Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Smart metering in residential buildings

Smart metering in residential buildings

Smart metering in residential buildings


I have a query on use of smart metering in residential buildings, whether it would be a smart decision to have them.

In office buildings the occupancy levels are partial i.e. systems are turned on and off based on the occupancy levels and hence having a load profile done in such a building makes sense and we could identify peak demands. But in a residential building where occupancy levels are 24/7 most of the time, I would assume the load profile would be more or less flat because systems are on all the time except when they are in maintenance. So how would having a smart meter in such a building be of any use. Also are smart meters permanent installation or are they clamp-on type and could be used on various buildings?

Thank you.

RE: Smart metering in residential buildings

Huh? We're out of our house from 7.30am to 6pm; how is that 24/7? I shut down all the A/C and heating during the day, and we don't run our computers during the day. The smart meter on my power looks pretty permanent to me.

The main raisson d'etre for smart meters is to minimize the need for a human reader. Moreover, if the smart meter is connected 24/7, you can get power readings 24/7. This would allow you to determine where and when power is being consumed.

FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Smart metering in residential buildings

For a specific case of senior residential building where occupancy is generally all the time, the cooling and heating systems are on all the time.

RE: Smart metering in residential buildings

Ah more information! Now you might want to consider -- do you heat/cool ALL the areas ALL the time? Do you raise or lower the temperatures depending upon the time of day? Are these senior residential buildings which have common kitchens & dining rooms where you need to ensure power flow for single large evening meal and so you want to reduce power to other services at that time? If you have places where a number of seniors gather for meals, then you need to take body heat into account, but also remember that seniors get cold easily? Are there individual apartments in this senior residential building and are they occupied 24/7 or are the seniors generally out in the common areas? What stage of design are you in?

Patricia Lougheed


Please see FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies for tips on how to make the best use of the Eng-Tips Forums.

RE: Smart metering in residential buildings

Don't forget that modern seniors are not like those of previous generations. They are much more active and less likely to be sitting in their rooms waiting for the call from St. Peter.

FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Smart metering in residential buildings

Thank you IRstuff and vpl for your responses.

1. The common areas are heated/cooled usually all the time except when staff or senior residents turn it up/down.

2. The ventilation in common areas is on all the time.

3. The temperature settings in common areas is generally increased and decreased based on the time of the year, but again irrespective of occupancy levels, I would assume it to be on all the times.

4. The power in individual apartments is paid by the tenants/senior residents hence we do not have any application for metering in that specific area. They are more or less occupied depending on the condition. The common areas such as lounge are occupied most of the time during the day.

5. The buildings are existing. I am considering feasibility of having a smart meter in the building to understand the building's peak demand. But with systems on most of the time, is having a smart meter a good idea?

RE: Smart metering in residential buildings

It's possible the smart meters are being installed for other reasons.

In my son's area, citizens are being offered 'deregulated' power, i.e., the ability to buy electricity from any of several supplier utilities. No one seems to be proposing installation of multiple conductor sets on the poles. Apparently the smart meters allow the selling utilities to read the meters individually, or at least to remotely audit whatever data is provided by the existing utility.

I'm a little puzzled about how upkeep of the infrastructure will be allocated. Most likely it will be deferred forever, with repairs made as necessary and paid for with electronic data exchange among selling utilities.

The whole thing bodes ill. ... at least if decomposition of the Bell megalith is any indication.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Smart metering in residential buildings

the smart meter will allow billing intervals of 15 minutes, so you sign up for that deregulated power and when you realize that warm up that can of beans at 6:00 pm costs $.08 and if you wait until 9:00 pm it'll cost $.04, you can change your whole life around that meter, that's why it's so smart, it knows how to control you!

RE: Smart metering in residential buildings

1. The common areas are heated/cooled usually all the time except when staff or senior residents turn it up/down.

I would argue that while the common areas have continuous control, their power loads still vary as a function of time of day. To wit, at 3am, there is no food service, hence there will be no one in the eating areas, and the A/C adjusts accordingly to accommodate the reduced heat load. Likewise, the overall heating/cooling loads must still follow the diurnal pattern of the sun. So regardless, there will be a fluctuation in power load as a function of time of day.

A couple of your other points seem to talk about constant TEMPERATURE, which is not the same as constant power. Even then, the operators of the home may realize that running heat into an empty cafeteria area at 4am is silly and costs money.

FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Smart metering in residential buildings

Whether it is smart to have them or not depends only on how you will use them, or the data they produce, (presumably) to regulate and/or divert your current peak power consumption to off-peak time periods. If you see no opportunity for that, then maybe you still need the data that these things can produce to evaluate that question further. Maybe just their monitoring capacity and using that load/time information to switch off systems that really arn't being utilized at any time could be another reason you might want them. "To raise awareness" and bring that to action. Use your imagination. If you have flat loads, or flat billing rates all day and night, no, forget about them.

What would you be doing, if you knew that you could not fail? Ans. Bonds and derivative brokering.

RE: Smart metering in residential buildings

You may want to look at data loggers if interested in having something detachable and usable at different locations.

RE: Smart metering in residential buildings

Thank you everyone for valuable inputs.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close