3  FM quick reads on submetering

1. Submetering Helps FMs Take Control Of Power


Most facilities have one master meter that records such factors as total facility energy use, peak demand, and power factor. While this system gives a utility information it uses to bill a facility, it does not indicate specific areas of a facility using the electricity. But submetering, through the installation of meters at various locations throughout the facility, can provide that data.

Managers who have embraced the technology and installed submeters in their facilities have been able to collect data on how much, where, and when their facilities use energy, and they can use it to guide their conservation efforts. Those who have not implemented the technology most likely do not understand the benefits of the information submeters provide.

A typical submeter installation includes the installation of split-core current sensors installed around electrical feeds to monitor current, and a separate sensor to monitor feeder voltage. Meters can be standalone units or can transmit data generated by the sensors to a host computer by cable, modem, or radio-frequency technology. Software on the host computer can be used to generate individual utility bills or equipment load profiles.

Probably the first users of submetering technology used meters to fairly allocate energy costs among users. Before the installation of submeters, facilities with master meters used some arbitrary means of allocating electrical energy costs among occupants and tenants, such as basing the bill on square footage occupied. Such a system rewarded those who used the most energy but penalized those who used the least. The strategy also removed any incentive to conserve. Submetering fairly allocates utility costs based on actual use and motivates occupants to become more energy-efficient.

Similar situations existed in educational facilities and in particular universities, which feature a mix of education, research, residential and support activities. In many such cases, the research, athletic, recreational, student housing, and other support activities had to pay for their energy use with income they generated. Without metered data, many developed arbitrary, inaccurate and sometimes complex systems for billing these groups. The installation of submeters enables managers to replace these billing systems with systems that are fair and accurate.


2.  Submetering: Gathering Data, Uncovering Savings

Water conservation remains a high priority for most maintenance and engineering managers seeking to control utility costs and improve sustainability for institutional and commercial facilities. But to maximize their efforts in this area, managers also might want to look at the connection between water conservation and energy savings, which are related to the need to pump and heat much of the water facilities use.

By looking more closely at water-conservation strategies and energy use related to water distribution and heating, managers develop practical, complementary strategies that will curtail the use of both water and energy.

An operational audit and submetering are two very effective strategies for conserving water. Managers can undertake operational audits by examining asset records and by checking all fixture specifications. Asset records will reveal which pumps, heaters, and fixtures are the oldest and have experienced the most frequent repairs.

A check of their ages and specifications also can identify the biggest water users by design. Aside from wear and disrepair, some fixtures, simply by their age, are large water consumers. Generally, fixtures that were produced before 1992, when new conservation regulations went into effect, use far more water than those made after 1992.

Submetering is an effective way to determine the combined effect on plumbing systems and components of both age and condition. Most facilities have meters in service entrance lines to measure consumption and calculate the water bill.

More facilities are installing separate meters, called submeters, on major segments of the water-distribution system to measure the consumption of each area, process or user. In this way, managers can uncover water waste, such as leaks and constantly running water, along with major consumers, and they can identify loss sources that otherwise would go undetected.

3.  Meters Offer Greater Opportunities For Energy Efficiency

The installation of meters to monitor specific electrical loads in institutional and commercial facilities is gaining in popularity with maintenance and engineering managers. Developments in meter, communication, and monitoring technology have transformed necessary data into critical information for those seeking to manage energy use within their facilities.

Managers who have embraced the technology and installed submeters in their facilities have been able to collect data on how much, where, and when their facilities use energy, and they can use it to guide their conservation efforts. Those who have not implemented the technology most likely do not understand the benefits of the information submeters provide.

Most facilities have one master meter that records such factors as total facility energy use, peak demand, and power factor. While this system gives a utility information it uses to bill a facility, it does not indicate specific areas of a facility using the electricity. But submetering, through the installation of meters at various locations throughout the facility, can provide that data.

A typical submeter installation includes the installation of split-core current sensors installed around electrical feeds to monitor current, and a separate sensor to monitor feeder voltage. Meters can be standalone units or can transmit data generated by the sensors to a host computer by cable, modem, or radio-frequency technology. Software on the host computer can be used to generate individual utility bills or equipment load profiles.

Probably the first users of submetering technology used meters to fairly allocate energy costs among users. Before the installation of submeters, facilities with master meters used some arbitrary means of allocating electrical energy costs among occupants and tenants, such as basing the bill on square footage occupied. Such a system rewarded those who used the most energy but penalized those who used the least. The strategy also removed any incentive to conserve. Submetering fairly allocates utility costs based on actual use and motivates occupants to become more energy-efficient.

Similar situations existed in educational facilities and in particular universities, which feature a mix of education, research, residential and support activities. In many such cases, the research, athletic, recreational, student housing, and other support activities had to pay for their energy use with income they generated. Without metered data, many developed arbitrary, inaccurate and sometimes complex systems for billing these groups. The installation of submeters enables managers to replace these billing systems with systems that are fair and accurate.


RELATED CONTENT:


submetering , energy efficiency , energy management , energy savings

ASCO. Click here...
Caterpillar. Click here...


QUICK Sign-up - Membership Includes:

New Content and Magazine Article Updates
Educational Webcast Alerts
Building Products/Technology Notices
Complete Library of Reports, Webcasts, Salary and Exclusive Member Content



click here for more member info.