Much of the attention in energy efficiency is focused on changing consumer behavior. Las Vegas has taken that action one step further and decided to lead by example.
Located in one of the hottest places on the planet, the city and its utility, NV Energy, have already rolled out the mPowered program, a home energy management plan that provides participating homeowners with a smart thermostat and other incentives to help them manage their energy use.
In November, the city decided to tackle the energy consumption in its own buildings. It teamed up with BuildingIQ, a Foster City, Calif.-based energy management software company, to deploy a cloud-based energy management system for municipal buildings. According to the company, Las Vegas is the first city in the world to deploy its software.
BuildingIQ’s Predictive Energy Optimization software learns a building’s HVAC energy patterns to predict consumption. Relying on this data and signals sent directly from NV Energy, the software automatically optimizes energy use and manages demand response events. In this manner, it behaves much like the smart thermostat that NV Energy provided to homeowners, making the city a better informed consumer of energy in its own buildings. It is also capable of measuring energy use for a variety of building types and sizes, because it will come in handy for Las Vegas because it has a diverse portfolio of buildings.
BuildingIQ uses advanced artificial intelligence algorithms to learn about a building’s energy characteristics. Referred to as “Learning through Listening,” this system significantly reduces the time needed to deploy a solution. Adoption of this technology is seen as a key step in making Las Vegas a fully integrated SmartCity.