SuiteHeat by SensorSuite: Your Smart Space Retrofit.

Baseboard heating, PTAC energy controls
Baseboard heating, PTAC energy controls

The cost of electricity is increasing at an alarming rate with no end in sight.

For many multi-residential facilities and social housing complexes, mitigating the risk of this threat is a top priority.

Certainly, building stakeholders have begun to take steps towards making their portfolios more “green”.

As hydro prices increase and Ontario’s socio-political culture shifts towards an urgency to address climate change, SensorSuite will continue to be a valuable resource as a leading retrofitter in this space.

Key Findings

  • 24% of Ontario’s multi-unit residential building (MURB) stock is electrically-heated.
  • Our initial market study has found evidence that electricity consumption for heating MURBs that are electrically heated is huge. 13% of annual electricity consumption for all multi-unit residential properties in Ontario is just for electric space heating.
  • 1921 GWh/year is the total electricity consumed for space heating in the MURB sector.
  • Electric resistance baseboards are the most common heating equipment found in electrically heated MURBs.
  • On average, 42% of hydro use in electrically heated MURBs is for space heating; and as much as 65%.

Nationally, the main reason that it is important to transform our existing building stock to these smart buildings standards is quite simple:

We want to operate buildings in the most cost-effective manner.

We want them to save on energy, be responsible with resources- making sure that its occupants are safe, happy, and comfortable.

Today, buildings have been challenged with finding economical ways to look after the people inside them while acting as a responsible steward to the world outside its doors.  SuiteHeat empowers electrically heated buildings to help them better manage heating costs.

Connecting traditionally unconnected equipment and machines- monitoring, analyzing and controlling business processes without much human intervention, will lead to the improved management of assets and translate into happier occupants and improved profitability.

In Ontario’s social housing space, staggering shortages of affordable housing exposes thousands of people and families across the Province.  Huge affordable housing waiting lists are direct evidence of the market’s inability to address this issue. Furthermore, increases in utility spending are making it more difficult to maintain the affordability and expansion of its programs.

Through the utilization of SuiteHeat, buildings that support social housing can take matters into their own hands by curbing the high costs of electric heat by re-purposing these saved funds to advance their agenda in the communities that they serve.

Previously, building control systems have not been viable in some locations because of cost or the inability to run wires for communication.

SuiteHeat creates new possibilities through:

  • Low-impact installations without running wires throughout the building for communication: keeping heritage buildings intact and dramatically saving costs on the initial installation.
  • A cost-effective electric heat monitoring and control system that has a four-year or less payback.
  • The Save on Energy conservation incentive programs offered through Ontario’s local hydro company and powered by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).

How Does SuiteHeat Work?

SuiteHeat offers unprecedented control over how buildings manage electric heat use.  The solution is wireless- utilizing real-time data from electric baseboard heaters and Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner (PTAC) units.

In the case of PTAC-based systems, SuiteHeat will wirelessly monitor and control electric cooling as well.

The solution interfaces into the suites’ circuit panels that support the existing electrical heating equipment.  By utilizing in-suite sensors and controls devices, SuiteHeat communicates data over a wireless network through a local on-site SensorSuite Matrix™ Gateway to a secured cloud-based dashboard.

The SuiteHeat dashboard is easily expandable to support, visualize, and control one to hundreds of buildings and suites with a smartphone, tablet, or PC.

By viewing a building portfolio as a single system of interconnected parts as oppose to separate, independently heated units, big reductions in overall hydro consumption can be achieved. SuiteHeat allows stakeholders to adopt system-wide heating strategies- where individual suites work together in support of a portfolio master plan.

SensorSuite’s Mesh Network

Rather than relying on WiFi, SensorSuite relies on a proprietary 900 megahertz mesh network to achieve its wireless capabilities.  Mesh networks offer far greater range, particularly when delving into basements and other concrete-encased spaces that may impact connectivity.

This sophisticated wireless mesh forms a network of nodes where each node can pass information on to the next node.  Devices can communicate over long distances and disruptions to the network are self-healing – capable of re-configuring itself when issues arise.

By utilizing a mesh network, SuiteHeat is a stable, reliable, and easily reconfigurable system that meets any smart building’s connectivity needs.

The SuiteHeat Cloud Dashboard

The SuiteHeat Cloud Dashboard is essentially a single-screen view of the solution’s critical sensory data monitored in real-time.  This information is presented in an easy-to-read format that makes it possible to understand large amounts of complex information at a glance.

This tool presents an opportunity to track, contextualize, and leverage data in a way that can dramatically enhance the operational efficiency of electric heating systems in buildings.

Both flexible and powerful, the SuiteHeat Cloud Dashboard makes it easy to identify inefficiencies and optimize processes- allowing decision-makers to drill down into the data to gain a more detailed understanding of their heating landscape.

More than just a simple digital readout—this dashboard is designed to provide a visually appealing interface with an extraordinary level of accessibility and transparency.  This real-time window into complex operations engages viewers to more closely examine data and act upon the insights revealed.

As a result, information is transformed into meaning.

SuiteHeat’s sensory data is gathered in high volumes over time and is represented on the dashboard in a meaningful way.

Here are brief highlights of key functions offered by the dashboard:

  • Capture real-time and historical comparisons of hydro consumption for heating purposes.
  • Limit maximum temperature in winter and reduce cooling during summer (PTACs only) from your connected smartphone, tablet, or PC.
  • Present data in a meaningful to all stakeholders.
  • Have summary views of all facilities under monitoring and control, providing real-time consumption comparisons; in an effort to promote more efficient behaviour between facilities.
  • Access to historical portfolio charts, tables, and metrics.

Market Fit

SuiteHeat offer substantial value to its target markets (especially when tenants/guests do not pay extra for electric heat over-and-above the cost of rent).

Markets that can benefit:

  • Non-Profit Multi-Unit Residential Buildings (MURBs) that have electric baseboard heaters or Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner (PTAC) units. In many instances, rent is geared to a tenant’s income or subsidized fully- offering no incentive for tenants to act more responsibly with their utility consumption.
  • For-Profit Multi-Unit Residential Buildings (MURBs) that have electric baseboard heaters or Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner (PTAC) units. In many instances, heating is included in a given tenant’s rent- offering no incentive for tenants to act more responsibly with their utility consumption.
  • Retirement Homes that have electric baseboard heaters or Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner (PTAC) units.
  • Hotels/Motels that have electric baseboard heaters or Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner (PTAC) units. Heating and cooling are included amenities- offering no incentive for guests to act more responsibly with their utility consumption.  Furthermore, rooms that are unoccupied can be setback to curb unnecessary heating and cooling.

Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan (Source: Ministry of Municipal Affairs Newsroom Release- May 25, 2016)

Ontario is leading the fight against climate change by investing up to $900 million over four years from cap and trade proceeds to support people who rent by retrofitting social housing apartments and providing grants and rebates for residential multi-tenant buildings.

As part of the Climate Change Action Plan, the province will invest up to $500 million to retrofit social housing apartments with energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. In addition to reducing emissions, this would improve comfort for residents and save money for social housing providers to make other capital improvements. Indigenous social housing would also be eligible for retrofits under this program.

Ontario will also help improve energy efficiency in private residential apartment buildings by investing up to $400 million in an incentive program that will offer rebates or grants toward the purchase and installation of energy efficient technologies.

The SensorSuite Team

The success is of SensorSuite is due in no small part to the strength of our team.  As an organization, SensorSuite is recognized as an innovator in our industry.  Our organization has over 40 years of industry experience coupled with a team that has an array of complementary skills and knowledge.

By design, with solutions that are easy to use and understand, our team’s focus is on supporting a product suite that addresses the present and future needs of our clients.  By putting your trust in us, we accept the responsibility of assisting your organization with sound advice and feedback so that you can make more informed decisions on how to move forward.

At SensorSuite, we’re excited about what’s possible in our new connected world and we accept the responsibility of educating the masses and leading the case for change in the markets that we serve.

With SuiteHeat, this can now be achieved.

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