New reports urges more detailed utility metering to improve building efficiency

November 09, 2011

A new interagency report recommends systematic consideration of new metering technologies, called submetering, that can yield up-to-date, finely grained snapshots of energy and water usage in commercial and residential buildings to guide efficiency improvements and capture the advantages of a modernized electric power grid.

Commercial and residential buildings consume vast amounts of energy, water, and material resources. In fact, U.S. buildings account for more than 40 percent of total U.S. energy consumption, including 72 percent of electricity use. If current trends continue, buildings worldwide will be the largest consumer of global energy by 2025. By 2050, buildings are likely to use as much energy as the transportation and industrial sectors combined.

Submetering is the use of metering devices to measure actual energy or water consumption at points downstream from the primary utility meter on a campus or building. Submetering allows building owners to monitor energy or water usage for individual tenants, departments, pieces of equipment or other loads to account for their specific usage. Submetering technologies enable building owners to optimize design and retrofit strategies to energy and water management procedures more efficient and effective.

While the return on investment (ROI) for submeters depends on specific energy-efficiency strategies that may vary by climate, building type, and other factors, "numerous case studies provide evidence that the ROI can be significant," concludes the report,Submetering of Building Energy and Water Usage: Analysis and Recommendations of the Subcommittee on Buildings Technology Research and Development. Installing submetering technology also makes possible the use of more advanced conservation technologies in the future, the report notes.

The report is a product of the Buildings Technology Research and Development Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), a cabinet-level council that is the principal means within the executive branch to coordinate science and technology policy across the diverse entities that make up the federal research and development enterprise.

The NSTC report provides an overview of the key elements of submetering and associated energy management systems to foster understanding of associated benefits and complexities. It documents the current state of submetering and provides relevant case studies and preliminary findings relating to submetering system costs and ROI. The report also addresses gaps, challenges and barriers to widespread acceptance along with descriptive candidate areas where additional development or progress is required. It also surveys policy options for changing current buildings-sector practices.
-end-
The 74-page report can be downloaded from: www.bfrl.nist.gov/buildingtechnology/documents/SubmeteringEnergyWaterUsageOct2011.pdf .

For more details, see the Nov. 8, 2011 announcement, "Government Issues Building Energy and Water Submetering Report" at www.nist.gov/el/submetering.cfm.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Related Water Articles from Brightsurf:

Transport of water to mars' upper atmosphere dominates planet's water loss to space
Instead of its scarce atmospheric water being confined in Mars' lower atmosphere, a new study finds evidence that water on Mars is directly transported to the upper atmosphere, where it is converted to atomic hydrogen that escapes to space.

Water striders learn from experience how to jump up safely from water surface
Water striders jump upwards from the water surface without breaking it.

'Pregnancy test for water' delivers fast, easy results on water quality
A new platform technology can assess water safety and quality with just a single drop and a few minutes.

Something in the water
Between 2015 and 2016, Brazil suffered from an epidemic outbreak of the Zika virus, whose infections occurred throughout the country states.

Researchers create new tools to monitor water quality, measure water insecurity
A wife-husband team will present both high-tech and low-tech solutions for improving water security at this year's American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Seattle on Sunday, Feb.

The shape of water: What water molecules look like on the surface of materials
Water is a familiar substance that is present virtually everywhere.

Water, water everywhere -- and it's weirder than you think
Researchers at The University of Tokyo show that liquid water has 2 distinct molecular arrangements: tetrahedral and non-tetrahedral.

What's in your water?
Mixing drinking water with chlorine, the United States' most common method of disinfecting drinking water, creates previously unidentified toxic byproducts, says Carsten Prasse from Johns Hopkins University and his collaborators from the University of California, Berkeley and Switzerland.

How we transport water in our bodies inspires new water filtration method
A multidisciplinary group of engineers and scientists has discovered a new method for water filtration that could have implications for a variety of technologies, such as desalination plants, breathable and protective fabrics, and carbon capture in gas separations.

Source water key to bacterial water safety in remote Northern Australia
In the wet-dry topics of Australia, drinking water in remote communities is often sourced from groundwater bores.

Read More: Water News and Water Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.