Getting timely asset-level data to make decisions.
As of today, many facilities get a utility bill for the total building that reflects energy use from 6 weeks prior. This information solely focuses on WHAT the monthly energy usage is. However, it doesn’t show WHEN the energy was used, WHERE the most energy was consumed, and most importantly WHY the energy usage changed month to month. To obtain valuable information, high quality meters should collect data promptly and in detail.
“Real” Time Data
Look for meters that will give updates hourly or even minute-by-minute to understand when the changes happen. The more granular you can get with WHEN your energy is used, the better you can isolate individual changes. For example, you’ll see when lights turn off or when HVAC units turn on and how this impacts overall energy use.
Power Quality Metrics
Not all meters give you asset-level visibility and look at various parameters. Looking beyond 'amount consumed', there are additional energy metrics that help fill in the 'energy story' of your building. Capturing current and voltage can alert you to spikes and sags that may damage your equipment.
Make sure you’re seeing ALL of your data and that it’s accurate.
How do you know that the data you are getting from the building is correct? How do you know if it is complete and reflects ALL of the building’s energy use? How can you ensure that you are accurately measuring the energy of the equipment you intended to measure? One of the biggest challenges in this industry is making sure the data is correct. This is often due to the fact that your electrical infrastructure changes over time. Panels and panel schedules often contain old or incorrect labeling which makes it difficult to understand what to measure.
To ensure you know the answers to the questions above, you will need a meter system that utilizes sophisticated AI technology to analyze the data and compare it to what the load size shows. Additionally, you’ll want human support that analyzes the data further. We don’t take the label on the circuit at face value. We conduct an audit during and after the installation and use AI to evaluate the data stream, allowing us to determine the accuracy of the data. This ensures that the data reflects the type of equipment or circuit that is actually in the building.
Know where your data is stored and how it’s accessed.
In the digital age, security and cybersecurity are at the forefront of many business leaders’ priorities.
Strong hardware encryption and segregation of the data will only allow the meter to talk to the data center. Does the meter send the data to the internet? Do you need a password? These options can open the meter and information up for security risk. Our meters only send the data to a secure data center without interaction.
Typically meters tend to sit outside of the electrical box which enables them to be seen and tampered with. Meters that fit inside the electrical panel are more physically secure as they are out of sight and locked inside the box.
Cost Efficiency & Scalability
Understand the total cost of a project.
Look at the total cost of the projects to retrieve the data you are trying to capture versus the cost of the meters themselves. To get the complete picture of any single electrical panel, you will need to measure 42 circuits. Most meters have around 2-18 channels which means you would need multiple meters to capture all of the insights for that panel.
Our meters can capture near real-time insights across up to 48 channels with just one meter. The ability to capture a lot of data points in a small device enables scalability across multiple buildings on a campus or across an entire real-estate portfolio.
How to use this data to make positive impacts for your business
Ultimately, meters are not very valuable if they are only giving you raw data. Business leaders need to get the data out of their buildings and receive recommendations based on the data. Data software solutions have the capability to uncover and explain issues before they have a major impact on your business, and they ultimately provide a solution to address them. Dedicated customer support for your business can assist you in transitioning from simply identifying issues to taking tangible steps toward achieving real savings and improvements. One example is to change all lighting to LED to save hundreds of dollars per month and install controls to double the savings by turning off the LED lights when not in use. This makes your operations more resilient.
View Part 1 in our data series to see real examples of companies that saved money and energy, and improved operations using data insights from energy meters.