Reduce energy costs with automated energy metering

Reduce energy costs with automated energy metering

Automated readings and detailed historical logging for more accurate billing are just two of the benefits being enjoyed by a shopping mall utility in South Africa thanks to advanced energy metering.

Energy consumption awareness is key to reducing energy costs and improving energy efficiency of machines and electrical assets. New-generation energy meters allow managers of industrial and commercial infrastructure to run smarter buildings in a more energy and cost-efficient manner1.

Sub-metering provides a detailed picture of energy consumption, taking into account criteria such as active power, voltage, current and power factor, as well as the specific areas where energy is used. Some meters also allow customers to split utility bills from different buildings with MID certification.

This ability to cross-charge utility bills among different business tenants is particularly useful for facilities managers in shopping malls, enabling them to not only comply with guidelines set by the property manager but also to take corrective actions to improve efficiency or avoid spills and thefts2.

Shopping for a metering solution in South Africa

ABB’s EQ meters enjoy competitive advantage by allowing the user to read key metrics directly from the meter. They are being deployed in conjunction with the Excellumax system integrator interface to gather data for billing at a shopping mall in East Rand, Gauteng, South Africa.

The ABB EQ meter solution allows for both automated meter readings and detailed historical data, with Excellumax providing a seamless interface with other energy management software solutions.

ABB’s scope of work covered product supply and configuration. The EQ meters were chosen because of their compact size and technical functionality – including multi-tariff registers for time-of-use – maximum demand, pulse inputs for water meter reading and communication for remote reading.

ABB Energy meter
ABB Energy meter

“The customer – energy-metering company Thukela Metering – uses a Wizard-like graphical user interface to get to a working solution as quickly as possible,” explains ABB business development engineer Sifiso Masilela. “This will be accomplished by using as much of the built-in features of the ABB EQ meters as possible. It includes using the internal clock as a tariff source, alarm functions, retrieving energy, demand profiles and other logged data stored on the meters.”

Automatic metering for maximum customer value

The main customer benefits are efficiency, productivity, space-saving, reliability, cost-effectiveness, service support, safety, and sustainability. To remove or avoid inaccurate metering by human means, the EQ/ Excellumax solution guarantees accurate and reliable information to make billing easier.

Not only that, but the system is sufficiently flexible for the meters to be configured remotely, and even to generate a billing report for the client. In a shopping center environment such as the mall in East Rand, for example, this means landlords can allocate electricity costs to all tenants accordingly.

“We are delighted to have supplied Thukela Metering with a cutting-edge solution for the shopping mall in Gauteng, further extending ABB’s footprint in South Africa,” commented Philip Möller from Excellumax. “ABB Electrification continues to educate and inform potential clients about its range of EQ meters, in order to attract more business and grow our client base.”

Another key benefit for Thukela Metering is that there is now no need for personnel to enter the substation for manual reading, as the metering information is made available remotely via a user interface. This translates to less maintenance time and, therefore, reduced costs for the client.

“This is a complete automatic metering solution with built-in functionality to provide maximum value for the customer,” concludes Sifiso. “Not only does ABB Electrification offer excellent and reliable products, but we are also able to innovate through a local system integrator such as Excellumax in order to develop a fit-for-purpose solution for the customer.”

According to Thukela Metering, the company has undergone a “good learning curve” in utilizing the Excellumax system integrator interface in conjunction with ABB EQ meters, the deployment of which has allowed it to continue providing a professional and timely service to its many valued customers.






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