aM&T – the key to energy management
aM&T stands for ‘automatic Monitoring and Targeting’.
aM&T is the key management tool for identifying and reducing utility waste thereby helping you to cut costs and carbon emissions.
aM&T applied correctly can identify 12% savings [Ref: Carbon Trust].
aM&T is a continually evolving technology that encompasses utility, advanced and smart metering, sub-metering, data communications, data management and a broad array of software applications.
aM&T captures energy consumption information automatically releasing energy managers from tedious and time-consuming collection and allowing them to understand energy consumption in their organisation.
aM&T - automatically providing information to people who can take action to reduce energy waste.
aM&T systems comprise 3 key elements:
1. Smart Meters & Measurement
Primary [main incoming billing meters] include the principal smart and advanced utility meters to a site for electricity, gas and water.
Sub-meters are the second tier including heat and steam meters and secondary meters installed to measure consumption by specific items of plant or equipment or to discrete physical areas e.g. individual buildings; floors in a multi-storey building.
Most meters provide a simple pulse output; a contact closes each time a defined quantity of energy has been used.
Advanced and smart meters provide secure access to the stored measured quantities – register reads and interval values. Register reads are the values shown on the cumulative unit counters. Interval values are the sum of the units consumed during a fixed time interval, typically 30 minutes.
The UK government has mandated the replacement by 2019 of all electricity and gas meters by smart and advanced meters. It is already mandatory for all primary electricity meters in profile class 5 and above and all primary gas supplies greater than 732 MWh pa to have an advanced meter installed by April 2014.
Applications such as demand management and power network monitoring may require information at higher data rates that some classes of meter can provide.
Key factors influencing energy consumption are temperature, daylight hours, units of production, footfall. Using sensors or inputs, aM&T correlates these with energy use, to identify key drivers and produce Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which are fundamental to target setting and automatic performance monitoring.
2. Communications and data capture
Advanced, smart and some sub-meters have built in communications and data storage facilities. Some pulse or digital communications need to be captured by data loggers.
The two dominant modes of local area data communications are wired and low power wireless. Wide area data communications is most often facilitated wirelessly using the public mobile networks.
Frequency of data capture
Typically, advanced and smart meters are delivering register and interval data (48 half-hourly values) once a day. Some aM&T systems collect and process data from meters and sensors much closer to real-time providing a continuous flow of updated information on what’s happening right now.
There are a wide variety of software packages providing aM&T functions. Some focus on a single task, others offer a much wider list of features and benefits.
Traditionally, software applications have been licensed to end users who operate the software directly from within their own domain. Increasingly, software is offered as a service accessed via the internet using a web browser – often referred to as Cloud computing or SaaS (Software as a Service).
aM&T systems at minimum should comprise:
• One or more meters or sensors (transducers) that measure energy use for metering purposes.
• Systems to automatically capture, retrieve and store energy metering data electronically.
• Software to automatically analyse metered energy data, the key factors that influence energy use and produce reports on energy consumption.
A more detailed functional description of aM&T has been produced for the Enhanced Capital Allowances Scheme managed by the Carbon Trust on behalf of the Government. For details visit https://etl.decc.gov.uk/etl/site/etl/browse-etl/amt.html.
aM&T system provision
aM&T vendors may supply and install a fully integrated system or only individual components. Some systems may only address the needs of a single utility on single site whereas others offer a multi-utility platform reporting on an unlimited number of sites and meters.
If you choose to procure your system from multiple vendors then performance and compatibility risks are likely to rest with you. Buying from a single vendor offering an integrated turnkey solution allows you to transfer these risks to the vendor.
Consider on-going maintenance of the system components and who will provide it. Loss of data for even a short period will impact the integrity, usefulness and credibility of your system.
Display screens or Dashboards
Typically installed in a high footfall area, displays are usually updated automatically every thirty minutes or less.
Dashboards provide feedback on building energy usage or displaying high-level corporate messages, aimed at visitors and/or employees to change behaviour and attitudes towards energy issues.
Utility billing services
Services include the production and forwarding of bills to tenants. Where metering is being used for any fiscal billing, meters must comply with the EU Measurement Instruments Directive (MID).
Feed in Tariff (FiT) and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments fall into the ‘fiscal billing’ category and so require MID approved metering.
Bureau and consultancy services
Your aM&T vendor may offer services to help you ranging from specifying your system to day-to-day energy performance analysis helping you to maximise the benefits and deliver measurable reductions in utility usage and costs.
aM&T – What to do next
To kick-start your project, visit: www.esta.org.uk/findamt to find ESTA members specialising in aM&T .
ESTA Metering and Monitoring Group
Members of the Metering and Monitoring Group offer full aM&T provision including smart and dumb meters for all fuels and services, automatic meter reading, analysis to identify energy waste and communication through dashboards and alerts often to engage with the wider workforce. Many of these services are offered through bureaux operation. These operations cover both primary [fiscal/billing meters] and secondary or sub-meters.
Measuring energy use is fundamental to all successful energy management programmes and Energy and Facility Managers must have access to the data produced in order that they spend their time managing energy rather than reading meters.
To support Energy and Facility Managers, ESTA introduced aM&T automatic Monitoring and Targeting – to bring the traditional Monitoring & Targeting into the world of IT and integrated communications by the addition of ‘a’ for automatic.
ESTA has established an annual aM&T Conference and Exhibition, which is a national focus for the industry and helps establish its key role in supporting Energy Management and Energy Efficiency.
To find out more and identify specific equipment and services visit: www.esta.org.uk/findamt