Traditionally, multi-residential buildings installed one bulk or central meter that supplied the consumption information of the whole building. This resulted in an unfair allocation of energy costs to individual residents without knowledge of actual consumption by each resident. Sub-metering is an excellent way to transfer responsibility and associated costs for utility usage to individual processes.
When it comes to commercial facilities or manufacturing companies that have extensive, sophisticated facilities, energy management is essential, and good energy management practices require detailed information on how energy is being consumed. Facility engineers need to understand where and how power is used on their properties.
Electrical Sub-metering: What is It?
Electrical sub-metering involves the installation of power meters in each distribution circuit to monitor energy usage for each individual resident, tenant apartment, tenant office, production department, or individual pieces of equipment.
Are There Any Benefits in Sub-metering?
There are a wide range of benefits to electrical sub-metering. In addition to allowing the energy manager to monitor energy consumption accurately in real-time, the sub-metering system can record actual energy usage. This historical data will enable the user to analyze, compare energy usage across similar buildings or facilities over time, to identify areas of wasted energy, and to make better, data-driven, decisions to optimize the facility's energy performance.
Sub-metering is a critical component of future facility operational improvements regarding energy efficiency, energy conservation improvements, and improvements in indoor environmental quality.
Common Applications of Sub-metering
Energy cost allocation in production facilities
Understanding energy consumption is the key to lower rising energy costs and improve energy efficiency. With sub-metering, you can monitor the energy usage of each production unit - from entire departments to individual pieces of equipment. With this data, you will gain a better understanding of your energy usage per piece of equipment, simplifying cost benefit analysis when it is time to refurbish or purchase new more efficient equipment, additionally it allows the financial manager allocate the correct production per unit.
Tenants living in residential and non-sub-metered buildings are often billed on the square footage of their space. The landlord's electrical bill is for the whole building, and each resident based on the amount of space they rent. Tenants are billed on the entire consumption of the rest of the residents and not on their individual consumption. Tenant sub-metering allows each one of them to be billed for the amount of energy they consumed. Tenants will be more likely to improve their energy consumption habits and lower the overall consumption if they are held responsible for their usage. In future blogs we will discuss how sub-metering in residential buildings has reduced the overall electricity bill.
Energy sustainability has become an essential business function for many organizations. Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, and many other tech companies have committed to 100% renewable energy to reduce the footprint of their platforms.
It is time for all property owners and managers to start thinking about making their energy consumption transparent and use the data from a reputable sub-metering system to make informed decisions to reduce energy costs.