Photo by Flickr user seier+seier

Off-hours energy use can be turned into not just savings but revenue

One of the simplest ways Gridium’s Snapmeter product helps our customers is by identifying anomalous off-hours energy use. Consider the snapshot below from a Snapmeter report this summer. The report was delivered to a new Gridium customer managing many small buildings, most without dedicated chief engineers. The pink highlights show time periods where we believe the building should be closed but where energy use is especially high. The property manager was surprised to see elevated weekend energy use was costing her about $90 per week, or $5,000 per year.

Chart showing off hours energy use for a building in Snapmeter
Gridium Snapmeter Report

The pink highlights show anomalous after-hours use

She took action, setting up a proper weekend setback. Boom, savings accomplished.

There’s a coda to the story: the first weekend that the new setback was in place, that same property manager received a call from a tenant wanting to know why the air conditioning was off. You might be able to guess where this is going. The property manager politely replied that after-hours air is not a part of the lease agreement, but that she would be happy to bill for any special requests.

Almost all properties have rates for after-hours air that include not only energy expenses but all the associated use of energy equipment. A typical ratio is as high as ten to twenty times the actual energy cost.

So in this case, a savvy property manager not only used Snapmeter to find and fix a building fault, but then turned the savings into a further revenue opportunity. They say you can’t save your way to greatness, but in this case Snapmeter not only trimmed excess use, but also helped goose the top line.

About Tom Arnold

Tom Arnold is co-founder and CEO of Gridium. Prior to Gridium, Tom Arnold was the Vice President of Energy Efficiency at EnerNOC, and cofounder at TerraPass. Tom has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. When he isn't thinking about the future of buildings, he enjoys riding his bike and chasing after his two daughters.

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