With IoT at the forefront of discovery, impact, and improvements to businesses, organizations, and people, the future seems limitless. Organizations are utilizing new technology, such as submetering, through software, sensors, and other solutions to connect and share data across any devices through the internet. High-tech energy solutions are driving energy management and infrastructure optimization, emerging behind-the-meter real-time opportunities, and uncovering potential IoT applications for businesses.
As companies seek to gain insights into utility usage, many install submeters. Submetering provides the capability to monitor individual pieces of equipment, providing visibility on overall usage. IoT sensors make submetering possible; they can connect to existing meters, track the number of pulses generated by a meter as well as the rate of energy, water, and gas consumption, and safely deliver updates via LoRaWAN. Data connectivity over LoRaWAN means that these IoT sensors can communicate with multiple long-distance commercial and industrial buildings.
Equipped with this data, building managers have a better understanding of usage and demand, so informed corrective actions may take place. There are many IoT submetering applications.
Why is Submetering important?
- Accurate energy monitoring and real-time energy consumption data
- Granular in-depth review of facility energy data
- Allows companies to make informed decisions that can help optimize energy performance
- Access to actual energy usage – no estimates
- Comparison of usage across similar facilities over time
- Ability to identify and eliminate wasted energy
- Insights to preventive maintenance and repair before critical equipment fails
Common IoT Submetering Applications
Peak Demand Management
One of the easiest ways to lose control of electricity costs is by what utilities refer to as “peak demand” charges. That means a utility provider will charge a greater cost per kWh when demand is greater to discourage consumers from maximum consumption, which can heavily tax utility infrastructure during these peak times. This encourages consumers to shift their usage to off-peak hours and reduces the chance that the grid reaches dangerous capacity levels. Submeters with minute-by-minute or hourly reporting allow companies to manage peak demand and mitigate additional costs.
In non-submetered commercial and residential buildings, tenants are typically billed on the square footage of rented space. In this scenario, the landlord receives an electrical bill for the entire facility and, in turn, bills each tenant based on the amount of space they rent. The problem is that tenants are not billed based on individual consumption, but rather they are billed based on the total consumption of all tenants. Submetering each tenant allows the landlord or property owner to charge tenants by their actual usage rather than splitting the cost across tenants by square footage. This can encourage tenants to moderate their energy consumption and adopt more energy-efficient habits such as unplugging devices not in use.
With rising energy costs and a greater emphasis on energy efficiency, all types of facilities are looking to better understand their consumption and what drives increased electrical bills. Submetering gives the user the ability to monitor individual pieces and identify inefficiencies in machinery or processes. By identifying issues, companies can invest in improvements or create policies to help mitigate high costs.
Carbon Footprint Reduction
By installing submeters, companies can have a reliable metric of their energy consumption. They can use these insights to establish sustainability goals to reduce their carbon footprint and track their progress. Submetering not only allows companies to track their own energy consumption but also to compare their consumption against competitors’ and stay ahead of them.