Millions of pounds worth of energy lost due to incorrectly specified meters, claims industry expert

Published:  09 December, 2015

Installing the wrong meters is costing millions of pounds of wasted energy every year according to one of the sector’s leading experts.

Martin Wardell, founder of MWA Technology, believes we are seeing a growing trend in industry of not specifying or installing the right type of meters on projects, with the market not having the necessary knowledge to rectify issues before installation.

This is leaving building management specialists in the unenviable position of having inconsistent data and poor life expectancy on their meters and this can impact on their ability to make informed decisions.

There is also the very real risk of the safe and efficient operation of gas appliances being compromised.

“It’s not a new problem. However, we have definitely seen an increase in the last six months of organisations coming back to us to rectify the wrong installations,” explained Mr Wardell.

“The sector has a much bigger workload and is under pressure to keep costs down on building services. A lot of the time they are leaving it to the market to advise and they are often going with the option that suits them best rather than what will be the most effective solution in the long-term.”

“Industry tend to choose the lowest cost option without understanding the full implications around accuracy and reliability of the data.”

Mr Wardell believes a good “rule of thumb” is to follow the practice of UK utilities and install meters according to their criteria, as you can trust the data for many years to come.

“If the meter isn’t selected correctly in the first instance then you will never be able to make informed decisions on energy usage and how you can improve it,” he said.

“We have examples of firms that can’t account for £200,000 of electricity, or low grade mechanical water meters giving up the ghost after 18 months.

“The most worrying aspect from a health and safety perspective is installing a check gas meter that exhibits an excessive pressure drop between the incoming supply and the appliance. This can lead to the safe and efficient operation of the appliance being compromised or impaired.”

MWA Technology offer gas, water, electric, oil, steam and energy and heat meters from some of the world’s biggest names, including Elster, Itron, Kamstrup, Diehl and Siemens.