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Zuckerman Gravely Management Inc. has been making a name for itself in commercial real estate for more than 30 years. With over two million rentable square feet of commercial office and retail space located primarily in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area, energy is a significant business consideration. They need smart solutions that reveal when and where energy is used, and help them use less of it.

Zuckerman Gravely has been a long time customer with Direct Energy Business, originally supported by the Mid-Atlantic team for natural gas supply. Working closely with Michael Harris and Strategic Sales, they have been looking for opportunities to identify energy efficiencies to implement across their portfolio.

In 2015, Zuckerman Gravely began participating in a Demand Response program through Direct Energy Business. This program pays them for committing to reducing their energy usage during periods of peak demand, with additional payments dispersed when they are called on to reduce consumption. In addition to this revenue, the Demand Response energy curtailment events helped Zuckerman Gravely reduce their peak load contribution by 11.5 percent, enabling them to secure a lower price on electricity.

In December 2016, the company wanted to expand their energy consumption visibility and cut down on energy waste. Direct Energy Business brought them a cutting-edge solution: Panoramic Power®. These self-powered wireless sensors clip onto individual pieces of equipment at the breaker board, enabling energy managers to monitor electricity consumption of equipment in real time and find opportunities to improve operations.

Zuckerman Gravely installed 93 Panoramic Power sensors on the major equipment in a 12-story commercial office building in Washington D.C. city center. The building has 40 tenants and several hundred to thousands of people use the facilities each day. Only minutes after the installation, the sensors began sending energy data to PowerRadar™, a cloud-based analytics dashboard. From this central dashboard, the company gained a real-time vantage point into their operation's energy consumption at a much deeper level than the existing energy management system.

"Our Panoramic Power installation was seamless and we started seeing our energy consumption in minutes," says Vice President of Facilities Nelson Sites. "The dashboards were easy for our building managers to learn how to read and enabled them to quickly begin pinpointing problem areas that we never could have seen without them."

In the months after installation, Panoramic Power data propelled several changes that created efficiencies and savings. One data insight prompted a simple change to the building's heating schedule. Panoramic Power revealed that heat was running during evenings and on weekends, even when the building was unoccupied. By reducing furnace settings during hours when the building was unoccupied, they decreased energy consumption by a whopping 30 percent and saved an estimated $6,800 per month.

"We're saving money, but more importantly, so are our tenants," says Zuckerman Gravely's Controller Kelly James. "By identifying areas in the building where we can cut energy use, we pass along fewer costs. In the future, we hope to offer incentives to our tenants for participating in energy saving initiatives."

Zuckerman Gravely estimates that they're saving between $50,000 and $75,000 per year, a rapid return on the investment with efficiency insights that will continue improving their facilities for years to come. They now plan to install Panoramic Power in a second building. With this unprecedented visibility into energy usage and their demand management program, Zuckerman Gravely isn't just saving money. They're optimizing building operations and maximizing the efficiency of every square foot.


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