WHO IS BERT?
Bert is the leading Wi-Fi based plug load management system supplier, saving school districts, colleges, local governments and sporting venues over 5 million kWh annually.
WHAT DOES BERT DO?
Bert saves energy by eliminating overnight standby loads and improves comfort by collecting
WHAT IS PLUG LOAD?
Plug load refers to energy used by products powered by an AC plugs.
WHAT IS OVERNIGHT STANDBY LOAD?
Plug load and hardwired devices use energy even if they are in standby mode. Overnight standby load refers to the energy used by these devices at times when the building is unoccupied.
HOW DOES BERT ELIMINATE STANDBY OVERNIGHT LOADS?
Bert uses the existing wireless network to automatically turn devices off nights and weekends
when the building is empty.
WHAT IS THE TYPICAL PAYBACK PERIOD FOR A BERT?
Payback periods range from under 6 months to 10 years depending upon device type, occupancy hours, energy cost, and rebate availability.
DOES BERT REDUCE LABOR EXPENSES?
Labor savings are possible in facilities where devices are turned off manually or cycled regularly.
WHAT KINDS OF DEVICES DOES BERT TYPICALLY CONTROL?
Projectors, Smartboards, Charging Carts, Printers, Copiers, Vending Machines, Large Coffeemakers,
Water Dispensers, TV’s, Space Heaters, Window AC Units, Electric Hot Water Heaters, PTAC Units, Exhaust Fans, Commercial Refrigeration Equipment, Air Handling Units and Indoor/ Outdoor Lighting.
ARE THERE DEVICES BERT DOESN’T CONTROL?
Bert does not control computers, refrigeration equipment with perishable products, phones or fax machines. In addition, Berts are not typically installed on devices with small standby loads like paper shredders, single serve coffee machines or small desktop printers because of the relatively long payback period.
WHY DOES BERT USE THE EXISTING NETWORK?
It makes Bert less expensive to install; easier for IT departments to support; and cost effective for all building sizes.
WHAT IS BERT’S FAVORITE COLOR?
Green, of course!
WHAT SIZE LOADS DOES BERT CONTROL?
The Bert Smart Plug series manages individual plug loads up to 120V/15A, while the Bert Inline series controls larger 20A devices and circuits, including 110V, 220V, and 277V loads.
HOW DO I KNOW WHICH BERT TO ORDER?
Select the appropriate Bert based on the load you are trying to control.
HOW MUCH ENERGY DOES BERT USE?
Berts use less than one watt hour of power.
IS IT EASY TO CONNECT DEVICES TO THE BERT?
Yes. 120V/15A devices are plugged into the Bert and the Bert plugged into the wall socket. For larger 20A loads, Inline Series Berts are hardwired into the circuit by a licensed electrician per local electrical codes.
IS BERT UL APPROVED?
Yes, all Bert devices are UL approved in the US and Canada. Bert is also FCC approved.
IS BERT PATENTED?
Yes, Bert has four patents, with two additional patents pending.
DOES BERT HAVE A WARRANTY?
Yes, all Berts come with a one-year hardware and software warranty. Extended warranty options are also available.
CAN I USE BERTS FOR DATA LOGGING?
Yes, 14 days of hourly measurement data is stored on the Bert in a rolling log. Data can be used to determine baseline standby energy usage for investment grade audits required for performance management contracts.
HOW DOES BERT DIFFER FROM A TIMER?
Bert measures, analyzes and controls loads remotely, enabling intelligent mass control over devices using a single UI console. Timers merely turn devices on and off and each timer must be manually reset for power outages or time changes.
WHAT DOES BERT MEASURE?
Bert measures the actual current and voltage to calculate watts used. Berts with Bert Temperature also collect temperature data.
WHAT MEASUREMENT DATA REPORTS ARE AVAILABLE?
Historical data is available by hour, day, month, year or user-defined period. Reports are available by individual device, groups of devices, buildings, groups of buildings, all buildings or other group. Up to three periods can be compared within a report.
WHAT ARE GROUPS?
Instead of managing Berts individually, Berts are grouped together for easy administration. Typical groups include building type, device type and location within a building. Devices can be included in multiple groups.
HOW ARE GROUPS USED?
Groups are used for reporting, scheduling and load shedding purposes.
WHAT CONTROL OPTIONS DOES BERT OFFER?
Bert offers several ways to control plug load. Besides turning devices on and off using a time-based schedule. Bert also controls devices using power threshold levels and high/low temperature set points.
HOW DOES THE TIME-BASED SCHEDULE WORK?
Each Bert, or group of Berts, turns on/off at the scheduled times. Devices can be turned on/off up to
50 times per week. Schedules can be created for every day, week days, weekends, individual days of the week, or a combination.
IS THERE A WAY TO OVERRIDE THE SCHEDULE?
Yes, there’s an override feature which allows an administrator to power down all devices, groups of devices or individual Berts with a single click.
WHERE IS THE BERT’S SCHEDULE STORED?
Schedules are stored centrally on the server and locally in each Bert. If the network goes down or the Bert is unable to communicate, the Bert continues to turn on and off using its stored schedule. Once the network is restored, the Bert immediately synchronizes clocks with the server and checks to see if there has been a schedule update.
WHAT IS THRESHOLD?
It’s an optional software upgrade that provides power threshold-based control for sensitive equipment like
projectors, vending machines, charging carts and copiers. The software prevents equipment from turning off until the normal shut down cycle is complete or the compressor has turned off. The time-based schedule is in effect when the power threshold is not exceeded. If the threshold is exceeded at the time the Bert is scheduled to turn off, the software prevents the Bert from turning off until after the power level drops below the threshold. Each Bert can be programmed with a unique threshold ranging from 2-999 Watts.
WHAT IS TEMPERATURE?
It’s an optional software upgrade that provides temperature-based control and monitoring. Each Bert can be programmed with unique high and low temperature set points to automatically turn the Bert on or off when the set point is reached. The time-based schedule is in effect when the set point temperatures are not reached. In addition, real-time temperature data can be collected and measured from any outlet or circuit with Bert.
WHAT IS BERT CONNECT?
Bert Connect is the Bert gateway used to integrate Bert into BACnet/IP-based building automation systems.
I am an End-User:
WHY DID YOU INSTALL A BERT IN MY LOCATION?
Bert saves money and energy by automatically scheduling plug load devices like yours to turn
off when the building is empty and turn on while the building is occupied.
WHAT DOES THE BLINKING LIGHT MEAN?
If the light blinks 3 times, it means the Bert is turned on and your device has power. If the light blinks 2 times, it means the Bert is turned off and your device does not have power. If the light blinks 1 time, it means the Bert is not currently communicating with the network. If the light is solid green, it means the Bert is in ad hoc mode and the Bert will return to normal mode after 30 minutes.
WILL BERT KEEP ME FROM USING MY DEVICE DURING THE DAYTIME?
No, Bert is designed to save energy at times when the building is empty. Bert is scheduled on when the building is regularly occupied so you have immediate access to your device.
WHAT IF I NEED TO USE MY DEVICE DURING OFF HOURS?
Hold the power button at the top of the Bert down for a few seconds until you hear an audible click. The green indicator light will start blinking 3 times, indicating power is restored to your device.
IT’S BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT AND I CAN’T TURN MY PROJECTOR ON BECAUSE THE OUTLET IS IN THE CEILING, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Contact your facilities or IT department to let them know that may have forgotten about changing the schedule for Back to School night.
IS SOMEONE MONITORING THE BERT?
Yes, the Bert is constantly updating its server with energy usage data from your device. If the Bert is unplugged, the system administrator is notified that the device has been removed.
CAN YOU TELL WHERE EACH BERT BELONGS?
Yes, each Bert has a unique MAC address and name. When it is installed, the building, location within the building, MAC address, name and device type (printer, projector, etc.) is recorded. When the installation is complete, a detailed list is shared with administration.
I FOUND A BERT AND I’M NOT SURE WHERE IT BELONGS
Contact your system administrator. They can look up the building, room and device where the Bert belongs.
DO BERTS GET STOLEN?
Most Berts are not visible because they are plugged in behind a device or under a desk. In addition,
they are screwed into non-ceiling mounted outlets making unauthorized removal more difficult. If a Bert is stolen, it won’t work because Berts are programmed to communicate using your building’s network
credentials. Berts can be tracked back to their original owner based on its unique MAC address.
I’m an ESCO:
DOES BERT QUALIFY FOR REBATES?
Berts have received rebates from numerous utilities. Utilities often have prescriptive and/or custom
programs. Rebate amounts depend on the rebate rate and the amount of power saved, but typically range from $15 to $25 per Bert. Please contact the local utility or Bert for additional information.
HOW DOES BERT SUPPORT MY PROJECT?
Bert provides resources and tools to assist the ESCO throughout the life of the project. Specifics can be found in the Bert ESCO guide.
CAN YOU ESTIMATE POTENTIAL SAVINGS FOR MY PROJECT?
Yes, provide us with a list of buildings with building type, square footage and kWh rate for each building.
We’ll create a preliminary savings sheet using plug load density data and standby power loads from similar installations to estimate potential savings for your project.
HOW DOES BERT SUPPORT MY IGA?
A room by room audit is performed for every building using the Bert Audit tool. The tool verifies the Wi-Fi coverage in each room while the audit is being performed. The Bert Support team has real-time access to this data and can assist the auditor as needed. Data from the IGA is shared with the ESCO and the installer. Bert data loggers are frequently installed during the audit to record actual measurement data.
HOW DOES BERT SUPPORT THE HARDWARE INSTALLATION?
Installers use the Bert Installation tool to record the building, location, device type and MAC address of the Bert as it is installed. The Bert Support team has real-time access to this data and verifies that the newly installed Bert appears in the software and names the Bert based on the building, location and device type.
HOW DO YOU ESTABLISH THE BASELINE FOR M&V?
After the installation is finished, the Berts run without a schedule for at least 2-4 weeks, recording
measurement data. This data is used to establish the baseline overnight standby load.
I AM PERFORMING AN AUDIT AND WILL BE INSTALLING BERTS DATA LOGGERS, WHAT DO I DO?
As you perform the audit, you should plug a Bert into each major device type at the facility (soda vending, snack vending, charging cart, projector, medium printer, copier, air conditioner etc.) As you do the audit, record the room, device type and last 6 digits of the MAC address into the audit form.
HOW LONG CAN THE DATA LOGGING BERTS BE UNPLUGGED BEFORE THEY LOSE THEIR CLOCK?
Data logging Berts need to be plugged in within 5 days or the clock will need to be reset before being installed to record measurement data.
I’m a IT Professional:
DO I NEED TO PURCHASE ADDITIONAL NETWORK HARDWARE TO RUN BERT?
No, Bert uses the existing 2.4 gHz 802.11 b/g/n network. No additional network hardware is required to install Bert.
HOW SHOULD MY NETWORK BE CONFIGURED TO RUN BERT?
We recommend creating a non-broadcast subnet with no internet access specifically for Bert. You can also run Bert on your main Wi-Fi network or on a guest network.
WHERE ARE THE BERT MESSAGES SENT?
Since Berts are configured with the IP address of the Bertbrain server, messages are sent directly to the server. A secondary IP address can be configured if desired.
WHAT DOES BERT LOOK LIKE ON THE NETWORK?
Each Bert has an IP address. The address can be dynamically assigned (DHCP) or the network administrator can assign each Bert a static IP address.
HOW DO BERTS JOIN MY NETWORK?
Berts arrive for installation preprogrammed with your specified network credentials and will automatically join your network when plugged in.
WHAT COMMUNICATION PROTOCOL DOES BERT USE?
Bert uses UDP (User Datagram Protocol).
WHAT WIRELESS NETWORK SECURITY ENVIRONMENTS DO YOU SUPPORT?
Bert supports WEP, WPA/WPA2-Personal and WPA/WPA2-Enterprise.
I HAVE WPA-ENTERPRISE, HOW CAN I ATTACH BERT TO MY NETWORK?
Bert attaches to your network using either MAC address authentication or RADIUS server authentication.
HOW MUCH NETWORK TRAFFIC DOES BERT CAUSE?
Bert uses minimal network bandwidth. Each Bert message is less than 160 bytes.
WHAT OS IS NEEDED FOR BERT ANALYSIS?
The Bert software application can be installed in a virtual environment or on a standalone machine running Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8 Professional, Windows 10 Professional or Windows Server 2008 or higher.
WHAT ARE THE MINIMUM SERVER REQUIREMENTS?
The minimum server requirements are:
- Windows Server 2008/2012 installed as VM or Standalone Server
- 50-100 GB Hard Drive
- 4 GB RAM
- Dual-Core Processor
- .Net of 3.5 and higher
WE HAVE LOTS OF DEVICES; DO I NEED MULTIPLE COPIES OF BERT ANALYSIS?
Not typically. We have several installations where a single instance of software controls over 1,000 Berts.
For larger installations, multiple instances of the software may be used.
I’m a System Administrator:
HOW DO I KNOW WHICH DEVICE EACH BERT IS CONTROLLING?
Each Bert has a unique MAC address and a unique name which is based on the building name, the location of the device and the device type being controlled. For example, a medium printer located in room 100 at Jones Elementary School would be called JONES-100-MPRNT.
DO I HAVE TO CREATE INDIVIDUAL SCHEDULES FOR EACH BERT?
No, Berts are grouped together for ease of administration. Berts can be scheduled by building or building type, device type, or specific location with a building.
CAN I MAKE CHANGES TO THE GROUPS AFTER THEY ARE CREATED?
Yes, you can add and delete groups and move Berts into and out of groups as needed.
WHAT IF I WANT TO MAKE CHANGES TO THE SCHEDULE?
It’s easy to adjust schedules for summer hours or holidays. Multiple schedules can be stored on the server so you can either modify the current schedules or enable saved schedules (school year, summer break, etc.) as needed.
CAN BERT HANDLE CHANGES FROM STANDARD TO DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME?
Time changes are automatic because the Bert clocks are updated automatically by the server.
WHEN SHOULD I UPDATE OUR SCHEDULES FOR SUMMER VACATION?
Ideally, you should change your schedules from “school year” to “summer vacation” the day after the teachers’ last day. The schedule should be changed back to “school year” schedules the week before the teachers report to school. Areas of buildings that are open 12 months and require regular access to devices should be grouped together and should not be scheduled using the summer vacation schedule.
CAN YOU MOVE BERT PLUGS TO OTHER LOCATIONS ONCE THEY HAVE BEEN INSTALLED?
Yes. Berts can be moved to another location. Unplug the Bert and move it to another outlet with a different device to control. Rename and group the Bert based on its new location/device and apply an updated schedule if necessary.
WHAT IF THE WI-FI NETWORK GOES DOWN?
Berts continue to operate normally. Each Bert stores a copy of its schedule locally so it continues to operate using its current schedule indefinitely. Hourly measurement data is also stored in the Bert in a rolling 14-day log. When connectivity is restored, Berts automatically check for new schedules and update the server with stored measurement data.
WHAT IF THE BERT LOSES POWER?
Berts retain their schedule, name and network credentials even if power is lost. When power is restored, the Bert immediately synchronizes its clock with the server, checks for new schedules and transmits stored measurement data.
I’m an Installer:
DOES BERT TRAIN NEW INSTALLATION PARTNERS?
Yes, Bert trains new installation partners prior to their first installation.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO INSTALL A BERT?
It varies based on the type of device and its location. Typically, it takes between 5 to 10 minutes per Smart Plug. Inline Berts take about the same amount of time to install as it takes to replace an outlet.
HOW DO I KNOW WHERE EACH BERT GOES?
Bert provides the installation partner with a detailed survey, broken down by building, room, and device type to guide the installer through the installation.
HOW DO I KNOW THE BERT IS INSTALLED PROPERLY?
Once the Bert is installed it will blink three times, indicating the Bert is on and communicating with the network. You should also verify that the plug load device is turned on.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF THE BERT ONLY BLINKS TWO TIMES?
This means the Bert is communicating with the network but it is in the off state. Press the power button for a few seconds until you hear an audible click. The Bert will start blinking 3 times and the device will have power.
THE BERT ONLY BLINKS ONE TIME, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
A single blink indicates that the Bert is not communicating with the network. You may be instructed by the Bert support team to move the Bert to a different location. Unless specifically instructed otherwise by the support team, you should not leave a building until all Berts that aren’t communicating have been moved to different locations and the information about the new location and device has been entered into the mobile application using the “Moved to a Different Location” option.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF THE LED IS SOLID GREEN?
The solid green LED indicates the Bert is in ad hoc mode. Unplug the Bert, wait a few seconds, and plug it back in. The LED should blink 3 times. If it blinks 2 times, press the power button for a few seconds until you hear an audible click. If it blinks 1 time, contact the Bert support team for further instructions.
WHAT TOOLS DO I NEED TO INSTALL A SMART PLUG?
You will need the Bert Installer mobile application, cell phone or tablet, Wi-Fi credentials for the building and flat-blade and Phillips screwdrivers.
HOW DO I RECORD WHERE EACH BERT IS INSTALLED?
Use the Bert Installer mobile application to record the room number, device type, MAC address, installation accessories for each Bert you install.
DOES BERT SUPPORT ME DURING AN INSTALLATION?
Yes, the Bert support team remotely monitors the installation in real-time to make sure each Bert appears on the network.
WHAT IF I ENTER A BERT TWICE?
It’s not a problem. The support team member will realize it is a duplicate entry and will delete the second entry for you.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I FORGET TO ENTER A BERT?
The support team member will let you know that a Bert has appeared in the software that was not recorded in the mobile application. You should retrace your steps until you locate and enter the Bert. The support team member may be able to give you the time the Bert was installed and what other rooms were installed around the same time to help you locate the Bert. Unless specifically instructed otherwise by the support team, don’t leave a building until you have located and recorded the location and device type for any missing Bert(s) using the “Located Missing Bert” option in the application.
HOW DO I KEEP TRACK OF THE BERTS I’VE INSTALLED?
Once the data has been submitted for each Bert, it is saved in an installation workbook for your project. The data is time-stamped and organized by building. The workbook lists the install date/time, room/office where the Bert was installed, the device type, and the MAC address for each installed Bert. The support team member has access to this data and can answer any questions.
I’VE FINISHED A BUILDING, WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
Check in with the support team member to make sure there are no outstanding issues and let the building administrator know you are leaving their facility.
DO INLINE UNITS NEED TO BE INSTALLED BY AN ELECTRICIAN?
Yes, all Inline units need to be installed by a licensed electrician per local electrical codes.