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Metering in Federal Buildings

The U.S. Department of Energy is required by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and Executive Order 13693 to establish guidelines for agencies to meter their federal buildings for energy (electricity, natural gas, and steam) and water. 

To help agencies meet the metering requirements, the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) provides guidance materials and a best practices guide.  

Metering Guidance and Implementation Plan Template 

The Federal Building Metering Guidance (per 42 USC 8253(e) Metering of Energy Use) November 2014 update replaces the February 2006 guidance. This revision was issued to account for current energy and water metering requirements and to reflect current metering practices within the federal government. Notable updates include:

  • Expanding the metering guidance to include energy and water
  • Revising the definitions of "appropriate" and "cost effective"
  • Including a recommended approach to prioritize the installation of meters 
  • Reiterating the requirement to incorporate metered data into agency data tracking systems.

The guidance requires federal agencies to review, revise, and submit to FEMP their metering implementation plans. Each agency’s plan must include a metering implementation plan for each individual subagency (bureau, component, or service) within its jurisdiction.

The updated agency plan shall consider resources required and prioritize metering implementation efforts for “appropriate” federal buildings over the next five years. Resource limitations may inhibit the installation of advanced meters at every “appropriate” federal building within the five-year planning cycle. Consequently, agencies should provide a path forward for remaining buildings after the initial five years.

Agencies can use the Federal Building Metering Implementation Plan Template to develop their plans.

Metering Best Practices

FEMP’s mission is directly related to achieving the requirements set forth in the Energy Policy Acts of 1992 and 2005, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and Executive Order 13693, as well as with practices that are inherent in the sound management of federal financial and personnel resources.

To that extent, FEMP published Metering Best Practices: A Guide to Achieving Utility Resource Efficiency in March 2015. This document provides energy managers and practitioners with useful information about energy and resource metering, the relevant metering technologies, communications, applications for data, and ideas for developing and implementing effective metering programs. 

The learning objectives of this guide are to: 

  • Highlight the benefits of using metered data to identify opportunities and drive cost-effective energy management and investment practices
  • Understand and be able to outline the key elements of a metering plan, including prioritization
  • Illustrate ways to use metered data to identify energy and cost saving opportunities
  • Achieve a high-level understanding of metering technologies, equipment, and applications
  • Describe the methods and approaches for building-level, distribution-level, and end-use metering
  • Explain the data communication options for metered data. 

This guide focues on providing energy, water, and facility managers and practitioners with information that facilitates using metering to achieve potential savings and benefits.