Understanding Metering, Submetering, and Smart Metering for Energy Efficiency
For business owners, data is an effective tool that powers strategic decisions and provides direction as you look for ways to drive profit. Operating costs are some of the most critical pieces of data, and reducing them can be key to boosting your bottom line. But when it comes to your utility costs specifically, it may be hard to understand the data provided in your monthly bills—much less to glean any operational insights. That’s because utility bills are typically confusing, and the numbers they include may not mean much to the average utility customer.
However, learning about your business locations’ energy consumption habits is important, and doing so can help you find ways to cut back, improve efficiency, and lower operating costs. Through recent innovations in metering, from submetering tactics to smart metering and real-time updates, it has become easier than ever to access this data. In this blog post, we break down how.
What is metering vs. submetering?
Metering is the measurement of utilities usage, such as electricity, gas, or water. Metering devices are installed at building sites and used to calculate how much has been used overall. Utility companies use that data to determine how much they need to charge each month. Metering is an important tool, but seeing your total energy consumption provides little insight into how and where your business is consuming these supplies.
That’s why businesses are increasingly implementing submetering. Submetering devices are connected to specific locations throughout a building and monitor the energy usage at various points of consumption, such as your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units (HVACs), refrigerators, and beyond. Submeters can provide deeper insights into your energy habits and help you see what aspects of your business are using the most energy.
More importantly, it can also help you identify opportunities for saving energy. If you see that the majority of your total energy consumption is coming from your HVAC, for example, you can consider replacing it with a more energy efficient unit, or reconsider when and how you are using it throughout the day.
Why smart metering matters.
In recent years, progress has been made in the world of metering, and like so much of the technology around us, meters have become “smart.” Smart meters do the same thing as their analogue counterparts, measuring energy consumption. But instead of needing to be read manually, they are connected to the internet and can share usage data remotely. Plus, they provide a lot more insights and value.
Smart meters are more accurate, and through automated readings, they can provide real-time data into energy consumption—not only to the utility company that charges you, but directly to customers as well. If you work with an energy-as-a-service (EaaS) company like Budderfly, you simply log into your customer portal and can see live updates about your business’s energy usage.
Why is this valuable? Firstly, you can get a deeper understanding of when and how your locations are consuming energy. When analyzing usage by the hour, you may notice certain times of day where it spikes and try to find solutions to lower consumption at those hours. Or you may notice how much energy is being used after business hours and come up with a new strategy to prevent this waste.
Another way smart metering can help businesses is that it can monitor for anomalies that may signal equipment issues. For example, if your HVAC is using more energy than it has in the past, it could mean it urgently needs maintenance to prevent failure. If a freezer sees a sudden spike in energy consumption, it could mean that it is working overtime to cool because a door has been left open. If you are partnered with an EaaS like Budderfly, you can get proactive alerts of these smart metering insights and prevent energy waste, outages, food spoilage, and other business catastrophes.
Get even more energy insights with Budderfly.
When you partner with Budderfly, you get so much more than the basic metering provided by most utility companies. Firstly, you get energy efficient equipment upgrades and other cutting-edge, energy-saving technologies—provided to your business at no cost—to help you cut your energy consumption and lower monthly bills. This includes smart meters, which we install to track your energy usage and provide you with ongoing operational data and insights to help you find more ways to save, all of which you can access in your Budderfly Customer Portal. As mentioned above, we also monitor equipment and send out alerts for easy issue management, and we even offer preventative maintenance to keep your equipment in great shape and to keep energy needs low.
Working with Budderfly is the most impactful way you can help your business locations become more energy efficient and environmentally friendly with no upfront costs. We’ve already helped more than 5,200 locations lower their energy consumption and improve their operations. Curious how we can help yours? Speak to one of our experts today.