File photo.
File photo.

The measurement and verification (M&V) industry is rapidly moving toward real-time performance tracking, and so-called Big Data, along with a proliferation of sub-metering devices, is likely to have a major role, suggests a new report from Boston intelligence firm Lux Research.

“Today sub-metering devices are now available to measure all types of building utilities, such as electricity, water, fuels, and heating or cooling input, with very high precision – but with a high cost to match,” Lux research analyst Alex Herceg said in a statement. “Still, as real-estate managers slowly adopt a data-driven approach, the demand for the devices that can deliver actionable insights will grow.”

Herceg is the lead author of a report titled, “Proof in Performance – Improving BEMS (Building Energy Management Systems) through Measurement and Verification.”

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Current offerings are not a good fit for buildings with less than 50,000  square feet of space --- the cost is too high to justify the energy savings, Lux Research said. But government policies calling for energy services aimed at this segment could lead to a new model for servicing small structures.

And Lux Research predicts that so-called Big Data will play a dominant role in auditing the performance of energy-management systems.

Big Data involves creating complex algorithms that make sense of massive amounts of digital information about everything from traffic patterns to health statistics --- and energy consumption.

Massachusetts, with its concentration of engineers, scientists, and professors, is fertile ground for Big Data advances. As recent Boston.com/Hive coverage has noted, the Patrick administration last year launched the statewide Big Data Initiative in hopes of positioning the state at the leading edge of the technology.