The concept of “smart cities” has been building momentum in the last decade, with cities recognizing that using smart technology can improve energy and water management, drive economic activity, and reduce their environmental impact – and smart buildings are the way to get there, according to IoT technology company Buddy Platform. As energy costs continue to rise, IoT costs are declining, which means now is the time to begin testing and deploying smart building technology.
“Smart buildings consume less, are more comfortable, and create a better sense of well-being for those inside,” says Tim Ritchie, Buddy Platform’s VP of sales. Using IoT technology in buildings to reduce energy consumption, among other goals, can help a city lessen its environmental impact and help it meet mandatory requirements in terms of standards and regulations, Ritchie said during a keynote at the Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference in Denver last week.
On the Radar…
Additionally, facility managers are increasingly recognizing the need for energy management and are beginning to understand smart building technology. According to a study from the IoT Institute:
- 47% of facility managers said energy management is “very important” to the organization, while 17% said it is “critical;”
- 46% of facility managers said they were “moderately familiar” with smart building technology; 25% said they were “very familiar,” and 13% claimed to be “extremely familiar.”
…But More Education Is Needed
But there’s a gap between knowledge – and the good intentions to use it – and on-the-ground actions, says Ritchie. To bridge the gap, facility managers say they want more data about energy consumption. But they’re concerned about costs – even when they recognize that cost savings is a primary benefit of smart building technology.
“One of the reasons facility managers aren’t focused on smart building technology is because they’re not convinced of the ROI,” Ritchie says. “When smart building technology is employed regularly, our customers are seeing that energy bills are reduced as much as twenty-five percent, so as an industry, we’re not doing a good job communicating that fact to facility managers. Education is required around cost versus benefits.”
Call to Action
IoT costs are declining, which means now may be a good time to begin testing and deploying smart building technology, says Ritchie.
“Any building, small or large, can mine and analyze existing data to find areas of improvement,” Ritchie says. How to start? Consider looking at utility expenses, benchmarking and baselining energy use, and aligning building occupants to your energy management goals. “Technology to reduce energy consumption doesn’t need to be big and expensive,” he says. “Every building operator should have that technology at their fingertips.”