Published: Four ways to measure and bill thermal energy use

Updated on February 11th, 2021

Thermal energy meter solutions
In Canada, energy conscious communities are expanding their use of thermal energy systems for heating and cooling buildings. One challenge these systems face is the ability to effectively measure and bill thermal energy consumption to end users, such as condominiums, apartments, and commercial units. Recently, REMI Network’s Condo Business  published an article by Dustin Ingram, QMC’s expert on thermal energy metering. Below is an excerpt from the piece: In Canada, the four main methodologies for measuring and/or allocating end consumer usage of thermal energy are:
  1. Thermal energy sub-metering
  2. Inferred measurement or run time measurement
  3. Ratio utility billing systems (RUBS)
  4. No metering or measurement
To minimize potential risks in investments, there are four critical factors developers and other stakeholders must consider when selecting a thermal energy measurement option for their project:
  • Will the measurement methodology selected meet current and future regulations within Canada?
  • Is the methodology used by more mature thermal energy markets, such as Europe?
  • Can the methodology stand up to scrutiny if end-users dispute their bills? What international standards or hardware can they be directed to ease their concerns?
  • Will the methodology be delivered by a provider who will correctly specify, deploy, manage and bill from the system in the long run?
The adoption of thermal energy systems will continue to grow in Canada since they offer considerable cost efficiency and conservation benefits to all stakeholders. As with the other utilities, thermal energy will need to move toward a measurement standard that will allocate and bill for accurate and equitable costs in a user-pays system. Click here to see a pdf of the article Download QMC’s White Paper “Thermal Energy Metering: Regulations and Best Practices for the Canadian Market”