Your Building Needs Water Meters, Gas Meters, and Electric Meters April 30, 2015 | Samantha Dubrow

As a building owner, you pay three different utility bills each month: water, gas, and electric. Unfortunately, since these bills only come once a month, they do not give you all of the information you require to run your buildings most effectively. However, real-time energy data can show you the consumption trends (week by week, day by day, or even hour by hour) and alert you if there are any irregularities.

While it is increasingly common to submeter electricity, collecting and analyzing real-time data about your electrical use, this article will explain the benefits of also submetering water and gas.
 

Advantages of Monitoring Your Water Meters

 

1. Make Sure Your Water Bills Are Correct

Water companies charge for two things: total water consumption, which is all of the water that comes into a building, and sewage, which is all of the water sent back into the drain. Water submetering will allow you to check that your bills are calculated accurately and you are not over-charged. It will also encourage tenants to consume up to 35% less if they pay their water bill separately from their rent.

 

2. Prevent Flooding

If a valve gets stuck or the float that provides alerts when the cooling tower is full malfunctions, you could have substantial flooding. Real-time data from water submeters will alert you to irregular spikes in consumption helping to detect failures so you can react immediately to prevent water overflow.
Flooding can wear down or even ruin you building’s operating equipment, so water meters are meant for insurance to help you avoid flooding before the damage is done.
Helpful Hint: Are you maintaining your cooling towers and cleaning your HVAC properly? Proper care could make your equipment last up to eight times longer.

 

Advantages of Monitoring Your Gas Meters

 

1. Monitor Your Heat Use

Most building boilers are gas-based. Real-time consumption data allows you to monitor your usage on a weekly, daily or hourly basis, so you can optimize scheduling. In addition, this monitoring will alert you if boilers are being used at night or on the weekends when buildings tend to be empty.
Helpful Hint: Gas submeter alerts can also help you avoid coincident runs during the summer, where the chiller and boiler may actually be running at the same time. You’d be surprised how many boilers you could find running heat during the summer!

 

2. Maintain Energy Efficiency

Gas submeters can show you how much your building is consuming, and also provide insights about how your boiler is working. When you start to notice irregular consumption in the real-time data trends, it may be time to repair or replace your boiler.

 

3. Bill Your Tenants Fairly

If there is a restaurant in your building, it probably uses much more gas than is used in the office sections of the property. By submetering these spaces separately, office tenants don’t end up having to pay for the restaurant’s expenses.

Helpful Hint: Not sure how to bill your tenants separately? Check out our free tenant bill-back calculator.

 

You already get three separate bills for water, gas, and electricity, but they are not giving you the real-time data needed to actually save money. By submetering all of these, you can get the real-time data needed to optimize building operations.
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Submetering

About The Author

When Samantha isn’t writing for the blog or managing our HR like a champ, she studies Organizational Psychology at George Washington University.