What does a butcher in the northern suburbs of Wollongong, and a supermarket in Picton have in common with a casino in Las Vegas?

Answer: They all sell perishable food that depends on refrigeration.

But only one of them – the butcher – is a founding application of the Digital Living Lab, an initiative by the SMART Infrastructure Facility to create a smart, connected city in Wollongong.

Founded in 2012, the CCP Network installs sensors in refrigeration systems to monitor in real-time a wide range of ‘critical control points’ – temperature, humidity, when a door is open and closed, gas and acidity.

Founder Anthony Rowley has a long background in telecommunications and was one of the team that helped set up what later became Telstra BigPond in 1996.

‘We are looking to empower businesses to make better commercial decisions using the information gathered from the Internet of Things,’ he said.

Not only can the sensors send alerts when there is a refrigeration failure, but it can also save on energy bills by picking up on when refrigeration levels are lower than necessary.

‘We found that one club pastry freezer was operating at minus 28 degrees when it only needed to operate at minus 18 degrees,’ Rowley said. ‘So we were able to save them money on their energy bill.’

Strict regulations exist around food refrigeration for any business that sells perishable food to the public.

The sensors use Wi-Fi as well as the Sigfox, a global telecommunications company specialising in providing networks for the Internet of Things.

The CCP Network operates in Australia, India, the US and has just launched in Singapore.