Now that building operators are starting to get real-time data from energy meters to better get a handle on energy spend, we see a new problem arise. Energy reports on kWh savings that don’t sync with utility bills. Worse yet, business managers rely on these reports to justify spending in energy efficiency measures find themselves scrabbling to understand the disconnect. So, where can real-time energy reports get you in trouble?
Bad data from meters makes for bad data in reports. The more buildings you have, and the more meters you are tracking, the more likely to find fault and errors in the data. One of the biggest challenges in maintaining a reliable database of energy usage — dealing with gaps in data. We’ve seen customers invest in sub metering and struggle to maintain an accurate database necessary to create trustworthy reports. Three areas that need to be addressed to get good reports:
1) a way to know when meters go offline
2) quick reactions to fixing the meter issue and
3) how to handle the gap in data resulting from the meter being off-line
There are established energy data practices that provide a framework to deal with data gaps and maintain integrity of the data. We’ve found the key to long-term reports you can trust is have a data quality process in place from the start, and be aware that data quality requires ongoing attention. This way, you’re not caught relying on a report that is based on faulty data.