Measuring building efficiency can be a very complex undertaking, and might require hourly metering systems, extensive sensor networks, and sophisticated computer systems. The data collected by these systems can be extremely useful in determining where improvements can be made, from learning how to control lighting and air conditioning systems to installation of more efficient glass or other components.
The problem with this technology is accessibility, because it requires investment of time and money to just get the systems installed, before any determinations can be made what should be done to improve the building.
In Boston, MA, startup company WegoWise is taking a different approach to building efficiency analytics, “The challenge is how to take coarse-grained data, add a little value and produce valuable information from that data.
With meter data, it can provide more detailed information and do better comparisons, but it’s not necessary. The market for energy efficiency in buildings is going much more slowly than it should, and it’s not working well because of an information problem,” says Barun Singh, a founder and chief technology officer of WegoWise.
WegoWise’s web-based application presents utility usage in an easy to see comparison with other buildings to give a general idea of where waste is occurring. It doesn’t require sensor nets or smart metering or even thousands of dollars in equipment and software.
Starting at just $5 per month, WegoWise’s service takes utility information, including water, gas, and electric usage, and compares it to their database of over 10,000 other buildings. It can’t pinpoint a problem like more sophisticated systems, but can at least get building administrators some basic information they need to take further steps to improve efficiency.