-bars and large switch-gear applications. Self-powered rope CTs are flexible and easy to install but will not be accurate below 30A. Each CT includes the two-pin CT connector plug.


The diagram below shows the flow of data. As information is gathered and analyzed, your virtual engineer is constantly learning, refining and sending any necessary updates back to your system. Like a virtual meeting for your HVAC, the communication flows both ways in real-time.

*Arrow indicates data flow direction. Shading represents assets located on-premise.

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