Back in the day, the way most businesses would keep tabs on their energy use would be by collecting their utility bills, entering all of the information in a spreadsheet or fancy-schmancy software, doing some energy manager type magic (okay – they’re pretty simple calculations, but I gotta keep some mystique about the whole process, don’t I?) and spit out some pretty graphs showing that you’ve used more/less/the same amount of energy as the year before.

Problem is, once you got the utility bill, entered the data, did the magic and printed at the graphs, the information you were looking at was, like, so last month…if not, like, so two months ago. The conversation would go something like this:

Energy Manager’s Boss: Wow, we used a lot of energy, like, two months ago.

Energy Manager: Yup.

EMB: Any idea why?

EM: Yup. We did some checking and it looks like we had something horribly energy inefficient happening. We’ve fixed it now.

EMB: Good that it was fixed. Too bad we had two months of energy wasting.

EM: Yup.

But now, through the magic of the interweb, we can see how we’re using energy, right here, right now as it’s happening. No more wasting energy as we wait for bills to come in, no more uncomfortable conversations with your boss, but instead a conversation that goes something like this.

Awesome Building Operator: I got an email from our real time energy monitoring system that our demand was peaking abnormally. I ran a quick diagnostic and it turns out we had a malfunctioning doohickey in the thingamajig. I ran a bypass, did a patch repair and ordered replacement parts – we’ll be back up to speed by Tuesday.

Energy Manager: Yup.

And, coming soon to a UHN computer near you, it won’t just be our Awesome Building Operators who can see our energy use right here, right now, but everyone at UHN…Energy Managers and their Bosses included.