Power, Water Meters Help Earn Green Building Credits
In the not-too-distant future, institutional and commercial facilities might have greater access to smart-meter technology to help monitor high-demand times for water and electricity, and smart meters might be able to communicate with intelligent building systems to delay turning on equipment during times of peak use.
New York City is considering a unique way to increase public awareness of water and energy efficiency, as well as to save money. The city will install publicly accessible meters in entrances to government buildings to enable occupants and visitors to view whether efficiency strategies actually are saving money. They also would be able to notify building operators of excessive electricity or water use in particular buildings.
Maintenance and engineering managers should take note of this emerging technology for several reasons.
Installation of power and water meters to collect data can help their organizations earn green building credits. For example, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is developing a prerequisite for its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system that is calling for meters and offering credits for sub-metering building systems. USGBC also is developing a procedure to collect data from the meters.
Regulatory agencies also are starting to require metering. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005) requires that federal buildings monitor energy use by the day and hour, and the U.S. Department of Defense now requires metering to include steam.