10 Smart-Meter Answers - why gas before electricity ?

Hopefully this short post will spark or fire up some debate.

Assume you have 100 buildings and 100 smart-meters and each building uses gas for heating & hot water and electricity for cooling and lights, socket loads etc. So each building for primary utility supply requires two smart-meters without considering water.

So should you install smart gas meters then electricity or vice-verse ? I know what I think - read on..

Obviously the right answer is install any 100 and save enough fast to pay for the rest.  Sadly life is rarely so simple.

So here in my view are 10 reasons why gas comes first. Any comments, feedback or arguments happily incorporated...

  1. Heating Load and Gas use are not simultaneous whereas most electrical consumption is simultaneous. This makes gas harder to understand and so visualizations more valuable.
  2. Gas is harder to meter - volume-pressure variances and calorific variances do not happen with kWe so it will take longer to sort out gas - so start it earlier for a complete picture.
  3. Heat loads are less visible to occupants than light or PCs left on. So tracking facilities are more important.  (A boiler running all night is unobserved - less true of lights)
  4. Heat use is generally more automated where electrical loads are manual.  You can train staff to make electricity savings but not how to re-sequence a boiler demand sequencer.
  5. Heating controls are overridden when plant is maintained - this creates an opportunity for a fail (if controls are not re-instituted) and a fail can be extremely expensive (boilers are more all or nothing than say the LED screen on your desk)
  6. Excess or irrational heating triggers cooling demand, but excess cooling is more generally corrected at or near point of use.
  7. Excess heat in winter is easily dumped from a building (opening windows). By contrast excess cooling is most easily corrected with a local control. (Similar to last point)
  8. Heating wins are often more significant (for many of the reasons above) - a simple time-clock or schedule setting is very likely to save 20% or more - this is far less true of electricity.
  9. Gas is generally used by a small number of devices - interpretation or dis-aggregation of totals is obvious so analysis is more directly actionable.
  10. This ones a stretch - you probably thought I think electricity is the obvious one - so at least mull it over !
Think of any more or disagree - please comment below.  Best comment wins a guest post !

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