Energy costs can be a major expense property managers face each month. Cutting back on energy use is always a goal, but solutions can be hard to come by. New tools coming to market can add to a building’s value by making it easier to tackle energy consumption.
Devices for monitoring and controlling energy use are putting solutions into the hands of property managers and even homeowners, and cellular connectivity is often enabling technology for data transmission. For instance, Sprint, www.sprint.com, is partnering with Proliphix, www.proliphix.com, to make available a wireless thermostat.
The Proliphix IMT-550 Internet Managed Thermostat is designed for small- to medium-sized retail business owners, and it allows them to remotely monitor their properties. The thermostat supports up to three external sensors, which detect temperature or dry contact closures from external equipment. By having remote access to property data, owners can detect anomalies that may be consuming unnecessary energy.
The sensors will send an alarm via text or email if an alert condition is detected. For instance, if the temperature seems to spike unexpectedly, it could be a sign a door is ajar or a cooling system isn’t functioning properly. Quick alerting of the condition can lead to less energy wasted.
Sprint also announced the energy-management system SmartLabs INSTEON will be available for the Sprint network. INSTEON, www.insteon.net, offers the system to property owners to help them monitor and control energy use. Customers can access energy-consumption data via an online portal, or a Sprint smartphone. Compatible products can be added to the system for functions such as energy management, demand response, or scheduled load-shedding.
Property owners can also schedule electrical devices to turn on or off at certain times of day or due to weather conditions. This can lead to energy-saving practices such as not lighting rooms when they are unoccupied.
Through better access to data, property owners are able to more efficiently control their buildings’ energy use. These types of systems are just one more tool for cutting costs at time when every penny counts.