You already know that data driven energy management is the key to better building management. But when it comes to data, how do you choose between interval and real-time data?
Imagine receiving an invitation to an important work meeting 24 hours after the meeting occurred. Your company’s performance has already suffered since you have already missed the meeting.
This happens every day with building consumption. Interval data reports are typically delayed by 24 hours, meaning building operators are missing out on important information they could use to run their building better. Here’s why these missing 24 hours are so critical, and why real-time data is the new standard for cost effective energy management.
While both real-time energy monitoring and interval data compile gas, electricity, and water data, these two types of data differ greatly in accessibility and timeliness.
Interval data is recorded every 15 to 60 minutes and is not usually available until 1-2 days later. Interval data also must be downloaded manually through your utility company or a program like Green Button, meaning it may actually be weeks before a problem is detected.
Real-time energy data in contrast is recorded every 1 to 15 minutes and is available to stakeholders immediately when the data is provided on a good energy management platform. When there is a large irregularity in energy consumption, real-time alerts can be automatically delivered based on set thresholds for your building.
Unexpected equipment failures can occur anywhere, anytime, even in the best buildings.
Air conditioning could have a delayed start on a hot summer day. With a real-time alert a building operator would be able to preemptively fix the issue before the tenants arrived, and they would have a comfortable day. Without real-time data this issue would not be discovered until tenants started complaining, which threatens tenant retention in the long run.
Furthermore, if you can see that the AC issue had started yesterday, without real-time data you would have no way of confirming that the problem is still occurring – delaying execution on the fix.
The Tower Companies manages a LEED Gold Building with an EnergyStar score of 90, but there were still big opportunities to save. On one weekend during 2015, the VP of Engineering received a report from Aquicore alerting him to a higher water consumption rate. A cooling tower was overflowing. The issue was corrected immediately, saving 80,000 gallons of water and preventing damages to tenant spaces. Without real-time data, this issue would have gone undiscovered until the following Monday.
The Tower Companies’ team has since gone on to reduce 45% of this building’s water consumption within a year thanks to real-time energy monitoring. While interval data leaves you in the dark for a whole 24 hours, real-time data is immediately actionable – leading to more comfortable tenants and bigger savings.