Lead-lag systems can measure the temperature of the water or the steam pressure in the main system and evaluate the load level. If plant production is operating heavily, the lead-lag system will bring in the secondary boilers to help spread out the load. When the lead-lag system senses that production has dropped off, it then shuts those secondary boilers down again. By only bringing in the boilers needed to maintain the load at any given time, the lead lag system reduces the total amount of energy exhausted and increases overall efficiency.
Further energy savings are achieved through the ability to communicate directly with energy management systems. Outside temperatures can be relayed to the lead-lag system from energy management systems, alerting to a potential load increase or decrease. Depending on building procedure, energy management systems can also instruct the lead-lag to shut down all of the boilers during the night, further reducing energy costs.