Los Suenos Bay Residence first gEye subscriber

GeckoTech has been working with Hardy Realestate Group (HRG) for the past few years to help them apply technologies that can improve a rental property’s operating efficiency.  Specifically gEye Energy conservation systems as a managed service.   As of the writing of this post HRG has roughly 5 properties under its care that enjoy the benefits of gEye.   In early May, HRG decided to take the plunge and deploy gEye to one of it Bay Residence properties.  The gEye system is a single thermostat system that should save the property roughly 30% of its AC operational costs annually.

The overall intent of HRG is to deploy gEye into the majority of its properties.  Not only to help save the property owner money, but to provide virtual management of the properties’ single biggest energy consumer.

Another Vista Mar unit follows suit….

You just can’t keep “a good idea down.”   This has proven the case at Vista Mar where gEye continues to “carry its weight”.

Unit owners continue to converse among themselves about high energy bills and how to manage them.   GeckoTech’s gEye energy conservation system is always one of the “hot topics”.  New unit owners are not waiting for the ICE rates to bite them.    As is the case in GeckoTech’s newest gEye subscriber, Unit 4D.  This unit owner has heard the horror stories about $2,000 electric bills with nominal occupancy.  He has also heard wonderful things about gEye:  How it reduces energy consumption.  How it allows remote monitoring of thermostats, doors and occupancy via the web.   etc…    Needless to say, the new owner of Vista Mar 4D is now able to relax knowing his gEye system is keeping a vigil on air conditioning units and ensuring his guests do not abuse their rights to enjoy them.

gEye and gPhoto installed for VistaMar 1A, 5A and 7B

Savings and Security.  What more could one ask for.  Especially when the former pays for the latter.   with a little change to spare.  Such is the case for 3 rental units at Vista Mar that recently became subscribers to GeckoTech’s services:  GeckoEye and GeckoWatch.  Vista Mar. situated in Jaco, is one of Jaco’s first developments.   The owners were experiencing brisk occupancy, but were having their rental income gobbled up by ICE.   So they turned to GeckoTech to help lower their AC operational costs relative to ICE power.   GeckoTech answered their “cry for help” by installing GeckoEye.   The gEye system not only lowered the owner’s AC operational costs by 30% but also allowed them remote managing and monitoring of doors/windows/thermostats.   The subsequent savings afforded them the option to install gPhoto at the front door to track all pedestrian traffic in and out of his rental unit.   gPhoto takes successive photos on one second intervals and sends them to a web service where the subscriber can review up to 30 days of photos.   Gone are the days of wondering if their units are rented..   All three unit owners are now in complete control of their properties even though they might be 1000s of miles away.

Los Altos deploy’s 2nd GeckoEye

Los Altos, a premium property in Manuel Antonio, has deployed its second GeckoEye energy savings system. It is hoped that in the next 60-90 days they will see enough savings to justify the capital expenditure necessary to deploy GeckoEye in the remaining 22 units. It is anticipated that GeckoEye will save Los Altos in excess of $20,000 per year once the entire property is retrofitted. There is additional in-direct ROI resulting from management and control.

GeckoEye deployed to Las Lomas

Heradura’s gated community, Las Lomas, has a number of single family dwellings. Most of these houses are privately owned by foreigners. Recently GeckoTech was contracted to provision the GeckoEye energy management service for one its owners. The primary purpose for the GeckoEye installation was not “energy savings” as is normally the case. Rather the unit owner decided to subscribe to GeckoEye because of GeckoEye’s by-products. Specifically, the ability to control locks, monitor activity in and around the property, and record video (in the form of snapshots) to a cloud service. The GeckoEye will allow owner to program the access control for Staff and Guests as well as reporting on when and how the property was used. It is expected that this unit owner eventually adds more sensors, lighting control and climate control. From his iPad, the unit owner is able to login to the GeckoEye automation computer and lock/unlock doors, as well as review video and property state.

Los Altos GeckoEye Pilot already generating savings…

Over the past few years the management/development team of Manuel Antonio’s Los Altos Beach Resort have started to appreciate the significant recurring operational costs associated with energy consumption.  To compound the situation, each elegant and spacious units has a floor plan that invites the renter to open balcony doors. To be specific, each of the 24 units has 4 large lanai (balcony) doors.  These balcony doors are a burden to the air handlers when they are left open during air handler run time. Each minute that these balcony doors remain open, with the AC running, represents huge loss. That loss quickly adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual operational costs as it relates to cooling requirements for the rental units.

Starting in May, GeckoTech introduced its GeckoEye energy management system to two pilot units. Each GeckoEye system included one automation computer, 6 door sensors, and 4 motion sensors. From day one, the GeckoEyes were generating savings by simply stopping the AC from running when balcony doors were left open for more than a few minutes. Further savings are realized through “temperature setback” when the rental units are unoccupied for more than few hours.

The engineers at GeckoTech as well as the Los Altos management staff are anxious to analyse the ICE facturas in the upcoming months. The question is not “is GeckoEye saving Los Altos money?” but rather “how much money is GeckoEye saving the property?”

It is expected Los Altos moves forward to install GeckoEye in the remaining 22 units before the beginning of high season 2012.

GeckoTech moves more services to Amazon Cloud

In an effort to increase system/service reliability (five 9s of uptime) GeckoTech has moved additional services into the Amazon EC2 cloud. These services include the following:

* GeckoEye Energy Management – GeckoTech has moved its GeckoEye energy management data gathering portal out of its Jaco offices into the Amazon cloud to ensure end to end delivery of all Energy related events for rental properties.

* Milestone NVR Management – GeckoTech has more CCTV cameras deployed in Jaco than any other vendor. The cornerstone of GeckoTech’s Video Surveillance deployments is Milestone. Commercial subscribers to GeckoTech’s video surveillance systems will now use servers in the Amazon cloud to authenticate and gain access to their cameras. This will ensure that as long as there is internet service to the property’s cameras, the user will be able to access using the authentication servers hosted in Amazon’s cloud.

* Network Monitoring – Prior to the migration of GeckoTech’s Network monitoring services into the cloud, GeckoTech’s monitoring software was hosted its Jaco offices. This meant the network monitoring services were subject to the regular power and internet outages that Jaco experiences. Now, with its network monitoring services in the Amazon cloud, GeckoTech can provide metrics that are an order of magnitude more accurate than in the past. This migration also allows for better “real-time” alerts of impending outage through SMS and eMail delivery to GeckoTech technicians.

* Reporting Services – GeckoTech is leveraging Amazon’s robust infrastructure to deliver reports from various JacoPOS (Point of Sale) Servers installed at various client sites on the central pacific. The idea is that this On Demand reporting server will deliver necessary operational reports on scheduled basis without reliance on ICE’s network.

GeckoTech’s management is confident that the ROI for migration will be less than two months. More importantly GeckoTech can boast a service level that is unsurpassed in Costa Rica.

GeckoEye Score Card (Energy Management Savings)

As part of GeckoTech’s ongoing support, relative to managed services, we provide sundry of unbeknownst “goodies”. Such as spot checks (health/performance) for clients..

This month’s spot check include “Score Card” evaluations for two of our GeckoEye subscribers.

* Acqua 406 had been experiencing energy bills ranging from 200-400$/month. Even when unoccupied. July’s analysis showed the unit’s lowest electric bill ever!! 52$.
* Vista Mar Penthouse had been experiencing ICE electric bills ranging from 1300-1700$/month. July’s bill was one of the lowest in history, and was 25% lower than the previous 4 month’s trend.

In subsequent months we plan to show other GeckoEye subscriber’s savings as they release their ICE bills to us.