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Focus: Energy Efficiency


Can using utility meters save facilities money?

August 28, 2018

For many facility managers, attention to electric metering stops at the utility bill: Meters show how much electricity was used, on which the bill is based. Smart facility managers, however, are finding ways to use metering technology and tariffs to secure low (or no) cost opportunities to cut their bills, save on maintenance, and reduce their environmental impacts, according to an article from Building Operating Management on the FacilitiesNet website.

Many facility managers use data from utility-owned meters to:

• Verify or challenge high utility charges, e.g., after the utility changes a meter

• Track and benchmark facility usage.

• Verify savings claims under energy efficiency performance contracts.

• Help calculate their carbon footprints.

• Create electric sub-bills for tenants, buildings, or divisions where utility meters for each already exist.

But additional opportunities exist, using both utility meters and customer-owned equipment, the cost of which is dropping due to technological advances, wireless and web-based communications, and standardization of data access protocols.

Where a facility has multiple utility-owned meters, reading them more frequently is a handy way to see how loads vary across shorter time periods (e.g., day versus night, weekends versus weekdays). Doing so may determine which major loads (or portions of a facility) are “wagging the dog” by having an outsized impact on the overall utility bill.

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Topic Area: Energy Efficiency


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