In response to growing demands for sophisticated technologies helping building operators measure and define their buildings' energy consumption and environmental impacts, application developers are creating rather inexpensive solutions providing an array of functions.
As resources become less abundant, the cost of traditional energy rises, and people strive for energy independence, consumers and suppliers are taking a more responsible approach to both consumption and distribution. Suppliers are encouraging wiser usage and making data more accessible so that people understand how their usage both affects the environment and their wallets.
Furthermore, consumers are expressing an interest in their carbon footprints, how their behaviors affect the environment in general, and in taking control of how much they're spending on energy. This symbiotic relationship between consumers and suppliers is leading to all sorts of new efforts--including acts, bills, and technology.
Here are three examples of standalone energy management and environmental performance applications at three affordable price points:
Melon Power -- $500 per building (with a discount for owners of multiple buildings): This application is a tool that calculates an ENERGY STAR score stemming from Green Button data supplied by energy providers--and reports the score to the EPA.
HVAC ASHRAE 62.1-2010 -- $19.99: This application measures indoor air quality and minimum ventilation rates, ensuring that commercial buildings are within the ASHRAE minimum--which is the industry-accepted minimum. This app also lets operators know whether they're in the appropriate range to achieve indoor air quality LEED credits.
ecoInsight Mobile Audit for iPad -- free: This free tool performs energy audits and suggests energy upgrades based on user-inputted data including things like area, luminary wattage, etc.
These tools demonstrate that any organization can implement technology to boost their environmental performance and energy conservation--and without a hefty investment.