Submeter Green Homes for Water, Energy and Cost Reductions
Updated on April 1st, 2021
The project: Clarington Green Demonstration Project.
Six demonstration homes, incorporating practices that aim to reduce their environmental impact for water and energy were constructed exceeding Ontario’s 2012 Building Code. These so-called ‘better than code homes’ were monitored for performance and potential savings over the course of a year.
Client: Municipality of Clarington,with the Region of Durham
QMC’s Project scope: QMC supplied electrical and water meters, data loggers, communications, and software for the 6 demonstration homes enabling the individual monitoring of the electric and water loads within the home. Performance monitoring included tracking of total water, electricity, and natural gas usage. Specific appliances and water fixtures within the demonstration homes were submetered, including:
- Clothes Washer (electricity and water)
- Dishwasher (electricity and water)
- Outside hose bids
Electricity submetering was achieved using a Triacta PowerHawk 4325 High Density Building Automation Meter coupled to QMC Metering Solutions’ MeterConnex web portal and reporting system.
Water submetering was achieved using an Obvious AcquiSuite DR data acquisition server which was also coupled to QMC Metering Solutions’ MeterConnex web portal and reporting system.
Overall project results from the Priority Green Clarington report:
Water, energy and cost savings, and greenhouse gas reductions were realized through and went beyond the minimum requirements of Ontario’s Building Code (2012) support the Municipality’s commitment to further integrating sustainability into the planning and residential development process.
The ‘better than code homes’ showed greenhouse gas emissions average reductions of 954 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent. Those emissions savings are roughly comparable to the greenhouse gas emissions left by a car travelling from Bowmanville to Kenora, Ontario, a roundtrip of 3,800 kilometres. In comparison to equivalent homes built to code, these homes reduced the electricity-based greenhouse gas emissions by 6 per cent; natural gas consumption-based emissions by 13 per cent; and water consumption based emissions by 16 per cent.
Results show the demonstration homes, on average, were 14 per cent more water efficient. The average daily indoor water consumption for these ‘better than code homes’ was 131 litres per capita. While average daily indoor water consumption in equivalent homes built to code 153 litres per capita. Three of the six demonstration homes were also equipped with a greywater recycling system that treats and recycles shower water for toilet flushing. These homes, on average, were 19 per cent more water efficient. The greywater recycling systems saved, on average, 13 litres of water per person per day, or the equivalent of 10 per cent of a person’s daily water use.
The demonstration homes also showed a 10 per cent reduction in energy intensity. Energy intensity compares the energy use of buildings relative to their size. A lower value signifies a home is more energy efficient. This reduction in energy intensity can be attributed in part to improved insulation, improved air tightness, and duct sealing.
The ‘better than code homes’ also had some projected annual cost savings totalling, on average, around $386 based on 2015 utility costs. Almost three-quarters of the average cost savings came from improved home energy efficiency.
QMC’s team was proud to be part of the Priority Green Clarington project. Submetering equipment, software and expertise was delivered through three keys stages related to the submetering; design, data collection and analysis.