If you own or operate a business then chances are a big part of your budget goes to electrical expenses. Over the last couple of years more companies have been turning to sub-metering to offset this financial burden. Market experts are predicting that sub-metering will only grow among business owners in the coming months and years.
Sub-meters are devices that can monitor electricity, gas, water, steam or other utilities. Utilities use special utility grade meters to gather information about power consumption on the total usage in their facility, but sub-meters collect data for companies that install them on individual loads throughout their facility and send information via software from real time up to 15 minutes per their requirements. This information can be analyzed and used to identify power savings opportunities.
One study conducted by the research firm, Navigant Consulting showed that buildings heated by electricity could experience an average decrease in power consumption of close to 30 percent per month with sub-metering. Paul Baier is a sustainability expert in the United States who writes about the benefits of sub-metering.
He has said, “Early adopters have secured savings and now have a better view towards the benefits.”
Here are some of the benefits that sustainability experts have reported through their experiences with various companies:
• Accurate energy monitoring
• Ability to make better decisions about optimizing energy performance
• Ease in comparing usage across similar facilities over time (sharing of best practices)
• Ability to eliminate wasted energy
• Early access to maintenance issues for repair before critical equipment/systems fail (self-diagnostic’s)
• Better able to identify unnecessary equipment running at night, off shift, or weekends (cost avoidance)
• Ability to detect utility bill errors (happens more than you think)
Some high-rise property owners have balked at the idea of sub-metering. They worry about installation costs and having to make electrical or plumbing revisions to support the meters, but now even several U.S States admit sub-metering makes sense for residents and business owners. In drought ridden California a new law will go into effect in 2018 requiring sub-meters to be installed in all individual apartments beginning with new developments. The move comes after a 25 percent water conservation order by the state governor made no difference in total water usage. Sustainability experts report that today more meter providers are offering free installation, making the move towards sub-metering easier.
In a place like Ontario/ Quebec, water may not be an issue, but the soaring cost of electricity and the new Cap and Trade compliance is so now business owners are asking a lot of questions about how sub-meters can work for them. For many it is clear that standing still isn’t an option anymore; that they have to do something to conserve energy and sub-meters are a viable option.