Excellence in Metering (2007)

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David Fuente and Matt Robinson

This report provides recommendations on achieving excellence in utility metering. In general, the report is guided by three fundamental perspectives: 1) utility metering is a critical component of data driven sustainability initiatives, 2) increased awareness amongst the university community (either through billing and/or public data displays) will reduce energy and water use on campus; and 3) providing higher resolution data to the utilities staff will enable better identification of inefficiencies, malfunctions, energy/water waste, and opportunities for savings.

1.0 Introduction

The emergence of strong campus energy conservation and sustainability initiatives across the country are leading universities to implement utility sub-metering programs. By tracking resource use in individual buildings across campus, universities are able to make informed decisions that lead to tangible, measurable gains towards concrete sustainability objectives. Adhering to the maxim that you cannot manage what you do not measure, utility metering provides a critical foundation for effective energy and water management and conservation. The collection, and subsequent analysis, of robust utility metering data provides information that can drive significant green house gas reductions, and cost savings on campus. Specifically, a well executed utility metering program can support: the analysis of campus water and energy use, optimization of system and building performance, leak identification and building audits, identification of high return retrofit and conservation projects; and evaluation of investments in energy and water management and conservation programs.

This report seeks to help IU achieve excellence in utility metering. In general, the report is guided by three fundamental perspectives: 1) utility metering is a critical component of data driven sustainability initiatives, 2) increased awareness amongst the university community (either through billing and/or public data displays) will reduce energy and water use on campus; and 3) providing higher resolution data to the utilities staff will enable better identification of inefficiencies, malfunctions, energy/water waste, and opportunities for savings1. Overall, the analysis contained below indicates that IU is well positioned to develop a strong utility metering program that can provide critical support to emerging sustainability efforts on campus.

Section 2 of this report provides a detailed analysis of the current state of utility metering on the IUB campus. Section 3 looks outward to examine what other universities are doing with respect to utility metering. Here, careful attention is paid to how universities are using collecting, aggregating, and leveraging metering data to both improve operational efficiency and support sustainability efforts on campus. Section 4 provides both short term and long term recommendations to help IU achieve excellence in utility metering (See p. 16 for a summary of recommendations.) Finally, Section 5 offers concluding remarks.