We are currently going through what is commonly known as the age of efficiency. In this age, energy management is becoming an ever-growing practice among both companies and individuals. Therefore when it comes to businesses that operate a large fleet of buildings or complex facilities, the importance of energy management cannot be overstated.
Lowering the overall energy costs should be a priority for any organization. This is possible only when energy consumption data is readily available. For effective energy management to succeed, facility engineers need to have this data on a real time basis at hand to have a proper understanding of how, when and where energy is being consumed on the premises. Being energy efficient is an essential first step in achieving sustainability, as well as lowering one's CO2 footprint and total energy costs.
What is Sub-Metering?
Sub-metering refers to the physical measurement of electricity, water, gas, steam, and other similar utilities via a series of metering devices. Sub-meters can collect data regarding energy consumption and send it to an energy management software. This software will then analyze the real-time or interval consumption , helping companies identify numerous cost-saving opportunities.
Depending on the size of the facility, the total number of sub-meters can vary considerably. Nevertheless, the general rule dictates that the more sub-meters within a facility, the more detailed and accurate the data is. The more comprehensive the date the more comprehensive energy cost-saving strategies available to be employed, these range, from upgrading to more efficient equipment, installing sensor to operate only when required, to demand shifting strategies that result in lower energy costs.
How Do Sub-Meters Lower Energy Costs?
Traditionally, energy usage data is based on the utility bill. This information is not only out-of-date, but is also aggregated, showing the total consumption for an entire period.
Here is where sub-metering comes into play, as it provides a granular and real-time view of energy use. It allows you to see how, when and where the energy or the utility is being spent every moment of the day.
For starters, sub-meters can identify any idle equipment that is unnecessarily utilizing energy during off hours, during the weekend or off the season. This equipment can be turned off or down, allowing you to save on wasted energy in the process. The detailed information that sub-meters provide on the consumption; will also provide next-day feedback regarding any implemented changes and inform how they impacted your bottom-line.
Sub-meters will also allow you to compare your energy consumption across similar facilities by using energy or usage intensity metrics like KWHr/ Sq-ft or M3/ Sq-ft to compare consumptions across your building fleet and over time manage your energy usage in the event of limited demand or peak usage.