Big Data could help small buildings better manage energy, Lux Research says 

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 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.