In its latest report, clean energy research firm Pike Energy says demand for electricity submeters is set to grow substantially over the next decade.
Submeters are systems that provide accurate readings of electricity usage to allow utilities to bill building owners – and building owners, in turn, to bill tenants based on individual use – and to allow building owners and tenants to monitor consumption of individual equipment within a building.
While the technology is not new, submetering lies at the heart of a transformation that is seeing owners and managers of commercial, industrial and residential buildings around the world seek to take more control of energy costs using tools and equipment which offer better insight into the way energy is used in their building.
In its Electricity Submeters report, Pike says it expects worldwide shipments of submetering devices to total more than 10 million units between now and 2020, with annual global demand for the devices set to reach 1.6 million by the end of the decade.
“Green building certification programs like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) specifically recommend, incentivize, or even require submetering to be installed in certified properties,” Pike senior research analyst Eric Bloom says. “At the same time, a number of important regulations, such as building codes and governmental imperatives, are coming into effect, requiring submetering or continuous energy monitoring. These forces are driving demand for submetering technology and services that leverage the data that submeters provide.”
The report says one of the key questions going forward for building owners will revolve around the choice of fixed or wireless devices.
It says wireless is ideal in cases where significant cabling is required and where the installation is impractical, as is the case in many campus-wide submeter retrofits.
There are, however, disadvantages to wireless in terms of upfront costs and limits on their ability to provide data over long distances.
Pike’s latest report comes on top of an earlier report in which the research firm says the sustainable housing sector will be an $84 billion market by 2020.