When my kids were younger, the question “why” was both never-ending and very important. It was important as it helped my kids learn and it fueled their ever-inquisitive minds. As we get older, we tend to ask why less and often just accept things as they are.
We should always be asking why as it not only helps develop a better understanding of things, but also helps us improve the quality of our decisions, and in the case of energy consumption, save us money.
This is where data comes in. You get your monthly utility bill for your business. The cost seems higher than last month, but why is it? Is there anything I can do about it? If the consumption level is roughly the same, but the price per kilowatt-hour has gone up, there is probably not much that can be done.
BUT, if the consumption has gone up – WHY did it? Using data to dig into why could lead to some insights that will help me lower my consumption, and also lower my energy costs.
Looking at the data will help answer:
- Does my energy consumption stay the same even as the outside temperature drops?
- Is my consumption consistent throughout the day, even when the building is unoccupied?
If the answer to the questions is YES, then there is something I can do about it, by answering more questions:
- Is my thermostat operating correctly? Are people constantly adjusting the temperature throughout the day?
- When was the last time I had the HVAC system serviced? Have the filters been changed regularly and recently?
- Do I have different temperature settings for times when the building is unoccupied?
According to the local utility company, SRP where I live in Arizona, a 2-3 degree change in thermostat setting can have a 2-3% impact on energy consumption. If I am heating and cooling an unoccupied building, then the savings I can achieve are even greater.
Getting reliable data is the first step in determining how we can save money on energy. Affordable, independent, industrial-grade data loggers remove the uncertainty of potentially faulty sensors such as thermostats. These sensors can also provide data on the performance of your HVAC systems that your thermostat can’t. Such as is the compressor working correctly and are the air filters moving air efficiently.
This same data can also be used to determine if your actions had the desired effect of lowering your consumption, even before your next utility bill arrives.
Building Assure has developed a solution that is designed with the small building owner in mind. Our low-cost solution provides all the necessary data to monitor energy consumption and waste, air quality, thermal comfort (temperature and humidity), water leak detection, equipment maintenance, and service quality (was the service conducted, and did it achieve the desired results). All while providing full transparency to your tenants and service contractors.
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