Benefits of Submetering Central Plant Can Justify Cost
May 14, 2010 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
Today's topic is the value of submetering the central plant.
The chiller plant is likely to be one of the facility's largest energy users, and often the largest. That makes it a good candidate for submetering.
The biggest obstacle to submetering is typically cost. But submetering the chiller plant offers a range of important benefits that can justify the cost. Perhaps most important is that it enables facility managers to analyze the energy consumption of the central plant. For example, if chiller plant energy use climbs from one spring to the next, it may be that outside air economizers aren't working properly. Or a change in operations or a problem with controls may have caused a spike in electricity use. Addressing problems like those can bring significant savings.
Data from submeters can be used to test the effectiveness of various operational measures designed to save energy and to verify whether upgrades have actually performed as expected.
What's more, submetered data may help to identify problems with equipment. Addressing those problems may not only save energy, but prolong the life of the equipment or identify a piece of equipment that is failing.
Finally, in a multitenant building, the use of submeters can be an element in an overall energy efficiency or green strategy used to attract and retain tenants.
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