First, with this title, I am bound to disappoint many Star Trek fans, maybe even some Iron Maiden ones. I apologize in advance if I lured you in...
One of the biggest wastes of energy in our society is failing to monitor "your space". I use this term in quotes as it actually means something different to just about anyone. For some of us, it refers to our home while for others, it may refer to your office, garage or even your workshop. I think everyone agrees that no one likes to live in the dark or in extreme cold/heat, so using energy to power up lights and temperature control for when you are in a "space" make sense. However, what about when you are not there? And, what if someone is using an excessive amount of energy to do these things when you are not there, like in the case of a rental "space”?
I remember going over to my aunt's place when I was a kid. It was an apartment in a big complex. It was quite warm, as it can be in Toronto in the summer, yet her place was so cool that you could pretty much use it as a back drop for Rocky's famous scene when he was punching frozen meat. Her reasoning: "I'm not paying for the electricity". This was obviously a huge waste of energy and money for SOMEONE.
Along the same lines is a story about my neighbour's experience. He has a renovation business and often does some work in the garage (which he uses as a workshop). Being that it is cold in the winter, he keeps the garage at a nice warm temperature during business hours. While he was off-loading some things, he had his big garage door open. While driving away, he hit the button to close his garage and "thought" he had closed it. However, the garage door failed to close just short of the bottom and opened wide open....without him seeing this as he drove away. So, his natural gas powered heater began working overtime to make up for the blasts of winds coming in through a massive door. In the end, it burned out his motor and cost him an extraordinary amount of energy before it did.
Two different examples...both with the same idea. Monitoring your "space" can save you money, as well as extra wear and tear on your machinery.
In some cases, solutions are available from the manufacturer of the machinery, such as the garage door opener that will alert you of such a situation. However for an actual "space", it may need more of a solution involving sensors. The good thing is that the variation of what can be monitored is so vast (ranging from temperature, to presence of water to hundreds of other things) that you can monitor pretty much anything you may have. As well, the solutions are often offered as a turn-key, monthly fee-based service for quick setup.
Like the old expression goes, it is often what you cannot see that is the issue. You can't be everywhere at all times, so it makes sense to use "space monitoring" to tell you what you don't know. It lowers costs, protects your stuff and can often increase productivity. Think of this as your solution until Scotty really is able to "beam you up" so that you can be everywhere...