Submeter Cost Savings: A Case Study

Share this Post


"There are solutions. The information is out there, it’s just a matter of accessing it and harnessing its potential. And no, you don’t have to reconstruct your building from the ground up, nor do you have to install an entirely new electrical system."

Submeters: Electrical Load Profiles and Demand Rates

Econ 101 teaches us that price is determined by the intersection of supply and demand. And demand for electricity is clearly not consistent throughout the day. In order to constantly serve the max maximum load in any given month, a utility would need to build additional capacity, which is very expensive.

Rather than expand the infrastructure to constantly deliver the maximum amount needed, utilities alter pricing to encourage a more even distribution of electricity use throughout the day. Utilities typically charge additional fees to commercial customers during times of peak demand. These “overage fees” are often charged for running certain equipment at times of high demand, particularly once a quota is exceeded. In California, many organizations find that up to two-thirds of their energy bills are overage fees.

Clearly many businesses don’t have a choice about keeping the heat and lights on when customers are in the store or office. However, many organizations do have the freedom and flexibility to alter energy usage in order to minimize peak demand fees.

Submetering Surfaces as Key Conservation Tactic for Facility Manag

Retroactive Management?

For commercial building managers, electrical use data is too often not easily accessible, or not accessible in a way that provides valuable information. Organizations receive utility bills only after the electricity has been consumed. Even once received, bills don’t provide insight that could help manage electricity use and minimize overage fees. In other words, if you want to optimize your electricity use to minimize costs, you need something more.

Thankfully there are solutions. The information is out there, it’s just a matter of accessing it and harnessing its potential. And no, you don’t have to reconstruct your building from the ground up, nor do you have to install an entirely new electrical system.

Enter Submetering

Submeters measure energy usage after the primary utility meter. Submetering is often used to monitor energy usage for individual tenants, as well as various pieces of equipment.

Magnelab Current Transformers

Magnelab designs and manufactures high quality custom and standard magnetic components. The company serves the energy monitoring industry with precision current transformers (CTs). A CT wraps around a circuit, and the devices are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. When paired with the Senseware platform, Magnelab CTs enable building managers to understand how equipment is running and energy is being used in order to take corrective action and drastically lower costs.

The Advantage of Real Time Monitoring Tools

Senseware is a smart building solution that wirelessly monitors performance across all mechanical, electrical, environmental and plumbing systems to help facilities run more cost-effectively. With our intuitive wireless setup, including plug-and-play connectivity to systems, customers can get up and running quickly. Connecting to a wide variety of systems enables our customers to improve efficiency and minimize downtime in every aspect of their facilities. Finally, connecting infrastructure to the cloud provides visibility and remote control.
Senseware and Magnelab Stop Money from Flying off the Roof

One building owner leveraged the Senseware platform along with Magnelab CTs to monitor their rooftop units, and discovered the units were not operating on the correct schedule. The controller they’d installed to set schedules was malfunctioning, and having the units turn on unnecessarily, wasting a great deal of energy and money. The business was able to stop money from flying off the roof and optimize energy use, resulting in an initial savings of $8,000 per year.

Submetering vs. CT Energy Monitoring (1)

Additionally, the controller, like most, is only accessible locally. With Senseware, the building owners can now access, monitor, and perform controls remotely. There’s no longer a need to have an engineer on site to make changes for events such as daylight savings or holidays.

Monitoring Various Types of Building Data

I’ve focused on electricity, but Senseware can plug in to any system, such as mechanical, electrical, plumbing, or environmental. Please contact us to explore how Senseware and our partners could help you run your facilities more cost-effectively.


Advancing Data Collection Strategy Using IoT

Recent Posts