How to Monitor Utilities in Buildings

Wouldn’t it be great if you could see how much water, gas, and electricity your building was using, and estimate how much utility bills will be? Many buildings have one electricity, water, and gas meter point, which periodically reads for the sake of billing. Generating the necessary information about how the building uses utilities from the meter is not easy for most businesses, especially those using a ‘wait for bills to arrive’ approach. But monitoring water, electricity, and gas is much easier than you think, even for a large business.

What is Utility Monitoring?

It is a process of assessing and analyzing your utility consumption, which you may track in various ways. Utilities monitoring involves management techniques that you can use to control the energy amount used and eliminate waste to reduce carbon footprint and improve overall consumption.

Why Monitor Utilities?

Technology for monitoring utilities provides many far-reaching advantages to society, property owners, and businesses. By using a utility-monitoring device, stakeholders will play an important role in meeting tomorrow’s goals of conserving power while minimizing the negative effects of today’s increasing utility costs. Here are key reasons why it is a good idea to monitor utilities:

  • Reduce energy consumption – Energy monitoring solutions are useful tools that help facilities and building owners greatly conserve utilities in the long run. As organizations globally work as a team to meet efficiency standards, monitoring systems encourage stakeholders to come up with reliable solutions to meet power demands across different industries.
  • Minimize carbon footprint – Through utility monitoring solutions, you can lower the projected carbon footprint of a building. After the Paris Agreement, the key goal of attaining a net zero when it comes to carbon emissions in the next 26 years from now will be a reality if we manage to cut emissions by 45% and beyond. To achieve this goal, every decision-maker at facilities and companies should do their part so as to be energy-efficient. Using utility-monitoring devices will give you more control over minimizing the carbon footprint in a building, taking the entire world a step closer to a sustainable future.
  • Lower the costs of energy – As carbon emissions and energy consumption decrease in the buildings, the cost of energy goes down, too. This way, the effects of managing energy on the overall consumption of utilities provide financial incentives, which today’s leaders can’t ignore. By saving more cash on lighting, cooling, heating, and other forms of utilities, you will allocate more money to other things, such as emergency repairs, renovations, and upgrades to every antiquated equipment.

Monitoring Utilities in Buildings

If you manage or own multiple buildings, you already know that it’s not easy to optimize and monitor the energy consumption of tenants. Utilities are among the expenses for tenants and landlords alike, and they affect the reputation and environmental performance of a building. By monitoring utilities in the following ways, you will be able to identify all the key areas that require improvement and have the potential to save a lot:

Leverage Aerial Drones

Accessibility is one of the challenges most property managers face. We can’t safely or easily reach remote areas to remedy and diagnose such situations. Luckily for us, aerial drones are technological advancements that have grown beyond hobbyists and cinematography, and you can deploy them in commercial and industrial applications. Apart from collecting information, you can also use an aerial drone for surveillance and security and connect it to your phone so as to examine data feeds in real time.

Use IoT Solutions

The IoT (Internet of Things) is a network of smart appliances and devices promoting efficiency and integration. Smart sensors connect these networks of appliances and devices to have a lot of automated features, like predictive analytics. This enables the network to self-monitor the consumption of utilities as the system gathers important data. From that point, the network analyzes consumption patterns as well as gives you the option of minimizing costs and eliminating operational efficiencies. One of the key benefits of IoT is the capability to secure utility quality control and allow real-time monitoring. This way, property managers and owners can start to reduce costs and immediately promote sustainability after installation.

Work with Modeling Software

Utility modeling software is a program that simulates energy performance in buildings, depending on different parameters, like schedules, occupancy, climate, materials, orientation, and geometry. It helps to optimize and design buildings that meet the required efficiency standards, like BREEAM or LEED. By using this type of software, you may compare various scenarios of design, test changes, and then optimize the sizing and selection of a building system.

Make Reports


Access to energy consumption data and reports enables building owners/managers and tenants to make an informed decision about how utilities are used. They help managers to identify measures of actionable energy efficiency so as to save costs. Through a report, you can have different views so as to understand utility consumption in your building. Low-resolution views track improvements over higher-level trends and longer periods.

In contrast, high-resolution views will enable you to detect changes and problems immediately. A good example of a report you can use is a targeted system. This report gives high-resolution charts of very specific mission-critical and high-cost systems, which you should monitor. It identifies the use of utilities during anomalies, spikes, and when you shouldn’t use equipment. To get consumption data, you will have to install a sub-meter for every utility equipment you want to track.

Consider AI and Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning have already started to transform the capabilities of business organizations so they can delve deep into their operations of detecting areas and determining improvement trends on a different level. This technology takes insights a step further by considering future issues or potential scenarios that may arise and even provides alerts required to address or remedy them early. AI is also an important part of a ‘digital twin’ of buildings, using data to run simulations and scenarios. This, in turn, helps to optimize the monitoring of utilities further.

In conclusion, traditional ways of monitoring utilities are no longer the norm. The game has already changed, thanks to smart solutions, like AI, smart meters, software, aerial drones, and IoT. With these solutions, you can provide tenants with more detailed information about how they consume utilities throughout the day.

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