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Power Submetering Saves Money and Informs Energy Planning

Power Submetering Saves Money and Informs Energy Planning

You don't know the future cost of energy (otherwise you'd probably be cornering the energy futures markets right now). But it's a safe bet energy prices will continue to rise. 

Higher energy prices mean there is more value than ever in tracking your power consumption. Submetering systems allow you to gain a more precise understanding of what drives usage. You can add metering to track at the room, equipment, subsystem or end customer levels. You can then use the information to accurately allocate costs, identify and eliminate waste, optimize usage and plan for future needs.

These are the same goals that inspired Packet Power to create state-of-the-art power monitors and the wireless data transmission technology that is now deployed in data centers across the globe.  But Packet Power's monitoring solutions aren't just for data centers. Facilities managers for colleges and universities, stadiums, convention centers, manufacturing plants, transportation stations, grocery stores and telcos also want access to this valuable data. So they're installing these same devices for submetering in their buildings and facilities.

Benefits of Power Submetering

The old adage, "What gets measured gets improved," holds true for electricity. Packet Power customers regularly report a 10% improvement in power optimization just by the simple act of installing power monitoring devices.

The benefits of submetering include:

  • The ability to compare usage across similar facilities
  • The ability to identify the most energy-intensive machines, tenants or systems
  • Access to exact energy usage data in real-time (no more estimating)
  • Improved data for process optimization and energy planning
  • Early warning of potential equipment failures

Devices are able to monitor either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) systems. Today's best devices install quickly and begin transmitting data immediately through secure, wireless technology. The data can be fed into existing energy management systems (EMS) or building automation systems (BAS) to promote machine-learning system improvements. Packet Power's EMX monitoring software offers an easy, low-cost alternative to viewing monitoring data if you don't already have monitoring software in place.

Where Submetering is Popping Up

Anyone with significant energy costs will likely find value in deploying submetering devices. Here are some of the industries picking up on this trend.


As more and more agriculture moves into climate-controlled environments (indoors), more growers are using submetering monitoring devices to track the power needed to provide the right environmental conditions -- light, temperature and humidity. They have the flexibility to take advantage of off-peak pricing for electricity.

In the United States, each time zone has a 3- or 4-hour window when electricity rates are the highest. By comparing harvest yields against power usage, growers with submetering devices can determine the value of keeping the lights on during these peak rate times.


Manufacturers who want to increase profits need to be watchful of all input costs -- including electricity. Submetering can help manufacturers take advantage of off-peak electricity rates. Monitors can help track the lifecycle of the machines and equipment manufacturers count on. If the electricity required to perform a task is inching up over time, the machine may be nearing the end of its lifecycle or is at risk of failure.

Monitoring backup systems like automatic transfer switches, batteries and generators assures facility managers that operations are continuing during a power loss to the building. Remote monitors don't require anyone to be physically around to see this information. That's peace of mind that's hard to put a price on.

Submetering Tenants

A colocation services provider (colo) is a large data center that rents out computing power to third parties. By installing submetering devices to track power on individual server cabinets, colos can accurately pass electricity costs on to customers based on actual usage.

The concept of billing end users for the amount of power they consume holds true in many applications. Managers of apartment complexes, condominiums and dormitories can accurately track power usage in individual buildings or all the way down to individual tenants with submetering. The same is true for shopping mall, stadium and event center managers who want to track the energy consumption of specific stores or vendors.

Information Technology

From retailers to universities to cryptocurrency mining operations, all are more reliant on a consistent supply of electricity than ever before. Critical facility operations can be optimized to run better and longer with the information power monitors supply.

Energy planning is key to the sustainability of many industries and individual businesses. Submetering is perhaps the best way to get the power usage data necessary to create an effective energy plan. If you want help getting started, please contact Packet Power. We'd be happy to help assess your monitoring options.

check out your options for power monitoring

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