Blog

Today in Cleantech

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Automated building controls, meet demand response. Australian startup BuildingIQ announced Tuesday that its fully automated system turned down power use at a Perth, Australia city building in response to utility Western Power’s demand response call. It’s the first time a building control system has automatically adjusted power use to meet a utility’s demand to turn down power to manage peak load, BuildingIQ CEO Mike Zimmerman told me last week. Automating demand response in commercial buildings could be a game changer — most of the 40 gigawatts or so of DR capacity in the U.S. today is managed via emails, phone calls, pager messages and other relatively low-tech methods. DR automation is more common in industrial settings, and Berkeley Labs’ OpenADR system is aimed at automating DR across a wide class of buildings. Still, commercial buildings have to take tenant comfort into account when turning down air conditioners on hot afternoons  — something BuildingIQ’s “predictive energy optimization” system manages by crunching weather, building sensor and tenant polling data and cranking up AC units to pre-cool buildings before the DR event begins, Zimmerman said.