How Commercial Building Owners Can Save With Submetering Solutions

Posted on Thursday Aug 04, 2022 at 01:22PM  

Commercial building owners often struggle with estimating sufficient lease costs per square foot with diverse tenants who each have unique power usage needs. With the right submetering solutions, owners could potentially save thousands of dollars.

The Problem of Estimating Costs

It’s common in many buildings for there to be only a single master electrical meter. In such a case, a commercial building owner would have no choice but to estimate a high enough lease cost per square foot to account for a tenant’s share of the overall electrical load (watts per square foot).

This kind of guesswork regularly underestimates the building’s true electrical bill, which leaves the owner with the problem of unallocated costs. Who used more electricity than who? How much? With no way to know for sure, those costs often turn into higher costs across all tenants and an uncompetitive building.

What’s needed is a method of clearly defining and metering multi-phase tenant energy usage, preferably with your existing building automation system (BAS) — and without expensive rewiring. This is where tenant submetering solutions come in.

Typical Applications For an Electric Submeter for Tenants

  • High energy use tenants (computing centers, phone switches)
  • Tenants with extended operating hours (restaurants, retail)
  • Short-term tenants
  • Apartments and condominiums
  • Central heating and cooling plants for common systems

Benefits of Tenant Submetering Solutions

Contrary to the common belief, an expensive installation of a submeter by the utility is not the only practical solution to equitable billing of energy costs. 

Integrate With Existing Automation Systems — and No Rewiring!

With split-core, high-accuracy current sensors, an easily installed multi-phase meter can accurately track the current flow on each of the phases without any costly rewiring. Connect the submeter’s outputs to a DDC or other automation system for highly accurate power consumption information on demand.

Generate Individual Billing With Ease

A correctly integrated meter can calculate both instantaneous power usage and the total consumption for one or more tenants, then provide an output report on time periods of your choosing. Armed with the data in this report, it’s a simple matter to generate additional billing as needed, based on actual energy usage. 

Track Tenant Cooling Loads During Off-Hours & Weekends

Should you wish to put a fixed cost per square foot in place for off-time or weekend usage, track the load on the central cooling system by installing meters on the central plant equipment. Your submetering capabilities allow you to measure actual power usage per tenant to establish additional billing that correctly reflects their individual cooling load.

Multi-Tenant Metering and Commercial Submetering Solutions From Veris

Veris power metering & energy management products offer a wide array of solutions for the challenge of commercial submetering and multi-tenant metering. One of our latest digital power monitoring solutions, the new ethernet-enabled E71 Series of DIN rail power meter, brings performance and affordability to a compact, DIN-mounted package. 

Communicate easily with existing meters using the native BACnet/IP, Modbus TCP/IP, and SNMP on all E71 models. Two digital inputs support status monitoring, pulse counting, multi-tariff and partial resets, along with an additional relay output for alarm notification. You’ll enjoy accurate three-phase electrical monitoring that meets the ANSI C12.20 0.5% and IEC 61557- 12:2018 Class 0.5S accuracy standards.

Explore the datasheet for more information. If you have any questions about the E71 Series or our other commercial submetering solutions, contact Veris today. We’re happy to help you identify the ideal power meter for your application.

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