Real-time monitoring of energy consumption saves money!

Within the TOGETHER project our Association installed smart metering system in 9 pilot buildings located in municipalities of Besko, Raciechowice and Żyraków. The system measures real-time electricity and heat consumption and should not only help in  optimising energy management (and thus reducing energy bills) but also give immediate feedback on the real effects of implemented energy-saving measures. And we can already see the first of them! One of the pilot buildings is the Town Hall in Besko, which has been experiencing problems with reactive power since the installation of central UPS (uninterruptible power supply). Such energy is not included in the energy consumption but is treated as an undesirable phenomenon and scrupulously measured by modern energy meters. In a bimonthly billing cycle the charges for reactive power only reached 500-800 PLN (approx. 120-190 EUR) depending on the season. Two companies undertook effort to compensate this power but with limited success as nobody could precisely indicate the times the phenomenon occurs and its intensity.

In May 2018, thanks to the TOGETHER project, smart metering system was installed in the town hall, including an electricity meter enabling permanent monitoring of both electricity consumption and other parameters, including reactive power. Within few days only the meter registered enough data to enable building personnel to correctly estimate the capacity of the necessary reactive power compensation unit. Since July 2018 the charge for reactive power is either not present on the electricity bill or comes to few PLN (1-2 EUR) for a two-month period. The example of the Town Hall in Besko shows how important is permanent monitoring of building’s energy consumption and connected parameters. In this case the savings resulted from the reduction of reactive power, but longer observation of data can help to reduce also regular energy consumption as it enables determination and modification of consumption patterns. 

The aim of the TOGETHER project, which is financed from INTERREG CENTRAL EUROPE programme, is to improve public buildings’ energy efficiency through the promotion of complex (technological, financial, and managerial) energy-saving solutions, which has been tested within its frameworks. These solutions require no or only minimal investment, and try to save energy (and money) by changing attitudes and the way the building is operated and maintained. More information: https://www.interreg-central.eu/Content.Node/TOGETHER.html

Article has been prepared on the basis of information delivered by the Town Hall in Besko.