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Tech platform lets building 'talk' to managers

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Real estate tech company Energy Technology Savings CEO Jeff Hendler likens his company to a spaceship crew on another planet.

“We feel like we’re on Mars and taking soil samples of buildings,” Hendler said.

The Livingston-based company wants to change the face of commercial and multifamily building management through its artificial intelligence tech platform that he says can cut energy costs by as much as 20 percent.

ETS installs and monitors meters, sensors, Wi-Fi access points and an assortment of smart devices, with the software guiding property owners and managers on how to cut energy costs through real-time data and predictive analytics.

“SmartKit AI is a handful of devices that get installed into a building and what these systems do is create transparency from an operations standpoint and streamlines operations in a building,” said David Klatt, ETS vice president of operations.

Hendler said the company views itself as “primary care, smart-building engineers.”

“The building literally has a degree of consciousness where the building is talking to the building owner and manager,” Hendler said. “This is all to provide transparency on how the building is operating. It’s a great tool for property managers and supervisors and mitigates the cost to properties. We’re giving them real-time information about their building.”

Protocols are then created for individual buildings, with guidance provided to property owners on how to reduce costs.

“We also educate the owner about what’s important in their bills that they can control,” Hendler said. “They now have data points that they effectuated. It really empowers the building owner.”

Jeff Epstein, regional property manager for Kushner Real Estate Group, said the company recently installed the software in three of its Jersey City residential buildings.

“The reason we decided to go with this software is because we wanted to be more analytical about our utility consumption,” he said. “We wanted to hone in specifically when we were experiencing our peak energy demand and use that to help us lower the overall supply cost of the utility.”

Epstein said there has been a drop in energy costs since it began using the technology.

“We’ve definitely seen a considerable reduction in our peak demand costs over the last year,” he said.”

Although common areas can make up as little as 15 percent of a building’s space, Hendler said energy consumption generated by common space can account for as much as 50 percent of the property’s usage.

While the general perception has been that energy costs are fixed, the company has proven otherwise.

“A building will generate an energy bill on the house side that is half a million dollars and the owner has no idea how the building is ingesting all this energy,” Hendler said. “They want to know if there is any way they can reduce costs. The owner has no context, so this technology is borne out of that need to make heads and tails out of that $500,000 bill.

“Analytics is a must,” he said. “You’re better equipped to take action and effectuate change. We uncover this low-hanging fruit like the building not operating as it should or the equipment not functioning. Who wouldn’t want that?”

In all, ETS’ technology currently can be found in 186 buildings across the Northeast and West Coast.

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Elana Knopp

Elana Knopp

Elana Knopp covers all things real estate for NJBIZ. You can contact her at eknopp@njbiz.com.

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