Professional Retail Store - September/October 2018 - 29

FEATURE

METAMORWORKS/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

SOLVING ENERGY
PROBLEMS
THROUGH
SUBMETERING
BY MARY LOU JAY

A SINGLE POWER

meter provides only a broad overview of a facility's energy

usage. A submetering system that measures the consumption of certain areas
or individual units - HVAC system, lights, refrigeration, etc. - can provide a more
detailed and meaningful look at what's happening in a building.

Deepak Budhiraja

With data collected from submetering, FMs can assess energy performance at a site at different
times of day. "You could very quickly identify areas where the assets are underperforming or where
they are consuming too much energy," said Deepak Budhiraja, Vice President, Product Management, at
GridPoint, a smart buildings technology company. "For example, you might find the parking lot lights are
on during the daytime or that an HVAC unit is unnecessarily running 24/7."
Submetering provides FMs visibility at the equipment level, providing updates in real time and helping
them fine tune a building for optimal operations. "Retailers are dealing with many types of energy
conservation measures - lighting, efficient HVAC, controlled thermostats, etc.," said Jason Narod, SVP,
Sales and Business Development. "Adding submetering enables them to understand which assets or
loads are causing issues. Then they can focus on those areas as the key points of energy conservation
measures. From there, they can use the baseline data created to track and trend the actual savings they
get from a lighting retrofit, HVAC replacement, solar panel or whatever it might be."
In addition, submetering makes a large set of historical data available for detailed analysis and
reporting. FMs can use this to track trends in one building or across a number of stores. With GridPoint's
enterprise reporting tools, for example, a facilities management department can identify specific energy
issues and savings opportunities and generate reports that pinpoint the 10 stores with the biggest
challenges. Then, FMs can prioritize improvements to impact the facilities where they will get the
biggest ROI.
Submetering systems like GridPoint offer remote monitoring capabilities via the cloud and mobile apps,
providing managers and service technicians immediate, 24/7 access to essential data. That can save
time and money. For example, if a store reports a heating or cooling problem, a service technician can
review the submetering information to locate the problem system without visiting the store. They may
be able to avoid a service call or at least arrive better prepared.
"For facility managers, the bottom line on submetering is that you can't manage what you don't
measure," Narod said. "If you don't have data, you don't really understand what's happening within your
site. Many FMs manage hundreds or thousands of sites across the country. You can't keep your finger
on the pulse of every single building unless you have some type of application that provides baseline or
minimal data."
Submetering may not be as sexy as installing solar panels or a new energy-efficient lighting system.
"It is core to understanding what's happening in your building, and core to being able to manage your
entire enterprise," Narod said. l

Jason Narod
prsm.com I SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 I 29


http://www.prsm.com

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