Businesses Cut Back on Energy

12/20/2012

Cutting down on energy budgets is a goal for many businesses. Whether it’s a small five-person office or an enormous skyscraper, heating and cooling represents a major cost for many organizations. M2M technology provides a number of solutions to help keep people comfortable while also conserving energy.

Smart meters are a technology evolution that shows no signs of slowing down. These communicating meters can connect to a variety of systems used to measure and control energy use. Meter rollouts continue across the country, and recent data from Northeast Group, www.northeast-group.com, suggests a total potential market of more than 546 million smart meters worldwide by 2022. The research firm says of these, about 27% are already under some form of regulatory mandate or target. For instance, the U.K. government has said all households should have a smart meter by 2020.

Energy-management platforms offer another way to monitor energy and cut back. Recently Park Hyatt Chicago said it has installed an energy-management system throughout the property. The hotel, which is located in Chicago’s Gold Coast Historic District, is using the EcoSmart platform from Telkonet, www.telkonet.com, a provider of connected energy technology.


Park Hyatt Chicago says it installed EcoInsight thermostats in all of the hotel’s 198 guestrooms. These thermostats are programmable and controllable, and they feature Telkonet’s Recovery Time technology, which uses an occupancy sensor to determine when a guest is in the room. The thermostat also learns from the environment, ensuring the room returns to a guest’s preferred temperature within a set time period of the guest entering the room. Recovery Time allows the thermostats to record the room temperature every second and continuously adjust the settings.

In some cases, EcoInsight also makes use of ZigBee technology. Telkonet says the thermostats can communicate as part of a larger network using an optional ZigBee module. The device can also connect to a building’s direct digital control or building automation system to communicate using industry standards such as BACnet.

Another feature of the system, EcoCentral, allows for central monitoring of the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems. It provides a Web-based management platform that allows employees to view data on individual rooms or the entire building. Crews can see maintenance alerts and track energy savings and ROI. EcoCentral also integrates with Park Hyatt Chicago’s workflow management software, which enables maintenance to easily respond to issues before guests are impacted.

In a large hotel like the Park Hyatt Chicago, installing energy-management thermostats in all the rooms could have a big impact on the bottomline. But no matter the size of a building or organization, M2M solutions are working to make energy a smaller portion of the budget.

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