End-to-end energy solutions leader Yurika has a clear message for property owners: Energy monitoring and smart metering aren’t interchangeable.
“Only smart metering enables property companies to monetise their investment in energy efficiency,” Brad Pye, Yurika’s General Manager for metering, advises.
Monitoring energy consumption can help property owners to spot general trends. “But unless you meter your entire ecosystem to ensure you have a verifiable way to attribute costs to a tenancy or a power purchase agreement, your efforts can come unstuck,” Pye says.
From 2019, new provisions in the National Construction Code have required buildings larger than 2,500 sqm to capture and centralise energy data so it can be stored, analysed and reviewed.
But standard energy monitoring only captures passive accumulation, Pye notes. Smart meters, on the other hand, reveal detailed information on energy consumption and generation from onsite renewables, like solar panels.
“Many property companies undertake measurement through their building management system – a system designed to control lighting and air-conditioning, but not maintain a detailed history of energy consumption and generation. It’s like trying to hammer something with a banana.
“Not all data has the same value and we often see building owners purchase a monitoring system only to find that there are so many gaps and inconsistencies that they can’t trust the data. If the data can’t be trusted it can’t be monetised.”
Many monitoring systems capture data without checking its validity. “Then the information is thrown onto a data dashboard and the building owner needs to make sense of it. A smart meter delivers far more value than random data that can’t be verified.”
To monetise your energy data, a smart meter must have a national measurement institution tick of approval, Pye says. It must enable remote interrogation and to provide insights in near-real time. “Not all so-called smart meters can do that.”
With the right investment, smart meters can enhance asset value. Pye points to one customer that elevated a NABERS rating from 1 to 3 stars with the help of actionable insights from smart meter data.
“We’ve helped property companies to measure and understand their energy usage and exceed their targeted ratings. As investors increasingly look for future-proofed sustainable assets, a higher NABERS rating can immediately translate into greater asset value.”
Sometimes stickier tenants are the endgame. “We see building owners improve their relationships with customers by providing deeper insights into consumption behaviour while helping their tenants to cut costs.”
Smart meters also underpin the energy revolution – from electric vehicles to battery storage – which is gathering pace.
“The question for property companies is: How do they make money from their investments? The answer is clear. With the help of smart meters.”