What is Thermal Submetering?

In Canada, energy-conscious communities are expanding their use of Thermal Energy Systems for heating and cooling buildings. One challenge these systems face is the ability to effectively measure and bill thermal energy consumption to end users, such as condominiums, apartments and commercial units.

Unlike other utilities such as electricity and gas, there are currently no federal regulatory standards in Canada regarding thermal energy measurement. Measurement Canada has indicated it will follow already established European and international thermal metering standards EN1434 and OIML R75 and that it is committed to implementing a standard, as per its Trade Sector Review.

Other international jurisdictions have either developed or are currently developing their standards for thermal energy measurement. The United States and China are basing their regulations off of the well-established and recognized Eurpean and International Standards.

About M-Bus vs Pulse Technology

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Meter TypeBenefits of M-BusRisks Associated with Pulse
Water
  • No data loss and guaranteed security of billing data
  • Plug and Play with easy troubleshooting
  • No service life restriction
  • Tamper-proof
  • Meter serial number
  • Exact register read to 1 litre resolution
  • All data lost without power Increases in equipment cost due to pulse collection
  • No remote troubleshooting
  • One “pulse” signal per unit of volume
  • Not tamper-proof
Thermal
  • Power supplied through M-Bus, eliminating need for batteries
  • No data loss and guaranteed security of billing data
  • Tamper-proof
  • Non-proprietary, open protocol, Measurement Canada approved
  • No ability to troubleshoot offsite
  • Data compromised without power
  • Forced manual verification and commissioning
  • Susceptible to human error
  • Not tamper-proof
  • Pulse signal per unit of energy
General
  • 90% reduction in commission time
  • Labelling of wires not required
  • Error and alarm features on all meters
  • 75% cost savings in wire, conduit and installation labour
  • Labour intensive commission time
  • Labelling of pulse wires required
  • No alarm features
  • 75% cost increase in wire, conduit and installation labour

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