EnerKey Reduces Energy Consumption in Commercial Buildings Using InfluxDB

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Commercial buildings produce 16% of carbon dioxide emissions in the US, and the EPA estimates that 30% of the energy used by these buildings is wasted. Energy efficiency in commercial buildings is a vital aspect of the transition to greener systems worldwide to fight climate change.

How EnerKey saves energy

EnerKey, a Finnish company, uses data intelligently to help their clients save energy in their commercial properties. It connects utility data on building water, electrical, and heating use with weather and geospatial data to help clients use energy most efficiently.

EnerKey works with real estate owners and management companies, and in total its clients monitor over 15,000 properties. The format of the utility data EnerKey collects varies depending on where these properties are. The company needs a system that can handle data in over 90 different formats.

Handling data

EnerKey previously stored data in MySQL and the team had to work with it manually. It eventually became clear that they needed a system built to handle time series data with more automation.

After considering PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and Cassandra, EnerKey chose to use InfluxDB. It needed a platform that could ingest and store large volumes of time series data and also provide support. They have over 80 integrations collecting data from IoT sensors. Some of the metrics they store in InfluxDB include energy, fuel, air quality, emissions, and solar battery usage. EnerKey uses enterprise as well as open source instances of InfluxDB.

EnerKey uses InfluxDB to store data and perform calculations and aggregations. It uses Chronograf to query data and monitor the platform, and Grafana to monitor the production environment. EnerKey also uses InfluxDB to monitor internal performance. The team set up alerts to notify them when CPU and memory usage increase above a set limit. They also use InfluxDB to keep track of how many requests are sent through their various APIs.

Saving energy in stores

One client that saved a lot of energy using EnerKey is Kesko, the biggest retailer in Finland. It operates more than 1,800 stores in seven different countries. Working with EnerKey, Kesko is reaching energy saving goals on schedule. It’s already saving 5 million Euros per year and it’s projected to save at least 7.5% more energy by 2025.

Other EnerKey clients have saved up to 30% on utilities. By monitoring energy use closely, EnerKey helps clients identify areas where they can save money. One client compared the energy use of their grocery store to others of similar sizes and locations and found their energy use was out of the normal range. After further investigation, they found that their condensing equipment was the wrong size, and they were able to replace it and reduce energy use. If they hadn’t been capturing detailed data with EnerKey’s system, they may not have discovered this.

To learn more about this use case, read the full case study.