Submetering for LEED Credits-Buildings UT Magazine

Recent industry studies show that “green buildings” are rapidly becoming a pervasive corporate trend, and that over 60% of people surveyed already agree that green buildings do in fact lower facility operating costs.

In late 2006, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and the U.S. Green Building Council signed a memorandum of intent to jointly “promote energy efficiency and environmentally responsible building operations and maintenance practices.” Add to this the EPACT 2005 mandate that all 500,000+ Federal buildings must be metered or submetered by 2012, and it becomes even more obvious that tightening budgets, rising power costs and other operational issues have made energy resource management more important than ever for commercial building owners and operators.

Unfortunately, the level of profiling needed by high-volume energy consumers is simply unobtainable using the standard utility meter found at the main electrical service entrance. That’s why more facilities than ever are using submeters as first-level data-gathering tools to literally save thousands of dollars in reduced energy costs.

First introduced in the early 1980s, submeters are metering devices with monitoring capability that are installed on the facility side of the master meter to provide any or all of the following:
  • Usage analysis and peak demand identification;
  • Time-of-use metering of electricity, gas, water, steam, BTUs and other energy sources;
  • Cost allocation for tenant billing;
  • Measurement, verification and benchmarking for energy initiatives, including LEED Energy & Atmosphere (EA) and Water Efficiency (WE) credits;
  • Load comparisons;
  • Threshold alarming and notification;
  • Multi-site load aggregation and real-time historical monitoring of energy consumption patterns for negotiating lower energy rates.

HOW SUBMETERS FACILITATE TODAY’S ENERGY INITIATIVES

  • EPACT Section 103—all Federal buildings must be metered by 2012
  • EPACT Section 1251— net metering
  • EPACT Section 1331— support for $1.80 per sq foot tax deduction for energy-efficient properties

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