Before, during, and after COVID

Why Multi-Tenant Data Centers Require Accurate Tenant Energy Accounting

Sabey Data Centers - one of the largest privately-owned, multi-tenant data center providers in the world - knows accurate energy data is everything
headshot of Peter Angerame
Peter Angerame, Vice President, utiliVisor July 14, 2021
Sabey Data Centers Building in New York City

Unique Challenges of a Multi-Purpose Data Center Pre-Covid

SDC Manhattan incorporates a diverse group of tenant types under one roof at 375 Pearl Street, which presents a unique set of challenges.

Located in Lower Manhattan, Sabey's 375 Pearl Street has 18 MW of aggregate power ramping up to 40 MW supported by a redundant chiller plant.

Before Covid, Sabey floors 14 through 31 constructed condo/office space located above 550,000 square feet of state-of-the-art data center space. The additional condo/office space significantly impacted the building's common areas, elevator use, office tenant designs, and building infrastructure.

Due to its complexity, the ability to generate accurate tenant submeter bills, analyze meter data, forecast energy usage for budgets, and provide real-time meter data for decision making was at the front lines of what the building needed the most.

Sabey was looking for more than a software company.

Instead, they looked for a firm that specialized in submetering services, had a platform with tenant submeter intelligence that could predict usage, and most importantly, had an engineering team with an operational background that had hands-on experience.

Sabey partnered with utiliVisor, who has 40+ years of experience working in commercial office buildings, hospitals, mixed-use developments, and mission-critical spaces, to overcome the challenge.

utiliVisor's central plant operation background, vast experience in submetering services, and understanding how to transform energy data into intelligent business decision-making for Sabey were essential and would eventually play a significant role during COVID.

Allocating Expertise

With such great demands on their time during the COVID 19 pandemic, Sabey's building engineers didn't have the time to execute submeter readings of water, steam, and electricity.

They also didn't have the time to analyze the metering data in near real-time to guarantee accurate energy efficiency and cost savings.

As a starting point, utiliVisor's Senior Systems Engineer - Erich Hesse, first met with Sabey's Jeff Piedmont and recommended that all tenant submeters be locally tested using a power analyzer to ensure their accuracy.

The second step was to reconcile the energy data sent to the SCADA system from the local energy meters.

Additionally, utiliVisor did a complete engineering study of the energy usage from the chilled water plant and condenser system.

The meter data was then collected from the SCADA system and pushed in real-time to utiliVisor's billing platform, where it was set up to perform the following:

  • Provide alerts in real-time to notify operators of meters outside of performance thresholds.
  • Metering data is scrubbed for anomalies.
  • The billing platform takes the metering data, runs it through exception reporting, and audits the utility bills.
  • A team of rate analysts generates the billing packages, which utiliVisor Engineering Operations Center then double-checks.
  • utiliVisor runs the various energy data types through its tenant energy type models for comparisons, whether for leasing or simple load studies.

Streamlined billing processes

Using their unique expertise in the energy financial accounting industry, utiliVisor helped Sabey streamline the billing processes at their Seattle-based accounting department.

utiliVisor's Energy Metering Services allowed Sabey to precisely measure consumption so that tenants are billed in a timely, consistent, and accurate manner. It is resulting in fewer tenant complaints.

"Budgets are grueling here. And very time-consuming. When we need to troubleshoot something or have a question, we can throw it at utiliVisor. And they come right back with detailed analysis and breakdowns.

I'm not used to seeing such a high level of responsiveness. They really go above and beyond."

Power of Real-Time Energy Data During COVID

The impact of increased client demand during COVID became even more critical for several reasons:

  • Tenant occupancy patterns and routines had changed.
  • Office tenants began to analyze their utility consumption & utility spend.

 

utiliVisor provided:

  • Tenant billing is supported by accurate data ensuring tenant confidence.
  • utiliVisor’s industry benchmarks helped Sabey optimize energy usage while improving cash flow and profitability.
  • utiliVisor serves as an energy expert for Sabey’s on-site team. So, all stakeholders have a clear understanding and an efficient way to communicate and troubleshoot if challenges arise.
"utiliVisor will come in and make sure the meters are metering what they're supposed to. And make sure the meters are accurate. Then we share that with the tenant. And that gives tenants the confidence that their invoices are correct."

Having utiliVisor providing ongoing monitoring of energy and billing has created more time for Sabey's on-site team to address the safety concerns of their tenants.  With accurate submetering data and billing, Sabey's on-site team focused even more of their time and attention on the challenges 375 Pearl Street will face in a post-COVID vaccine world

Conclusion

Complex, mixed-use buildings and facilities require more than energy software if they are going to provide accurate tenant billing while reducing energy costs. And in a post-COVID vaccine world, the need has only increased.

utiliVisor was able to fix these issues for Sabey and provide a process that ensured accurate data that led to few tenant complaints during the pandemic. A time when clients were taking a much closer look at their utility bills and costs.

Ongoing monitoring and accurate, real-time data allow the building engineers and building managers to have confidence in their data, which frees them up to focus on post-COVID work.

Need to discuss your mixed-use building or facility?

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About utiliVisor

Your tenant submetering and energy plant optimization services are an essential part of your operation. You deserve personalized energy insights from a team that knows buildings from the inside out, applies IoT technology and is energized by providing you with accurate data and energy optimization insights. When you need experience, expertise, and service, you need utiliVisor on your side. Experts that deliver consistent energy and cost-saving strategies for you. What more can our 40 years of experience and historical data do for you? Call utiliVisor at 212-260-4800 or visit https://www.utilivisor.com/