Empowering School Boards to Achieve Net Zero: The Role of Advanced Metering in Strategic Energy Management

A bustling high school hallway filled with students chatting, walking to their lockers, and carrying backpacks. The walls are adorned with colorful posters promoting school events and clubs. In the background, a teacher is engaging with a group of students, and the atmosphere is lively and energetic. The scene captures the dynamic and social environment typical of a high school setting.

Are your school’s energy costs rising despite your best efforts to manage them? Discover how advanced metering solutions from QMC can help you unlock significant savings and achieve your sustainability goals.

In today’s world, sustainability and energy efficiency are more critical than ever, especially for institutions like school boards. QMC understands the importance of these goals and is dedicated to supporting school boards in their journey towards achieving net zero emissions. Leveraging insights from the Sustainable Schools’ Strategic Energy Management (SEM) Guide, learn how advanced metering solutions can play a pivotal role in transforming energy management practices in Canadian schools.

The Need for Strategic Energy Management (SEM) in Schools

Canadian school boards face significant energy challenges, from rising utility costs to increasing carbon footprints. However, there is immense potential for cost savings and emissions reduction through strategic energy management. The SEM Guide, released by Sustainable Schools, highlights that by focusing on energy-intensive schools and addressing operational inefficiencies, school boards can achieve substantial savings. QMC is well-positioned to support these initiatives with our comprehensive metering solutions.

Key Findings from the Strategy Energy Management Guide

The Strategy Energy Management Guide’s pilot project, conducted across 24 schools in Ontario, revealed several key insights:

  • High Savings Potential: A small number of schools exhibited the highest savings potential, particularly those with recent unexplained increases in energy use.
  • HVAC Systems: HVAC systems are major determinants of energy efficiency in schools. Addressing inefficiencies through strategic monitoring in these systems can lead to significant savings.
  • Utility Data Management: Effective management and analysis of utility data are crucial for identifying savings opportunities and verifying results.

Electricity Interval Metering a Crucial Asset

Electricity interval meters such as our multi-point or socket meters are a crucial asset in finding potential issues for potential energy reductions. Electricity Interval meters record electricity usage in actionable increments. The industry average is 15 minutes to an hour per recording, but some of our carried meters can record interval data down to every second if required. Having granular energy consumption data allows for easier diagnosis of infrastructure failure, or human error. For example, see the graph below:

Through using and installing electricity meters that provide interval metering data, these two schools were able to diagnose and identify potential sources of inefficiencies and potential issues. School A initiated an investigation into unsanctioned evening use, while School B initiated an analysis on energy use within portables. School boards looking for quick wins should identify schools that have experienced large, unexplained increases in energy use. These schools are ideal for energy audits and efficiency projects due to the likelihood of operational inefficiencies or equipment malfunctions that can be rectified.

Electricity interval metering is a powerful diagnostic tool for identifying operational inefficiencies and savings opportunities.

Sustainable Schools, Strategic Energy Management Guide

Key Load Metering Useful for Energy Savings

For school boards and other institutional type properties, being able to identify low hanging fruit for quick energy efficiency wins can prove value for stakeholders to unlock further funds for operational upgrades. Installing submetering equipment on key loads within a building, such as fans, pumps, interior and exterior lighting, can help you monitor and zero in on the biggest savings opportunities. This strategy allows for small pilot projects to showcase the upside potential with reduced downside risk.

Energy Savings Opportunities with Gas Interval Metering Data

Slightly less common but equally important are gas interval meters. Similar in idea to their electrical cousins, gas interval meters are powerful tools to understand your building’s energy use and potential energy saving opportunities. Gas interval metering offers school boards a detailed and granular view of their gas consumption, enabling precise analysis of usage patterns. This detailed insight allows schools to identify inefficiencies and high usage periods, providing opportunities for targeted energy-saving measures. By understanding the specific times and ways gas is consumed, schools can optimize their operations to reduce wastage and lower utility costs. Real-time data facilitates prompt decision-making, allowing for the correction of inefficiencies as they arise, leading to significant cost savings.

Optimizing gas usage with interval metering significantly reduces a school’s carbon footprint, aligning with sustainability goals. It enables strategic energy planning and the implementation of effective energy conservation strategies, contributing positively to environmental efforts. Leveraging gas interval metering helps school boards improve energy efficiency, achieve cost savings, and support sustainability initiatives, aligning with their strategic energy management objectives.

Steps for Implementing Strategic Energy Management in Schools

Implementing Strategic Energy Management (SEM) in schools involves several critical steps. First, robust data management systems are essential for tracking and analyzing utility data, and QMC’s metering solutions play a pivotal role in this process. Best in class reporting tools like MeterConnex, our in-house reporting tool, are essential for identifying problems or inefficiencies that can be addressed quickly. Interval metering equipment, specifically electricity meters and gas meters, provide energy savings opportunities and tracking critical to sustainability and environmental mandates. Submetering key loads throughout a property, such as fans, boilers, chillers, and more can provide quick wins that showcase the benefits of metering. Lastly, performance verification is necessary for rigorous measurement and ongoing monitoring, ensuring the effectiveness of implemented measures.

Benefits of Advanced Metering Solutions for School Boards

Advanced metering solutions offer numerous benefits for school boards. As mentioned in the SEM guide, interval metering data and analysis is crucial in finding issues, as well as verifying performance and measurement. Real-time data allows for facility operators to make informed decisions with up-to-date information on energy consumption. One critical component we find when working with school boards, military bases, hospitals and universities is the integrated aspect. Many metering systems, like iPhones and Androids, don’t speak to each other. This creates an unnecessary reporting and data silo for facility operators, leading to increases in lost or missing data. QMC’s Integrated Metering solution collects all stranded metering assets and adds them to our cloud-based meter reporting platform for energy management and analysis. Having all your data in one place allows for easy comparisons with similar property types. Specific to school boards, MeterConnex can provide Energy Use Intensity (EUI) reports to showcase if a school property is doing better or worse than it’s peers, based on the benchmark of typical schools around that size.

Strategic energy management is a powerful tool for school boards looking to achieve sustainability goals and reduce utility costs. By adopting advanced metering solutions, schools can gain the insights needed to optimize energy use and achieve net zero emissions. Don’t let rising energy costs and inefficiencies hinder your school’s progress towards sustainability. Contact QMC Metering Solutions today to learn how our advanced metering solutions can help you achieve your energy management goals and contribute to a greener future. Join us in making a difference for your school and the environment. Get started now!

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