Energy consumption is becoming an increasingly important topic for organizations today, particularly as ambitious net zero targets and rising energy costs put mounting pressure on companies to optimize operations and decrease unnecessary consumption. To help, the Department of Energy (DOE) recently released the latest Federal Metering Guidance, which provides best practices for metering energy consumption and production in federal buildings.  

Though this guidance is aimed specifically at federal buildings, it can be utilized by all organizations that want to improve their energy efficiency, reduce energy costs, decrease energy waste, and contribute to a sustainable energy future.  

Here’s everything you should know about these new policies and how to meet the latest metering guidelines.  



Federal Metering Guidance: The Basics

Understanding The Latest Guidance

The U.S. Department of Energy is required by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to establish guidelines for agencies to meter their federal buildings for energy – including electricity, natural gas, and steamand water use. To help agencies meet their metering requirements, the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) provides guidance, templates, best practices, and more.

The Federal Metering Guidance (Per Energy Act of 2020, Sec. 1002(g)) October 2022 update replaces the November 2014 guidance and provides the framework for federal agencies to establish and implement comprehensive and consistent metering practices for their energy consumption.

The key elements included in this guidance are:  

  1. Metering Requirements: The guidance mandates the installation of meters for measuring electricity, natural gas, steam, and water consumption in federal buildings, grounds, and vehicles. 
  2. Data Collection: The guidance requires agencies to collect, store, and analyze energy consumption data from meters and other energy management systems. 
  3. Energy Performance: Agencies must use the energy consumption data collected from meters to evaluate energy performance, identify opportunities for energy savings, and measure progress towards energy reduction goals. 
  4. Implementation Plan: Agencies are required to develop and implement an Energy Management Program (EMP) that includes a plan for implementing the metering requirements. 
  5. Reporting: Agencies must report their energy consumption data to the Department of Energy (DOE) and make it available to the public. 
  6. Compliance: Agencies must comply with the guidance and follow the EMP to ensure consistent and effective metering practices. 
  7. Technical Assistance: The DOE is required to provide technical assistance and guidance to agencies to help them implement the guidance and meet the metering requirements. 

Why Does Metering the Guidance Matter?

Meeting the metering guidance is important for several reasons. First, metering energy usage is essential for agencies to understand how much energy they are consuming, which helps them identify areas where they can reduce energy usage and costs. Additionally, having accurate and reliable metering data provides agencies with the information they need to make informed decisions about energy management and conservation. 

There Are Roadblocks

That said, despite the importance of meeting the metering guidance, there are several common roadblocks that agencies face. One of the biggest challenges is the age of the building, as older buildings often lack the necessary infrastructure to support modern metering systems. Another common roadblock is a lack of budget or resources to upgrade or install new metering systems, as well as lack of resources to focus on these initiatives.


How to Get It Right: Key Takeaways and How to Meet the Guidance

There are many important takeaways that organizations can take from the latest guidance. Specifically, organizations looking to optimize energy consumption can and should:

Implement Comprehensive Energy Management Programs

One of the key components of the DOE's latest federal metering guidance is the requirement for organizations to implement a comprehensive energy management program. This program should include regular monitoring and analysis of energy consumption, as well as the development and implementation of strategies to reduce energy waste.

The DOE also recommends the use of advanced metering technologies like Accruent Observe for Energy Management to provide more detailed and accurate data on energy consumption.

Establish Clear Energy Goals and Targets

Another important aspect of the DOE's latest federal metering guidance is the requirement for organizations to establish clear goals and targets for energy efficiency. The guidance suggests setting achievable, measurable, and time-bound goals for reducing energy waste, as well as tracking progress towards these goals using regular reporting and analysis. This information can be used to identify areas for improvement and to adjust energy management strategies as needed.

Adopt a Continuous Improvement Approach to Energy Management

The DOE also recommends that organizations adopt a continuous improvement approach to energy management, which involves regularly reviewing and refining energy management strategies in response to changes in the business environment, new technologies, and shifting energy market conditions.

Specifically, this approach can include the implementation of new technologies – like robust IoT solutions – that allow teams to act as soon as an energy demand response is needed. Such solutions remove the dependence on human interaction to correct energy usage and allow for a more proactive approach to the problem. This can ultimately help organizations stay ahead of the curve, stay on top of the latest developments in energy management, and make the most of new opportunities to save energy and reduce costs.

The Right Technology Can Help

The right technology can make all the difference here. Specifically, an advanced metering system like Accruent Observe for Energy Management can be retrofitted into older buildings to provide accurate and reliable metering data.

Furthermore, it can be used to help agencies analyze and manage their energy usage, making it easier for them to meet the DOE's metering guidance. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


Final Thoughts: Anyone Can Improve Energy Consumption

By following these steps and implementing the right technology, organizations can ensure that they meet the latest federal metering guidance from the DOE and make the most of opportunities to improve their energy efficiency, reduce energy costs, and contribute to a sustainable energy future.