New metering system leads to more accurate billing

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As a leading logistics service provider for restaurants around the world, Martin Brower required a sophisticated metering and monitoring system to be installed at its Hertfordshire HQ to ensure that individual business units within the company were being billed correctly for their energy usage. Schneider Electric provided a solution

Prior to the installation, Martin Brower only had one main bill that came into the site. This bill was then divided into three different sections across the business. Martin Brower would estimate the billing based on how much energy it thought each division was using, but it was by no means accurate.

The company is committed to strong sustainability targets and reducing its carbon footprint, and one way in which they were addressing this was to split out its energy bills to identify peaks and address those accordingly. Effective metering is sen as the first and most vital step to achieve accurate utility billing and to reduce energy consumption.

Energy management specialist Schneider Electric has collaborated with its EcoXpert partner Samelco Web Technology to supply metering and monitoring to Martin Brower in the UK. Martin Brower Gunther Bakeries is also part of the Martin Brower group and manufactures over a million burger buns every day.

Martin Brower needed to find a solution for splitting out its monthly energy bill. Prior to the implementation of a metering system, the company was unable to identify accurately how much each business unit should be billed — meaning that some business units were overpaying for their energy usage. Once the meters were installed, it was clear to see that some locations on the site were being billed far more than the energy they were using. The bottom line impact was that certain parts of the site were being billed 30 per cent of the energy use, but the meters indicated this should have been closer to 18 per cent.

Need for smart metering

There was also a need to implement a smart metering system to fall in line with government expectations for the rollout of a smart metering system nationwide. While the mass rollout of smart meters for domestic consumers is expected to complete by 2019, large businesses are expected to have their metering systems in place much earlier.

“The partnership with Schneider Electric, through the EcoXpert structure, provided us with a great opportunity to supply energy management solutions to Martin Brower, which supplies McDonalds with all of its restaurant supplies in the UK," said Samelco Technologies' MD Mike Walton. "The success of this project is as a result of the training and refresher programmes that Schneider Electric has run for Samelco employees. These allow our staff to get a better understanding of the products they are selling, which ultimately leads to higher sales."

With changes to the Part L of the Buildings Regulations and companies wanting to demonstrate corporate responsibility, Martin Brower was aware that it needed to be actively monitoring and looking for ways to reduce its energy usage. There is an increasing need for companies to implement energy management systems to be compliant with ISO50001 and ESOS.

Develop an efficient energy policy

The ISO50001 Energy Management Standard encourages companies to develop a policy for more efficient use of energy, along with fixing objectives and analysing data to ensure those targets are met. ESOS is an energy assessment scheme that is mandatory for organisations in the UK that have over 250 employees, where they must carry out ESOS assessments every four years. These assessments are audits of the energy used by their buildings, industrial processes and transport to identify cost-effective energy saving measures. Qualifying organisations must carry out their ESOS assessment by December 5th 2015.

Samelco Web Technology supplied and installed 60 iEM3255 meters with a SEMS iRIO controller as part of the project; all of these meters were Measuring Instruments Directive (MID) approved for loads up to 100kW. A web-based billing system was also implemented — and the meters also monitored the main gas and water meter pulses connected to the controller. Since the project was for a billing application, it was vital that all of the meters installed were MID (Measuring Instrument Directive) approved — from October 2016, it will be considered a criminal offence to use non-approved meters for billing.

Schneider Electric's iEM 30000 range was launched at a similar time to the project launch and the customer required a DIN rail mounted MID approved meter. The DIN rail system provided absolute safety and better continuity of service. It was a perfect match for the application as the meter specified would measure the exact amount of energy being used by each business unit and split out the bill accordingly. And these iEM3000 series meters provided Martin Brower with a full view of both energy consumption and on-site generation.

Allocating energy-related costs

The new metering system allowed Martin Brower to collect and analyse energy consumption data from all 60 metering points, which in turn, gave them an accurate understanding of business expenses, by allocating correctly all energy related-costs. They could then use this information to implement actions to help reduce energy consumption. Every evening, the metering data is uploaded to Samelco’s cloud-based billing system. This gives Martin Brower the ability to analyse the data online on any device — and the new billing system is far simpler than the previous system.

This new metering and monitoring system also gave the logistics service provider better visibility of their energy usage, along with helping them set both accurate and achievable objectives for energy savings. Three 50-inch plasma screen televisions were also installed around the site so that everyone was aware of the latest energy performance data and consequent energy savings.

Following the implementation of the monitoring and metering programme, Martin Brower placed further energy management solutions, including a Power Factor Correction (PFC) solution to help reduce energy bills and reduce carbon emissions. This was installed 18 months after the initial metering system was implemented, highlighting the longevity of the partnership.

 

 

 
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