Sustainability-minded developers are increasingly turning to smart meters and cutting-edge energy management systems to enhance the efficiency performance of new residential properties.
The latest smart meter and energy management technology is capable of gathering real-time data on the power and water consumption of the buildings in which their installed, and relaying this data to tenants or building managers by a variety of means.
"We can email daily energy and water consumption reports for all services to the customer for billing purposes," said Stefan Schwab, Siemens executive general manager building technologies. "At the touch of a screen located in each apartment, residents can monitor apartment total energy, and hot and cold water consumption."
Providing tenants with real-time access to utilities data means they can monitor their efficiency performance more effectively, and better determine whether measures adopted to reduce power and water consumption are proving successful.
In addition to improving accessibility to the standard measures for utilities usage, however, today's energy management systems (EMS) can also gather and provide data on a far broader range of efficiency-related metrics, including related costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
"Tenants can monitor their instantaneous energy consumption, cost and CO2 emissions and compared with previous days, weeks or even months, allowing them to track and alter their usage prior to receiving a bill," Schwab said.
Other areas that modern energy management systems are capable of monitoring include chilled water, hot water, domestic hot water and spa thermal meters. They can also be used to inspect main switch board electrical meters and bulk potable and non-potable water meters.
One landmark urban-renewal project which has turned to cutting-edge energy management systems to enhance building efficiency is Sydney's One Central Park development, a joint undertaking by Frasers Property Australia and Sekisui House.
The developers of the award-winning 623-apartment project turned to Siemens for the installation of a billing grade Energy Management System that could help secure its long-term sustainability.
"Our involvement in One Central Park offers a glimpse into the future of sustainable development," said Schwab. "The main risk of this project was to successfully provide a robust and reliable billing grade EMS that met all standards and requirements.
"Our team worked closely with the developers to produce an energy meter customised specifically to the requirements of One Central Park."