The Emerging Need for Retrofitting Existing Buildings with Submeters

December 12, 2019

Buildings comprise the largest segment of the urban (built) environment, and they consume a significant amount of energy (especially for cooling and heating). Besides conserving energy, the goal of retrofitting buildings with submeters is to create high-performance buildings that:

  • Increase in value
  • Are less costly to operate
  • Contribute to a healthier environment
  • Last longer

Energy Retrofits Management with Submeters

Smart submeters bring a wide range of benefits, and some of the essentials to retrofits include:

  • Well-informed investment decisions;
  • Access of information from remote locations at any moment;
  • Advanced intelligent reporting, including model baselines, data heat maps, regression modeling, and load profiling;
  • Aggregation of energy consumption data and analytical measurements;
  • Systems control;
  • Energy usage optimization

By installing an adequate array of submeters that cover the areas affected by retrofitting, building owners and operators are able to conduct a Return on Investment (ROI) and in-depth energy analysis that compares the before and after a retrofit.

To reach maximum efficiency impact, electricity submeters must meet certain requirements, such as size. Deployment of a larger number of submeters depends greatly on the size of the meter itself because the space available within existing electrical panels is often quite limited. Furthermore, the meters should be designed to an open standard, so that sensors, actuators, and other additional equipment can later be integrated into the metering system seamlessly. The ease of commissioning will minimize the interruption of connected systems and reduce man-working hours.

Benefits of Wireless Communication

Wireless submetering equipment help to prevent disruptions to occupants during installations; These meters further reduce retrofitting costs by avoiding costly wiring installations. Thanks to wireless and small IoT meters that communicate the building’s consumption to a gateway, building owners and operators can receive effective management and monitoring solutions. The data these meters collect is uploaded to the cloud and run through analytics software to create detailed and personalized reports.

When deciding on building retrofit, one should consider upgrading for:

  • Safety
  • Security
  • Accessibility

Retrofitting existing buildings has its unique aspects that must be considered. Major retrofits and renovations for existing buildings must include sustainability initiatives that aim to reduce environmental impacts, operation costs, and reduce consumption to increase building resiliency, durability, and adaptability.

True retrofits of existing buildings require qualitatively oriented, benchmarked, and fact-based energy efficiency interventions. Submeters play a crucial role in facilitating the in-depth data analysis required by investors and owners to make the right decisions that will increase the value of their properties. They collect and supply the data required for understanding the amounts and types of energy consumed by various systems within a building. Wireless submeters can be installed in different electrical panels throughout the entire building to give a clear picture of where and when the energy is being used. By comparing consumption reports before and after the retrofit, you can see the true impact of the retrofitting intervention.

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