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April 26, 2012 -
I'm Steve Schuster, associate editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's topic discusses how wireless metering technology enhances sustainability reporting.
Within institutional and commercial facilities, maintenance and engineering managers are the stewards of buildings and the resources they use. As managers of the built environment, they must integrate the principles their organizations embrace to run their facilities efficiently.
Whether by government mandate or investor requirement, they are also under increasing pressure to monitor and report building energy efficiency as they balance financial, social, and environmental demands. Managers also are in a unique position to measure, monitor, and decrease consumption by conserving these resources and reducing operational costs through increased efficiency.
Consider wireless metering. Several devices on the market can be installed as standalone meters or as part of existing meters, allowing users to monitor energy use through a network interface. Power panels and HVAC equipment can be monitored wirelessly. If you are a tenant, wireless meters might be your next best friend. Monitoring electrical panel loads might not be practical, but you might be able to monitor your HVAC equipment to better manage heating and cooling energy by connecting wireless meters to mechanical equipment.
One often-ignored area of energy consumption is plug loads, which on average account for 3-4 percent of building energy, though they can reach as high as 10-15 percent of the building load. Loads include computers, copiers, printers, vending machines, refrigerators, device chargers, space heaters, and the occasional fish tank or mini fridge. While facility policies can help curb some loads, new technologies offer welcome assistance.