The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way we manage utilities. Using submetering to aggregate and analyze fine-grained usage data for energy, water, and gas creates smarter, greener buildings that cost less to power and maintain. Using cloud utility data to analyze and process buildings' utility usage in real-time opens the door for massive innovations that optimize operations, reduce waste, and lower costs.
This technology is also changing the way buildings and utility providers interact. In the traditional model, one utility provider sends out resources to several surrounding buildings. However, due to increased demand, aging infrastructure, and the need to integrate more renewable, carbon-neutral energy sources, the old model is quickly becoming untenable. Enter the Internet of Things.
Simply put, more and more aspects of our lives are able to be connected to the internet. Why should utilities be any different? While some of these sweeping industry changes might seem abstract, they bring concrete benefits to facilities managers.
Reduce Maintenance Costs
With massive, real-time data collection comes the ability to monitor subtle changes in usage patterns over time. Usage often changes with the seasons, building occupancy, and equipment upgrades. Sometimes, though, usage changes because equipment is in need of maintenance or on the verge of failure. During the latency time before the failure is noticed, the affected system will draw more energy to compensate and could potentially harm other systems as well.
With cloud monitoring, that latency time can be eliminated. Equipment failures can often be remedied preemptively, saving time and money in maintenance. Likewise, with access to operational data analytics, maintenance needs can be accurately anticipated before any systems failures occur.
Stop Wasting Time and Money Aggregating and Analyzing Data
In the traditional model, if you want to analyze your water, energy, and gas usage in order to upgrade or increase your systems' efficiency, it can require large amounts of time and money. Traditional audits require time and money to aggregate performance and operational data, and then more time and money to measure changes in efficiency after the upgrades.
However, if fine-grained usage data is being collected in real-time, this data is available any time through your software interface. Likewise, after upgrades are made, you can immediately calculate your ROI through monitoring real-time changes in usage.
Reduce Waste and Inefficiency to Stop Paying for What you Don't Use
Water leaks waste money and can potentially damage your building's infrastructure. Gas leaks waste money and create a fire hazard. Unnecessary electric usage wastes money. The common theme here is clear; unnecessary use equals unnecessary expenditure.
To stop paying for what you're not using, find and fix these problems. IoT utility data can make it immediately clear where the unexpected utility drains are happening. In addition to identifying leaks, smart technology can help tailor utility supply to demand. For instance, it can enable you to create systems that reduce usage when building occupancy is low.
Compare Aggregated Data with Similar Buildings to See Where you can Improve
With access to utility data for your neighbors, you can see what others are doing well. This allows buildings to easily benchmark usage with other similar buildings and see where they're excelling and where they're falling short. Comparing subsystems gives precise data on how individual systems are performing. Likewise, individual building occupants or users are able to see their individual usage levels through submetering. Case studies have shown that for entire facilities as well as for individuals, having access to detailed usage data decreases use by raising awareness.