As seen in the IFMA Insider
With all the buzz these days about energy efficiency within buildings, we all know the importance of saving energy. The
environment and regulatory compliance mainly drive this movement, but also your bottom line. Energy is typically the third largest budget item for most U.S. companies with the largest potential for cost reduction, simply by collecting and analyzing your energy usage. So the question isn’t “why should I be energy efficient?” the question is “what tools should I use to help me visualize my energy usage?”
There are a number of things to consider when evaluating the tools that will help you on your “green” journey.
Cost. Not so much cost, but return on investment. What value are you getting out of the solution you choose? How many hours of your staff’s time will you have to put into implementing the solution? How many contractor hours are needed to implement the solution? What reoccurring fees will I have to pay each month or year? What value will that provide me?
Collection Method. How are you collecting the data needed? Are you collecting data through a building automation system, through energy meters or sub-meters, or through sensors? Do you even have a building automation system or is your only data available on utility bills or other hardcopy sources?
Data Storage and Ownership. Where is the data stored? Do I have control over where the data is stored? Who owns the data? If I stop my subscription, do I lose access to all my data I’ve collected?
Flexibility. How easily can I add data? If a sensor or meter goes down, how easily can I get that recovered data into the system? Can I use my own tools to analyze and visualize the data or do I have to use the tools provided with the solution? What if some of my data is automated and other data requires manual entry?
The answer to all your questions is the Bridge Data Manager from QA Graphics. The Bridge Data Manager is a software application built on the Microsoft .NET platform. It is designed to run as a Windows service in the environment you choose. If you’d prefer your energy data be stored behind your firewall, the Bridge Data Manager allows you to install it locally on your network. If you’d prefer to host it through your hosting provider, it can be configured to log data to the cloud for access anywhere, anytime. The install is simple and data sources can be added in minutes.
It has an open front-end allowing you to collect data from nearly any data source, simultaneously. Pre-built web services will connect you to any building automation system and its open API allows other sources to write web services that can be consumed by the Bridge Data Manager. It can even communicate to meters, sub-meters, and other sensor data through the use of a gateway. For those facilities that don’t automate their data collection, the Bridge Data Manager allows you to manually enter in data through its web interface. Coming soon, the Bridge Data Manager will have the ability to display data from Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager as well.
On the back-end, you select only the data you wish to store and it is logged to a MS SQL database. This gives you the flexibility to write reports and analyze the data you choose. The data can also be exported to CSV for reporting with spreadsheet software.
The Bridge Data Manager collects the energy data you feel is important, what you do with it is up to you.