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.
(See Note 1).

One part of the EU’s response to this threat was the EU Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (See 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 Conservation of fuel and power in buildings other than dwellings (2002 Edition).  (See Note 3).

To meet the requirements of this legislation will 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 the building.

If these requirements seem to be placing an undue 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 data 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.

Note 1. See for the text of the Ninth Zuckerman Lecture

Note 2. See for details of the legislation which is obtainable from

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

Technical Requirements

Metering for energy and water management should 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 Directive but, 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 only 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 this 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 location.

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
  • SMS
  • Ethernet

What are the requirements of the data collection 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.


Web design by Template Touch
Home | Company | Services | Contacts

Copyright © Coherent Research, 2005. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use