Commercial Building Sensors and Controls Systems - Barriers, Drivers, and Costs

Kim Trenbath, Ryan Meyer, Korbaga Woldekidan, Kristi Maisha, Morgan Harris

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Optimized building sensors and controls systems could lead to 29% annual energy savings in commercial buildings and are integral to the growth of grid-interactive efficient buildings. However, only 8% of small commercial buildings have installed sensors and controls systems-which is largely due to cost barriers. This publication seeks to increase the transparency of system costs and identify specific barriers and drivers for increased adoption. Qualitative interview data was collected from 20 interviews with industry and qualitative cost data was collected from invoices during the interviews. The greater understanding of costs and barriers associated with commercial building sensors and controls systems lays the groundwork for future steps in increasing system adoption, reducing energy consumption, and market transformation.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages62
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A50-82117


  • advanced building controls
  • advanced controls
  • building controls
  • commercial buildings
  • cost stack
  • market barriers
  • market drivers
  • sensors and controls


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