December 2009

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Measure, Map & Manage

We Measure and sense almost every piece of building information, then Map to graphical representations to develop strategies for Managing from anywhere, anytime.

 Ken Sinclair,

Energy Management Canada


We Measure and sense almost every piece of building information, then Map to graphical representations to develop strategies for Managing from anywhere, anytime. To effectively make this happen we need to lower the cost of sensors and their installation, increase their reach by improving our presentation models while looking to the cloud for low cost management of dynamic building information. 

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The business case is simple. Energy costs today regularly account for 20% to 30% of total building operation budgets. Good energy management programs have been repeatedly proven to save between 15% and 30% on energy costs. This equates to somewhere between 3% and 9% of your total operating budget. That's money in your pocket (or at least the owner's pocket). Numbers like this are hard to argue with. 

Despite the recent shift towards green technology and energy efficiency only a small percentage of commercial and industrial buildings operate anywhere close to maximum energy efficiency. 

Over the past few years study after study has reported 15% to 30% savings in energy usage directly related to submetering programs. For facilities with over $1 million in energy spending this equates to annual six figure savings and systems that pay for themselves in less than a year. For smaller installations the paybacks are still very respectable and the savings continue year after year. Given the high cost of energy the value of energy management programs is no longer in question.  

So if the evidence is there, why do the vast majority of commercial and industrial buildings in North America still have such poor systems or even no submetering system at all? The question is no longer one of system viability. The question has become how to wade through the different system approaches to find a solution that's right for you. 

Extracted from The Business Case for Submetering - Part 1-3 Show me the money!  Daryl Cowie, Business Development Manager, Wescon Technologies 

Facility operators are discovering the value of submeters for accurate metering of electrical usage and demand for tenant cost allocation and billing, energy management, load shedding and verifying compliance with EPAct, LEED and other public and private-sector energy initiatives.

 Whether designed in or retrofitted, submeters are installed on the “building side” of the main utility meter to measure energy usage from the enterprise level all the way down to a single device or circuit panel, as shown above. Sold through distribution, electric submeters are easily integrated with water, gas and other pulse-output utility meters, and energy intelligence software, to provide a total facility energy snapshot. 

Submeters acquire the energy data using 0-2V output split-core current sensors that are installed non-invasively around the electrical feeds being metered. This eliminates having to power down the load and makes for a safer, faster install for the electrical contractor.

Submeters contribute directly toward points under several LEED green building certification categories. Any energy initiative that requires measurement and verification of program guidelines—and they all do—is fertile ground for submetering.

 Extracted from New Energy Initiatives Energize Submeter Deployment  The myriad of public and private sector energy policies, while at times complicated, provides fertile ground for submeters as energy profilers and program verification tools. This article briefly overviews several key policies now in effect, with an eye to how submeters can help facility professionals comply with the appropriate guidelines.  Don Millstein, President and CEO, E-Mon, LLC 


Chemawa Indian School, located in Salem, Oregon, is using the Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard (EEED) to see how much power, water, and gas is being used throughout the campus, and how this usage can be improved. The EEED is displayed on an interactive 19-inch monitor located in the campus’ boiler room and will primarily be used by the school’s facility staff. The EEED communicates with the school’s building automation system to display the utility usage information that it is monitoring. This data is then presented in an easy to understand format, similar to a website, allowing easier data analysis. 

The EEED shows the school’s dormitory, gymnasium, woodshop and kitchen’s domestic water flow, electricity and gas use in real-time daily, weekly, monthly and yearly

Extracted from School Monitors and Improves Building Performance  Chemawa Indian School, located in Salem, Oregon, is using the Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard (EEED) to see how much power, water, and gas is being used throughout the campus, and how this usage can be improved. Sarah Erdman, Marketing Director, Quality Automation Graphics 


[an error occurred while processing this directive] It is clear that if we do not manage our energy effectively and quickly regulations will be put in place to do it for us.  Of interest - the Economy of California is larger than Canada's.

It’s been said that “As California goes, so goes the nation”. California, the sixth largest economy in the world, is the first state to mandate energy reporting for all nonresidential buildings. Assembly Bill 1103 mandates that all California nonresidential buildings report energy use beginning January 2009 and make this information available in January 2010. The most recent 12-months data will be available to all prospective buyers, lessees, or lenders. The purpose of the energy reporting is 1) to allow comparisons to similar buildings, 2) aid owners and operators in managing their energy costs, 3) motivate owners to take action to improve a building’s energy usage, 4) help investors justify financial investments, and 5) enable energy efficiency to be valued as other building assets are valued within a real estate transaction. 

Electric and gas utilities are required to report to the Energy Star Portfolio Manager energy consumption data on all nonresidential buildings to which they provide service. The reporting process is relatively simple for the building owner/manager:

1. The owner opens an account on the EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager website and provides the following information;

a. Identify the building and all utility companies that serve the building
b. Supply building characteristics (usage, square feet, hours of operation, etc.)
c. Contact information
d. Authorization of release
e. Request utility company release 12 months of data
f. Authorize the California Energy Commission (CEC) to access the Portfolio Manager

2. Open an account with the CEC
3. Within 14 days of authorization and request, the utility company uploads the 12 months data
4. The building owner will receive a U.S. EPA Statement of Energy Performance and a CEC Nonresidential Energy Performance Report

Extracted from Energy Reporting  It was only a matter of time  Gina Elliott, MBA Project Director, Smart Buildings LLC

 Decide now how to best Measure, Map and Manage your facilities.


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