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POWER

CHUCK ROSS

| NZB: ONSITE POWER |

Measuring Up Submetering products and services sales are expected to double by the end of the decade. Commercial tenants seeking to boost efficiency turn to submetering as a way to understand baseline energy use, and to provide verifiable data.

Chuck Ross is a freelance writer covering building design and technology topics. He has been writing about building efficiency issues, including onsite energy and demandside management topics, for more than 20 years.

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s the popular phrase goes, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Apparently, over the next few years, there’s going to be a whole lot of energy measuring—and managing—going on in our nation’s buildings, as the market for submetering equipment is in the midst of a boom. Sales of related products and services are expected to double by 2020, vs. 2012 performance, according to Navigant Research, and reach almost $1.6 billion by the end of this decade. The term “submetering” refers to metering activity on the customer side of a utility meter. It’s most frequently employed in multi-tenant commercial and residential structures as a way to ensure renters are each paying their fair share of a landlord’s energy and water costs. However, with equipment becoming both less expensive and easier to install in both new and existing buildings, those in the industry are beginning to see a new niche developing, for those seeking to track their own energy use.

“We’re seeing all new commercial building construction aggressively moving to having full-scale tenant metering,” Liston says. “It’s in the specification—it’s an expectation.” Schneider is among those companies cited by senior analyst Eric Bloom in his comments on the Navigant submetering study. “To address the growing demand for submetering capabilities, traditional leaders in the building controls and equipment industry have worked to integrate submetering technology into their energy efficiency solutions and platforms.”

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“Energy monitoring has become more prevalent for energy management purposes,” says Troy Hull, director of metering solutions sales for Leviton. “That’s the sector that’s growing the most.” It’s a sector that’s growing as building owners become more interested in energy efficiency, in general–and, particularly, net-zero performance, says Mark Liston, vice president for energy solutions for Schneider Electric. Not only do those seeking to boost efficiency turn to submetering as a way to understand their baseline energy use, but also high-profile commercial tenants want to be able to provide verifiable data to back their own claims of greener operations.

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Sales of submetering-related products and services are expected to double by 2020, vs. 2012 performance, according to Navigant Research, and reach almost $1.6 billion by the end of this decade.

$1.6 billion

Submetering-related Products and Services

2012

2020

Source: Navigant Research

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