Energy is nearly 20 percent percent of total expenses for the typical office building. With building managers under constant pressure to lower costs, lowering energy costs can have an immediate impact on the bottom line, but it’s challenging to get insight into energy usage across multiple variables—like occupants, temperature, and HVAC operations—to more intelligently manage energy usage. With Peak Power, building managers can easily get a more holistic and real-time view of energy use and make quick decisions that translate into cost savings.
Realizing energy savings while ensuring a positive tenant experience is a delicate balance for building managers. With real-time insights from the Peak Insight software, building managers can optimize the operation of their facilities based on unique usage patterns and local meteorological data. Insight uses IoT sensors to measure building operating metrics such as temperature, occupancy, electricity consumption, HVAC operations, and more. In addition to collecting, displaying, and forecasting building data in intuitive dashboards, Insight sends building managers real-time customized alerts and recommendations for immediate action.
Building Management Systems (BMS) have long promised to enable smarter buildings. However, integrating new smart building technologies with these systems is cumbersome, time consuming, and expensive. Plus, the lack of reliable internet connections across buildings creates a significant technology challenge.
Compounding the problem is that many building operators are resistant to smart building solutions that they perceive will circumvent their important role in building management and decision making.
Peak Power eliminated these challenges with a turn-key smart building solution that empowers building managers without the burden of integrating with a BMS. With Twilio’s cellular built-in, they also don’t need to worry about poor internet connectivity.
Building managers place Peak Insights’ pylons—tiny smart devices with IoT sensors and gateways pre-installed—anywhere in a building to capture data like power, sub-meters, temperature, humidity, CO2, and occupancy, among others. Coupled with the analytics software and presented in the Insight dashboard, building managers get real-time information to optimize their tenants’ experience while minimizing energy usage.
“Building managers love our ‘fast-track’ approach to smart buildings that quickly puts the power to make smart decisions at their fingertips,” COO Matt Sachs said. “That single, real-time view across all metrics and multiple properties really accelerated our customer adoption.”
For Peak Power, competitive differentiation was critical as they were entering a market with strong incumbents. To disrupt that market, they needed a powerful, simple solution with a new deployment model.
For this multivariable, real-time, plug-and-play solution, Peak Power had to overcome two big challenges: cellular IoT network cost and coverage.
“With each pylon requiring its own SIM card, we needed an affordable solution, but traditional carrier costs were prohibitive,” Sachs said. "Twilio’s contracting and pricing flexibility gave us the confidence to build our solution. Cellular network coverage can be spotty, even within one building. With Twilio, we gained access to multiple carriers via one SIM, giving us comprehensive coverage and reliable connectivity not just within one building, but entire large-scale portfolios.”
“For our vision to succeed, we needed a carrier that understood our 'Start Up - Scale Up' journey, “ Sachs added. “We went from one to 40 buildings in a month, and now we’re scaling to hundreds of buildings this year. Twilio’s contracting flexibility, combined with the uptime and reliability, was exactly what we needed.”
With Peak Insights’ fast activation model, building managers can leverage cellular to connect a 200,000 square foot (or four football fields) building in just under four hours. That ease of installation combined with the single pane of glass dashboard is how Peak Power has made it easy for building managers to deploy the solution and very quickly reap the benefits.
Peak Power’s customers are seeing the benefits of that reliable, real-time information: “Using data from the sensors powered by Twilio SIMs, we’ve been able to deliver 10-15 percent savings per year in building energy costs,” Sachs said. “Combine those savings with the dashboard and ease-of-installation and you can see how we’ve been able to disrupt this market.”
To deliver even greater cost savings, Peak Insights can marry those building insights with data from utility markets.
“We apply powerful machine learning algorithms behind the scenes to empower building operators to make smarter energy decisions,” Sachs said. “Imagine a scenario where we anticipate a spike in electricity costs at 4 p.m. in the afternoon. We can send a recommendation to building operators to pre-cool the building from 2 to 4 p.m. and then reduce the temperature set point from 4 to 6 p.m., enabling them to proactively avoid that higher price.”