Submetering itself does not reduce utility costs, but the data can guide management strategies, investment, and operational decisions that result in overall cost savings.Source: GSA, Submetering Business Case: How to calculate cost-effective solutions in the building context
Meters & Submetering
Meters are sensors that measure and record resource use, such as energy or water consumption. Conventional metering (or master-metering) typically provides utility readings for an entire building or facility once per month. Submetering offers a powerful insight into a building's resource use by capturing more detailed consumption information, which helps to identify building inefficiencies, meet performance goals, and improve occupant awareness. As the saying goes, “what gets measured gets managed.”
Submeters can measure resource use for different buildings in a multi-building campus, different floors of the same building, different tenants in a multi-tenant office or facility, individual building systems, electrical circuits, or even specific devices. Data from well designed submetering systems can guide management strategies to significantly reduce energy and greenhouse gas emissions in buildings and portfolios.
- Submeter Levels
Submeters provide the data needed for establishing a baseline and allow for benchmarking against performance standards and optimized operations and maintenance programs via fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) and energy conservation measures (ECMs). Choosing the right submetering placement for a building is largely determined by the anticipated benefits that help to meet performance goals. Below are the five main benefit categories that can be realized through an effective submetering program.
- Economic Benefits: O&M changes informed by submeter data can result in improved asset management and utilization, savings due to increased system or energy efficiency, and/or reduced costs. In addition, submetering systems provide more accurate billing and revenue capture.
- Reliability Benefits: Provide early indications of pending or actual equipment failure, allowing for proactive O&M measures that can decrease power interruptions and malfunctions and improve power quality.
- Environmental Benefits: Lessen the impact on the internal and external environment, and reduce the impact on tenant or occupant health.
- Security Benefits: Enhance the security of data and physical property, and reduce the risk of physical hazards to personnel.
- Behavioral Benefits: Heighten occupant energy consumption awareness.
Many of the uses and benefits of submetering data can also be combined to achieve maximized outcomes and savings.