For many facility managers, attention to electric metering stops at the utility bill: Meters show how much electricity was used, on which the bill is based. Smart facility managers, however, are finding ways to use metering technology and tariffs to secure low (or no) cost opportunities to cut their bills, save on maintenance, and reduce their environmental impacts.
Many facility managers use data from utility-owned meters to:
• Verify or challenge high utility charges, e.g., after the utility changes a meter
• Track and benchmark facility usage.
• Verify savings claims under energy efficiency performance contracts.
• Help calculate their carbon footprints.
• Create electric sub-bills for tenants, buildings, or divisions where utility meters for each already exist.
The Need to Update to Smart Meters
That process has not been consistent: In some states, most meters are now smart while in others metering remains in the dark ages. Various efforts are underway to accelerate and geographically expand deployment, including a standardized data format (called Green Button) that allows widespread interchange and management. To avoid missing opportunities, facility managers should keep abreast of such changes through their utility account reps and consultants.