If you want to save water, this is the next step

INNAX  is an independent partner based in the Netherlands that provides a building energy management system (BEMS) to property owners, managers, and tenants. As a driving force for sustainability, INNAX helps its customers decrease their energy usage and achieve sustainable results for their buildings and the environment.

While INNAX focuses on the energy sector, its customers often have questions about water usage. Mark Massier, director of energy management at INNAX, discovered Smartvatten when a customer was considering taking the water monitoring system into use.

At first, INNAX wasn’t fully convinced of Smartvatten’s value. “We had done some other projects which involved cameras on gas meters, and they were unsuccessful,” says Roel Heijser, product developer at INNAX.

Despite INNAX’s hesitation, the customer decided to try Smartvatten during a pilot phase to get accurate water consumption data.

A change of mind

INNAX soon recognized the value Smartvatten could bring its customers. They integrated Smartvatten into their BEMS so customers could automatically see their water, electricity, and gas data in the same place.

“We hadn’t heard that our customers were worrying about leaks in their buildings,” says Mark. “But what we have now learned is that this was because we focus upon energy usage. It was a blind spot.”

“The pilot proved that this is a solution we could offer to real estate customers.”

INNAX decided to test Smartvatten themselves by installing a device at their office.

The test showed the ease of installation, high-quality data and service, and reliability.

“I got a better feeling of how easy it is to use and install, which is very important because otherwise no one would use it,” says Mark. “The service was very good. The pilot proved that this is a solution we could offer to real estate customers.”

INNAX also saw that Smartvatten is more than just a datalogging device—the team ensures you get the most out of their solution.

“What was convincing is within a day, we got a call that we made a mistake in the installation,” says Mark. “We solved it, and within a week or two, we got a report that we may have leaks because we’re using too much water at nighttime.”

INNAX discovered they were consuming 40 to 50 litres of water per hour during the night—which is abnormal for office buildings—and informed the building manager right away.

“That was a good example of how this should work, and how it can save money,” says Roel.

Reliable and accurate data

As a data company, INNAX’s priority is to have accurate data on a daily basis.

“It was important that the data was reliable and complete,” says Roel. “When we get data from Smartvatten’s API, it goes smoothly through our own validation process— exactly the same validation process required by the Dutch government.”

No matter what BEMS property owners use, they can easily integrate Smartvatten. “Through API integration it’s possible to make the end customer’s life a little bit easier,” says Smartvatten co-founder Joe Hamari. “We are already delivering data to tens of different systems. The cooperation with INNAX is really a great thing for our existing and future Dutch customers.”

“If you want to save water, this is the next step.”

The feedback from everyone at INNAX using Smartvatten was positive—most importantly, the data was accurate and in real-time.

“We were surprised with the speed in which the data became valuable information” says Mark. “Usually it requires a lot of time to get enough data to see patterns. But in this case, it happened immediately.”

Mark also explains how Smartvatten helps property owners take action to reduce their consumption: “The first question of many companies we currently work with is to get the data for electricity, heat, or gas usage. If you want to save water, this is the next step.”

Working together to help property owners

While both INNAX and Smartvatten work with data, Smartvatten’s approach to water consumption data was completely new for INNAX.

“We primarily look at water data as something you can use for reporting and billing since the price of water is low and water savings are difficult to make a business case,” says Mark. “ Smartvatten looks at water consumption data to catch possible plumbing leaks. We come from a different direction, but we’re on parallel tracks.”

While their approach to data varies, Smartvatten and INNAX are both working towards the same goal: to give customers the best sustainable solutions that improve their business and the environment.

“Smartvatten focuses on water, and our main value for customers is improved sustainability in the area of energy,” says Mark. “So in that way we complement in each other. We both have a mission to increase sustainability.”

By using one BEMS to monitor all areas of consumption, property owners can get a clear idea of where there’s room for improvement.

“It’s easy to get a good overview of water usage in all your buildings,” says Mark. “If you run a lot of buildings, it’s very important that you can easily access all the information when you need it.”