According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 30 per cent of the energy that goes into commercial buildings and industrial facilities is wasted. The problem is that operators and managers don't know where and when it's occurring. They now have a way of finding out thanks to CircuitMeter Inc., a Toronto company that has developed an economically feasible way to measure and analyze energy usage at the circuit level, thereby making it possible to plug leaks and reduce energy costs.
According to company president Paul Mertes, wastage typically occurs in two ways, sometimes simultaneously: systems and equipment operating when they shouldn't, and/or systems and equipment that should be operating, doing so inefficiently. Common examples include heating, cooling or lighting systems left running due to control system error or occupant neglect.
"For example, we've found heating systems operating in the summer, cooling systems operating in the winter, and groups of rooftop equipment that appeared to be working fine, but in fact had one unit using 40 per cent more energy than the others because it needed a minor repair," says Mr. Mertes.
CircuitMeter combines the most powerful metering technology with circuit level real-time data, essentially providing a communications tool that measures electrical usage across a circuit panel or a motor control centre and turns the volts and amps it scans into data before sending it to the cloud where it can be analyzed. Ultimately users receive information they can use to fix mistakes, address inefficiencies or simply turn off the switch.
One of the key selling features is affordability. "The cost of our system is at the level of two to four per cent of industrial-grade meters currently on the market," says Mr. Mertes. "This is important because with this level of cost reduction facility owners can now meter at the circuit level and get access to the detailed data that gives them real insight into their operations and energy use." He adds that analyses suggest a large building spending $2.5-million on electricity annually could recoup the investment in a CircuitMeter system in as little as 12 months.
|By the numbers|
| Calculated cumulatively between 2005 and the end of 2015, green buildings have benefited Canadians with: |
Energy savings of 6,503,647 eMWh, which is enough to power 220,702 homes in Canada for a full year.
REDUCTION IN GREEN HOUSE GASES
A 1,261,016 CO2e tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, which equates to taking 238,377 cars off the road for a year.
Water savings totalling 12.8 billion litres, the equivalent of 5,131 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Recycling over 1.6 million tonnes of construction/demolition waste, which represents 491,174 garbage truck loads.
REDUCING URBAN HEAT
Installing 231,608 square metres of green roofs, or an area the size of 153 NHL hockey rinks, to reduce the urban heat island effect and mitigate storm water flows in urban areas.
This content was produced by Randall Anthony Communications, in partnership with The Globe and Mail's advertising department. The Globe's editorial department was not involved in its creation.