NPS Metering Initiative
The NPS is moving forward with comprehensive facility metering of electric, water, and fuel utilities. Recognizing that consumption represents a substantial portion of park operating costs, the NPS is improving the use of meters in order to more accurately tracking consumption and identify opportunities for more efficient resource use. While metering it is required under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and 42 U.S.C. 8253(e)(10), the true functional value of metering is the energy and cost savings that result. Through a robust approach to metering facilities, NPS will develop a more accurate resource usage baseline, optimize performance of existing building systems, justify retro-fit projects for inefficient systems, improve overall billing management for NPS and its tenants, and promote energy awareness and associated behavioral change in terms of how inhabitants use NPS facilities. In turn, NPS will be better equipped to meet sustainability goals and, more importantly, save money and energy enabling it to better meet its mission.
The following are the NPS’s primary metering goals:
- To fully implement electric meters or advanced electric meters in all NPS buildings where cost-effective and practicable by 2012-2016.
- To fully implement water, fuel, and steam meters or advanced meters where cost-effective and practicable by 2015
- To develop an inventory of all NPS meters
- To reduce overall electricity, fuel, and water resource usage and costs
- To track and report electricity, fuel, and water usage and costs at the facility level where practicable
- To deploy and maintain meters that support measuring resource usage, cost, and efficiency gains in the form of data that can effectively and efficiently be transferred into and managed with an NPS energy information system
- To develop an energy metering plan for all parks by 2011
Planned actions as part of the NPS’s Metering Initiative include:
- Performing metering inventories at all National Parks
- Developing business practices for the management of metering equipment records in the NPS’s Facility Management Software System and the creation of equipment records
- Developing a standardized meter planning process parks can use to assess metering coverage, identify metering gaps, and estimate costs for installed new equipment
- Providing all parks with an energy management tool capable of tracking historical consumption and billing data by building
- Improving reporting process through the use of enhanced metering and energy management
- Funding the installation of meters on priority buildings identified by parks
Park Metering Highlight—Point Reyes National Seashore
Utility data pulled from meters informs management decisions and can help change behavior of building users to improve energy efficiency. For example, Point Reyes National Seashore has an Energy Manager who tracks the utility costs, verifies accuracy and posts each building’s energy consumption in comparison to the other park buildings, encouraging intra-park competition to reduce energy use. In 2010, Point Reyes attributed a 4% reduction in their energy bill to this effort. Similarly, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District used data in a similar manner by sending out statements to 35,000 randomly selected customers rating them on their energy use compared to neighbors in 100 homes of similar size that used the same heating fuel. The customers were also compared with the 20 neighbors who were especially energy efficient. In just six months the personalized statements were attributed to causing a 2 percent drop in demand.