Convenience stores generally consume energy higher than other retailing merchants. As the problem of energy shortage becomes more serious during summer, almost all convenience stores sign a contract with power plants, which provides for fines if demand limiting occurs in Taiwan and many other countries. Therefore, a reliable and effective method to reduce their utility consumption is required for modern business and industry. This research integrates the remote sensors, the control network, and the embedded system technologies to construct a distributed energy management control system for dedicated convenience stores. Energy consumption can thus be reasonably managed with demand limits by measuring and analyzing the power consumption sources in four major subsystems of convenience stores, namely, (1) air-conditioning, (2) lighting, (3) heating, and (4) refrigeration. By applying the proposed demand prediction and control method, the demand limiting condition can be properly predicted, and the possible peak load can thus be eliminated via the network control mechanism. Moreover, by integrating the LonWork fieldbus and the WinCE operating system (OS), the proposed system has been successfully applied to a convenience store. The experimental results indicate that the proposed distributed energy management system suitably predicts the peak loading condition and successfully prevents its occurrence by switching the air-conditioning system without affecting the indoor temperature regulation. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.