Beyond Measure

Ideas and news about electrical submetering.

Energy Management

Canada’s Leader In Clean Energy Leads Energy Management Charge

Results after just 6 months of electrical submetering are impressive, including a 17% reduction in building energy use and a 16% reduction in GHG emissions over the same period last year — or $18,500 in avoided costs.

CanmetENERGY * is the Canadian leader in clean energy research and technology development. With over 450 scientists, engineers, and technicians and more than 100 years of experience, CanmetENERGY – part of Natural Resources Canada – is Canada's knowledge centre for scientific expertise on clean energy technologies.

In the fall of 2011, CanmetENERGY in Ottawa kicked off a three-year energy management project focused on Building 3 of its Bells Corner Complex. The goal is to pilot the new ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard to evaluate its effectiveness in reducing energy use and resulting green house gas emissions.

To oversee and manage the program, CanmetENERGY in Ottawa established an Energy Team comprised of various building stakeholders —occupants, technical experts, and program and facility management. The Energy Team is following the ISO 50001 Energy Management (EnMs) Standard — a framework of processes and procedures designed to improve an organization’s energy performance.

ISO 50001 is based on the Plan-Do- Check-Act approach to continual improvement, which supports energy performance improvement over time. Energy measurement is fundamental throughout the entire process, and particularly critical in the Plan and Check phases.

To cost-effectively get the measurement data needed, CanmetENERGY in Ottawa installed a single state-of-the-art IP-based energy management PowerHawk® submeter from Triacta Power Technologies to measure energy use across multiple circuits. They also installed a BTU and gas meter — collecting usage data from all three using Triacta’s PowerHawk Manager cloud-based energy management software.

With this simple system in place, the Energy Team can measure electricity, hot water, and natural gas use — rolling it all up for a detailed understanding of the facility’s overall energy consumption and carbon footprint.

According to the Energy Team, sub-metering in Building 3 has allowed them to:

  • Establish baseline data for setting and measuring energy objectives
  • Track (in real time) energy costs and green house gas emissions (GHG) savings
  • Identify peak energy demands (including high peak demands previously unknown)
  • Pinpoint equipment issues (coolers, exhaust fans, lighting) that may be contributing to energy inefficiencies
  • Make simple changes to operational and program procedures to generate significant cost savings — with minimum capital expenditures
  • Develop measures to reduce overall consumption and help with peak energy demand shedding

The results for the first six months of this year have been significant, with a 17% reduction in building energy use and a 16% reduction in GHG emissions over the same period last year — resulting in $18,500 in avoided costs.

One example of operational efficiencies achieved through sub-metering was the identification of issues with the laboratory’s exhaust system. The high plume exhaust fans servicing the labs in Building 3 were both overridden to “on” at the Building Automation System level. Setting the fans back to “auto” mode allowed for only one operating fan and, as a result, significant saving.

Sub-metering has been a key component to the early success of the ISO 50001 pilot project. The energy data has been instrumental in helping the Energy Team design, implement and monitor energy saving measures — including lighting, hot water heaters, and HVAC control. These and other program and operational initiatives have allowed CanmetENERGY in Ottawa to significantly reduce their energy usage and carbon footprint. ISO 50001 is based on the Plan-Do- Check-Act approach to continual improvement, which supports energy performance improvement over time. Energy measurement is fundamental throughout the entire process, and particularly critical in the Plan and Check phases.

* CanmetENERGY agrees to the use of its name in this article but disclaims any endorsement of Triacta Power Technologies or its products over those of Triacta`s competitors.

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