Units building electrical meters
Worried about the total electricity load in your building? You aren't alone. More residential complexes in Chicago and around the world are looking at different options to streamline the electricity load. While everything helps from the construction planning to electric design , here is what you should know. There are two different ways by which large multifamily residential buildings in Chicago are metered for their electricity consumption:. If you are wondering as to which option is better for you, the answer isn't as simple as you would like.VIDEO ON THE TOPIC: KW to electric unit kwh, monthly power consumption, Hindi
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Metering Options for Multi-Family Housing
This guide is intended to tell you everything you need to know about what is possible with modern metering and submetering.
With actions informed by a detailed look at the way utilities move through your building, it is possible to significantly reduce their consumption in some cases and shift necessary use to cut operational costs in others.
Other types of meters give building engineers information about the quality of air in a tenant space to assist in efforts to make the space more comfortable and safe. Before we get into how different meters can be installed, we should discuss why a building team would want meters that are more advanced than the ones that come standard with a utility connection.
Every operational commercial building or complex must have building-level meters installed in order to access public water, gas, and electricity. These meters give a measure of utility consumption for the entire structure and are often read once per month or less. Installing meters at one or more levels below the building-level meter a. A submeter installed for each tenant space lets you bill tenants for the resources that they actually consume, instead of dividing total consumption by floor space, giving them an incentive to conserve.
This also provides the building team with backup when a tenant complains about a bill, and makes it simple to track unusual consumption spikes down to their sources. This last point is especially important; millions of dollars are frequently saved in a day because a serious leak or fire hazard is detected. The first step to installing advanced meters throughout a building is scoping. This involves taking stock of the level of detail that the building team wants and assessing the existing infrastructure in the building.
If the team is happy with the current level of resolution that is being tracked in the building — whether that resolution is at the building level or deeper — then the only thing that has to be done may be to connect the existing meters to a wireless gateway. A building team looking for more detail might want meters installed to measure tenant consumption, to track energy and water used by large equipment, or even to individual spaces within a larger unit.
Below is a brief overview of the options for each utility. The most common way to measure electric current is by using a current transformer, usually called a CT. CTs consist of a loop of wire that is wound around the device a variable number of times.
When connected to and placed around a wire carrying an alternating current the primary , this produces a smaller, proportional current in the loop of wire the secondary that is easier to measure with an electric meter like an Emon or Rail CTs are used for measuring current at every level, from the power grid to relatively small loads in buildings. In some industrial settings, individual components of a machine might be metered using their own CT. In a commercial building, individual floors, tenant spaces, and important pieces of building equipment are often metered.
There are three primary options for measuring flow: in-line meters, insertion meters, and ultrasonic meters. Within the first two categories, there are several options for each type of utility.
For example, the most common in-line gas meter is a diaphragm meter, which directs the flow of gas with internal valves and chambers, but there are also rotary meters and orifice meters for other situations.
Steam has the most options because it can be measured directly or the condensate produced by steam cooling can be measured.
In-line meters are the most affordable type of meter to purchase for small pipes, but they are generally the most difficult to install. As the name suggests, this type of meter is installed in-line with the water pipe, meaning that the flow of the utility has to be shut off during installation. A section of the pipe then has to be removed and replaced with the meter.
When the water, gas, or steam is turned back on, it passes through the meter and is measured. Insertion meters are small rods that are inserted into a pipe through a hole and held in place by a saddle.
Inside, the rod may hold a small turbine that measures flow or it may rely on a more complicated technique. Ultrasonic meters are usually more expensive to purchase than other types of flow meters, but they are considerably easier to install. Where they are an option, this usually makes them the most cost-effective option overall. They consist of two bands that are a pre-set distance apart from each other and a central display. The bands send ultrasonic pulses between each other and calculate flow through the pipe by measuring the speed of each pulse.
The downside to ultrasonic meters is that they generally require a straight run in the pipe that is 20x diameter before the first band and 10x to 20x diameter after the second band, which is not always available. Measuring the amount of HVAC energy going to multiple locations in a building from a single unit generally requires a BTU meter, which consists of a flow meter and two temperature sensors.
The flow meter measures the rate of flow of the working substance — often water — and the temperature sensors measure the heat in the working substance as it enters the tenant space and as it leaves it. In many buildings, engineers still have to perform the familiar monthly rite of walking to each meter in the building, clipboard in hand, recording the numbers on the outside of each box. This process is time-consuming and extremely error-prone.
In particular, the clipboard approach is vulnerable to systematic errors that can cause significant losses, especially when multipliers are involved. Fortunately, there are modern solutions to this problem that circumvent the long-walk-with-clipboard entirely. Many meters are pulse enabled, which means that they convert their data into digital pulses for output.
The computer reading the pulses knows that, if 20 pulses are read in an hour, the building used 20 kWh in that time. These pulses can then be routed to a digital gateway that sends them over the internet to a computer waiting to interpret them. More modern meters may use a communications protocol like Modbus to transfer information instead of pulses. This approach is more reliable and allows for more detailed information to be transferred than just consumption data.
This is utility consumption data that is provided at a regular delay — often about a day. This is pretty basic, especially because the utility usually only considers building-level data, but it can be useful for tracking consumption against targets throughout the month.
Real-time data is even more useful. Most modern energy management systems pull data from meters and transmit it over the internet to the cloud. There, it can be presented in up-to-the-minute detail. Getting data out of meters is only half the battle. Presenting that data in a way that is intuitive and that leads to actionable insights is at least as difficult of a technical challenge.
Modern energy management systems generally use a digital platform to present the data they collect from meters and submeters. The ideal energy curve for a standard office should rise quickly in the morning from a low baseload, stay relatively flat throughout the working day, and fall back to the baseload after hours. In practice, there are some common deviations from this curve that are good targets for efficiency projects.
The use of other utilities often will follow a similar pattern. Another basic tool is budget tracking, which plots your consumption against your budget on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis.
The next step is decoding your building data to find valuable insights that you can act on. Applying data analytics to utility consumption data creates powerful tools like weather normalization, which combines weather forecasts with historical data about how your building performs in different conditions to predict a range in which it will perform today. As time goes on, new and better metering technology will be introduced. Low air quality is associated with lower employee productivity and a higher number of sick days taken.
Traditional meters are also improving and becoming more affordable, meaning more profitable use cases will become available. For example, submetering is mostly limited to important pieces of building equipment and large usually commercial tenant spaces at present. As meters become more affordable, the resolution with which teams can manage their properties will increase. A little bit further away, but potentially more useful in the long run are advances in analytics that could allow algorithms to make operational changes to buildings automatically based on meter data.
As algorithms improve, more and more steps will be trusted to the computer. Eventually, buildings could become a closed loop, allowing their human teams to focus on repairs, maintenance, and relationships with tenants while utility use is optimized by a computer. All Rights Reserved. The Case for Submeters Before we get into how different meters can be installed, we should discuss why a building team would want meters that are more advanced than the ones that come standard with a utility connection.
Meter Types and Scoping The first step to installing advanced meters throughout a building is scoping. Electric The most common way to measure electric current is by using a current transformer, usually called a CT.
Water, Gas, and Steam There are three primary options for measuring flow: in-line meters, insertion meters, and ultrasonic meters. An In-Line Flow Meter Insertion meters are small rods that are inserted into a pipe through a hole and held in place by a saddle. Measuring HVAC requires multiple meters. Remember this? Viewing and Analyzing Meter Data Getting data out of meters is only half the battle.
The Aquicore Dashboard Another basic tool is budget tracking, which plots your consumption against your budget on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. The Future of Metering As time goes on, new and better metering technology will be introduced. Getting sleepy in a meeting? CO2 may be the culprit. About The Author. Alex Richardson Alex Richardson is a staff writer at Aquicore. He writes about green policy, energy efficiency, and innovation that affects commercial real estate.
Richardson aquicore. About News Partnerships Careers Contact. Follow Us. Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Instagram. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get the latest CRE news, resources and tips!
Sub-meters for rental units
Organizations can monitor, control, and manage energy usage through submetering strategies, which track energy usage and power consumption for individual tenants, departments, and pieces of equipment or other loads to account for their actual energy usage. Submetering expertise, service, and support from start to finish from a name you can trust. Submetering is the use of meters that allow for the monitoring of usage electricity, water, gas, etc.
This guide is intended to tell you everything you need to know about what is possible with modern metering and submetering. With actions informed by a detailed look at the way utilities move through your building, it is possible to significantly reduce their consumption in some cases and shift necessary use to cut operational costs in others. Other types of meters give building engineers information about the quality of air in a tenant space to assist in efforts to make the space more comfortable and safe. Before we get into how different meters can be installed, we should discuss why a building team would want meters that are more advanced than the ones that come standard with a utility connection.
An electricity meter , electric meter , electrical meter , or energy meter is a device that measures the amount of electric energy consumed by a residence , a business , or an electrically powered device. Electric utilities use electric meters installed at customers' premises for billing purposes. They are typically calibrated in billing units, the most common one being the kilowatt hour kWh. They are usually read once each billing period. When energy savings during certain periods are desired, some meters may measure demand, the maximum use of power in some interval. Also, in some areas meters have relays for demand response load shedding during peak load periods. As commercial use of electric energy spread in the s, it became increasingly important that an electric energy meter, similar to the then existing gas meters , was required to properly bill customers, instead of billing for a fixed number of lamps per month.
Metering and Submetering: The Property Manager’s Guide
It should not be the case that you are paying for electricity used in another part of the building. You can check easily if you have a digital meter, the meter should have a LED Light that flashes this is usually one flash for each 0. If you switch everything off in your apartment the light should stop flashing. If you have a Smart Meter installed you can contact the service provider and they can sometimes give you a statement of the usage. All meters show the number of units used on the meter and you can us this a a guide to usage, weekdays and weekends.
Many apartment buildings built 20 or more years ago only have one utility power meter for the entire building and the cost of electricity is included in the rent. With the high cost of electricity these days, many owners are wanting to meter power to each apartment separately. There are several options open to owners wanting to install meters.
What is an Electric Meter?
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