Submeters and Analytics: Non-Invasive Gas Meter

Leaked natural gas is 34 times worse than CO2 emissions, and tracking leaks and gas inefficiencies can be challenging.

The non-invasive submeter integrates into the BAS to facilitate anomaly detection, off-hour usage, and gas leaks. It straps to the side of the building’s existing gas meters eliminating any disruption to building operations and most hardware and labor costs.

View full-size infographic. [PDF - 338 KB]

GPG Findings 051, December 2022, Non-Invasive Low-Cost Gas Submeter.  Opportunity: How much energy
use comes from
natural gas? 30% OF ENERGY USE IN THE U.S. COMES FROM
NATURAL GAS.Leaked natural gas is 34x worse than CO2 emissions
Technology: How does the
non-invasive
submeter work? Straps-on to any existing utility meter to measure real-time,
high-resolution data. Integrated into BAS for improved visibility. Measurement and Verification: Where did M and V occur? NATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY LABORATORY (NREL) assessed the
impact of a non-invasive gas submeter provided by Vata Verks at two testbeds
in Dallas Texas: the A. Maceo Smith and Terminal Annex Federal Buildings. Results: How did the
non-invasive gas
submeter perform
in M&V? 99%
ACCURATE
COMPARED TO
UTILITY METER. Largest difference in
accuracy was 2%. QUICK
INSTALLATION
NO PIPE-CUTTING. On-site cabling and mounting
took 1 day. BAS integration
took a few days. 70% – 90%
LESS EXPENSIVE
THAN INCUMBENT. $3,000: $750 equipment, $2,350 installation
versus $10,000 to $30,000 for previous GSA
submeter installations. Lessons Learned
GSA staff plan to install the gas submeter at additional facilities using the following best practices. Select the ultra-high resolution
submeter option
For a cost difference of 10%, you get additional functionality, including minimum, maximum,
and instantaneous flow readings and higher resolution data that can detect small leaks.
Select your integration method:
JACE or network switch
Integration is simpler with a JACE but available ports may be limited. The network switch
requires additional permissions to communicate on the GSA network.
Install when gas is being
consumed
Calibrating during winter months is more accurate, especially for compensated gas meters.
The vendor keeps a library of gas meter k-factors, which can streamline calibration.
Allow for k-factor adjustment
within the BAS wire sheet
Updates can then be made in the BAS, instead of physically connecting to the submeter.
Non-GSA sites can remote into the device using TelNet or a web server.
For installation, work with a
single contractor
Work with the same contractor to run cabling and install an electrical outlet.
Install in an enclosure The enclosure should include a dedicated electrical outlet to energize the device.
For integration, work with your
BAS subcontractor
Contracting BAS integration as part of normally scheduled duties will streamline the
process and reduce costs.
Terminal emulators are needed Terminal emulators such as Terra Term or PuTTY are needed to configure the submeter. Deployment: Where does
M&V recommend
deploying noninvasive
submeters?  SUPPORTS POLICY/REPORTING GOALS
Including requirements for the Energy Independence and Security Act.6 Best suited to
buildings that have an integrated BAS and whole-building or equipment-specific meters
Submeter also measures water flow, though this functionality was not tested. [PDF - 338 KB]


Reference above to any specific commercial product, process or service does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof.

Last Reviewed: 2023-01-09