Smart metering in Manchester (TfGM)

This project involved the replacement of existing main electricity meters with smart meters (AMR), which provide half-hourly energy usage data. The majority of sites only had energy data from sporadic meter readings taken directly by staff, often just every few months. This level of data did not enable the energy team to identify areas of energy waste, or to understand and manage the usage at the sites. It was determined that improving the data available was a key priority for energy management.

Fig. 20 – Monitoring of the electricity use at the Piccadilly head office (TfGM)

Fig. 20 – Monitoring of the electricity use at the Piccadilly head office

TfGM listed all its meters and established the estimated annual usage and cost associated with each meter. Then it was established that any site with annual electricity costs over €2,300 was worth being fitted with a smart meter. The threshold was set low due to the staff costs involved in reading meters and liaising with suppliers to resolve issues stemming from poor data availability. The level of investment was minimal, due to the fact that TfGM leased the meters from the energy supplier after including it in their tender requirements. Wherever possible, staff based at the relevant site were utilised, in order to minimise the staff resources required. Data analysis takes one member of staff several hours a week as a minimum.

An energy management information system ’Systems Link’ was procured and used to monitor all energy data and to set individual site-based targets. Most data can be set to automatically import into Systems Link, further reducing staff resources required. This enables automatic exception reporting and reduces the staff resources required for data analysis. The system automatically validates invoices when they are entered into the system, and flags up anything unusual. This project has led to energy waste being identified. In the first year following installation, TfGM has seen a 6% reduction in metered electricity usage thanks to the corrective actions taken to minimise consumption. TfGM has now installed gas and water loggers at all sites due to the significant benefits and cost reductions obtained from smart metering.