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Modern Energy Partners: Smart Energy Data Management

Understanding sites

Having good data is essential for planning, developing ideas, delivering robust designs and monitoring projects when complete. Therefore, having an effective metering and sub-metering data collection system will provide benefits, irrelevant of what other tasks are being undertaken.

Modern Energy Partners (MEP) found a general paucity of data throughout the public sector, and as a result developed a rapidly deployable approach to data collection. The approach starts with considering how the sub-metering is delivered through different commercial routes through to the development of site sub-metering strategies, installation and then the monitoring and analysis of data.

The following links provides access to the tools, templates and guidance that MEP developed to assist in this smart energy data management approach.

Our Resources

Determining a metering strategy

Providing insights on the types of approaches that can be adopted

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Developing a site sub-metering strategy

Overlapping with information gathering tasks within a concept design approach for a site: how to appraise where and what types of meters will be required.

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Implementing sub-metering on a site

Guidance on how to take forward a site sub-metering installation programme.

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Monitoring energy data

Guidance on site energy analysis, both for development of concept designs and verification following implementation.

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MEP – Smart Energy Data Management FAQs

How does metering and sub-metering fit with decarbonisation planning?

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Developing the best decarbonisation plan for a particular site will need to take into consideration information captured from each site. Where data is not available at the right level, a sub-metering program allows for collection of data at a disaggregated level.

How does better data fit with a concept design?

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Having good data will improve the quality of a concept design. Real energy data gives a better understanding of a site’s energy use over time and provides better detail to inform design and therefore should be used if available.

Typically, sites may only have a single (or few) meters installed to monitor overall energy consumption for billing purposes. Ideally sub-metering would be installed (e.g. at building level) to give a more detailed understanding of energy consumption across a site.

MEP found that on many sites electricity meters were the priority metered energy vector. However, with a need to reduce carbon emissions to achieve Net Zero, data on fossil fuel use, heat consumption, hot water and cooling, have become more of a priority, and so consideration should also be given to capturing energy data for these elements.

However, if data is not available it should not stop or slow down the development of a plan. Within the concept design process, there are tools and templates to support assessing energy data, and useful calculators to provide initial estimations where data may be limited. It is, however, more important to have better data when moving into more detailed feasibility study and detailed design.

Why is better data essential?

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Historically, good energy management has always centred around understanding energy data. This commences with metering, monitoring, and targeting. Analysing the data gathered reveals variations in consumption to be investigated. It also permits improvements to be tracked after interventions.

Regular data analysis, by someone familiar with a site, to understand consumption and opportunities for improvements, is good practice. However, a site’s energy consumption is often determined from only the fiscal meter data – i.e. the high-level site energy data collected for billing purposes. This does not provide enough granularity for a large campus-style site to understand variations and plan decarbonisation effectively.

Real-time half-hourly data is powerful because it shows how energy use relates to building use. However, access to real-time half-hourly data, which shows energy consumption, has not always been possible.

Benchmarking and portfolio profiling, while useful in the initial stages, can be validated and refined through the capturing of sub-metering data – allowing for feedback into final detailed designs as specific projects progress (this is captured in the RIBA process). It also provides a means to validate projected emissions savings and implementation costs once completed and provides for both consistency and standardisation of site assessments.

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Applying systems thinking to deliver the evidence and action plans needed by Government to achieve near-term carbon reduction and longer-term targets of Net Zero by 2050.

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