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How Does IoT Help Control Your Facility’s Energy Costs?

Posted by Ian Uriarte

March 8, 2016


Buildings consume nearly half (42 percent) of the world’s electricity. In the U.S., the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that buildings consume 70 percent of the nation’s energy, and as much as half of that figure is wasted energy.

Few people understand these figures more acutely than facility managers. Trying to efficiently manage energy costs across a multi-facility organization can seem like an impossible task.

Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) is enabling some amazing solutions for automatically controlling lighting, heating and cooling, and security systems in commercial buildings and facilities. “Smart” buildings, as they’re known, are energy-efficient, cost-effective structures that integrate physical and digital realms.

Energy-efficient lighting is more commonplace in today’s structures. Sensors allow for a room’s lighting to switch on or off when occupants enter or leave a room.

Now IoT solutions for HVAC are entering the marketplace, bringing greater efficiencies and lower heating/cooling bills for facilities.

IoT integrated sensors located throughout your buildings wirelessly collect data on temperature, airflow, humidity, etc. This information then helps to regulate the infrastructure of your buildings, resulting in better-performing buildings that increase comfort for occupants while reducing energy and minimizing impact on the environment. For instance, thermostats can be programmed to detect room occupants by measuring the number of cellphone hotspot connections in a room. This allows for thermostats to automatically manage temperature, raising or lowering the heat or air conditioning in a room as occupancy fluctuates.

IoT solutions are also ideal for mission-critical situations, such as facilities with refrigeration units or data centers, where appropriate cooling is essential. IoT solutions can even improve security of both the physical structure and your digital technology by integrating multiple systems.

A valuable feature of an IoT “smart building” solution is that control is maintained through a dashboard, which provides an at-a-glance look at the enterprise. Facility managers can see what’s happening with any structure, and can even compare current and historical data to get a better picture of long-term performance. Data can show not only today’s energy consumption, but also a cost breakdown and even savings realized over a period of time. This can provide analytical information to help monitor peak usage and predict periods of high demand.

To implement a “smart” solution for your operations, contact Timbergrove Solutions, an IBM Advanced Business Partner. The knowledgeable professionals at Timbergrove can implement a solution that will improve your facilities’ performance and save on your energy costs.