Professor David King, the Chief Scientific Adviser to HM Government has
rightly identified climate change as the greatest threat to our
society; a threat assessment based on sound intelligence.
One part of the EU’s response to
this threat was the EU Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings
Note 2). The legislation will come into force in
the UK on 4th January 2006 and will affect all buildings of
greater that 500m2 other than dwellings.
Currently these requirements only apply to
new buildings and are covered by the Building Regulations 2000, Part L2
of fuel and power in buildings other than dwellings (2002
To meet the requirements of this legislation
require the use of significant numbers of secondary meters for
electricity consumption, perhaps 4 to 10 times the number of tariff
meters, as well as metering for water, gas and heating. Furthermore
these readings must be recorded in a “logbook” for
If these requirements seem to be placing an
burden on users, the good news is that solutions are no more onerous
that those that a properly run organisation would implement itself.
Investments in the necessary metering and
collection facilities can typically pay for themselves in a period of
two and a half years. Furthermore there are grants for SMEs and an
enhanced capital allowance scheme to provide a favourable tax treatment
of investment in energy saving equipment.
1. See www.foundation.org.uk/801/311002_2.pdf
for the text of the Ninth Zuckerman Lecture
2. See www.defra.gov.uk/environment/energy/internat/ecbuildings.htm
for details of the legislation which is obtainable from www.odpm.gov.uk.
Note 3. A
useful guide to the current legislation is contained in General
Information Leaflet 65 – Metering energy use in new
non-domestic buildings which may be obtained from Action Energy on 0800
585794 (Option 1) or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Metering for energy and water management
provide accurate time series data for all the metered services in a
form that can be accessed and manipulated conveniently. The most robust
systems will use intelligent meters which maintain their own time
series data and provide access to it via a well defined communications
protocol. This data should be collected automatically and stored in a
database for subsequent interrogation.
This is not a requirement of the EU
if the necessary usage information is not accessible to all interested
parties in a readily digestible form, the metering data is unlikely to
be used effectively.
It is of course possible to use meters with
pulse outputs and to collect this pulse information via dataloggers or
building management systems, but this is not as reliable a systems
architecture. In practice many of the non electricity meters for water,
gas and heat only provide pulse outputs, but this will change over time.
The data captured in meters needs to be
concentrated in a database. This requires communications to link the
necessary meters to the database and a data collection system to
collect the necessary data and administer the collection process.
What form of communication is best suited to
task? The short answer is whatever is the cheapest. This means that a
variety of different communications methods will need to be used,
depending on the location of meters and the costs that apply at that
This is likely to include the following:
- pulsed outputs
- multidrop connection of meters by means
such as RS485 adaptors or bus oriented protocols such as modbus or mbus
- analogue modems
- GSM modems
What are the requirements of the data
system? It should cope with the necessary diversity of communications
methods and meter types, and present this information to all the
interested parties in a form that is directly comprehensible to them.
These are precisely the design goals for the
Coherent Research Open Data Collection system.