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GUIDE TO

COLLECTING & ANALYS


ANALYSING
ENERGY CONSUMPTION DATA

FOR TEACHERS & STUDENTS

By Clare Pries

April 2008

Coolmob trading as Environment Centre Northern Territory, April 2008


COLLECTING & ANALYS
ANALYSING
ENERGY CONSUMPTION DATA
The first step in conducting an energy audit is the collection and analysis of energy
consumption data. Tracking past and present energy consumption provides information on
how much and when energy is being used, this information in turn can help to determine if
energy is being wasted or saved.

What type of energy is used at your school?


Though the focus of this guide is primarily to help teachers and students achieve electrical
energy savings at their schools there are a number of other forms of energy which are also
consumed. A complete energy audit would include all forms of energy.
 Electrical energy
 Diesel & petrol (school busses and maintenance vehicles)
 Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) (water heating, learning activities, vehicles)

Collecting the data


NT Government schools have been set up with their own account on the web-based Schools
Environment Tracking System (SETS) which should include historic electrical energy use data
for your school1. SETS is an energy and waste tracking system developed and maintained by a
company called Carbonetix http://www.carbonetix.com.au/. Carbonetix may be able to set up
accounts for private schools for approximately $100 a year and a $100 set up fee.

SETS has been set up and customised for each school with information such as school location,
enclosed floor area and enrolled student numbers. Electricity billing information will be
automatically loaded to the SETS database each billing period. SETS will immediately provide
you with your schools electrical energy history and allow you to monitor your progress in
reducing energy usage.

SETS can also be used to track paper and other waste as well as any gas used, however these
items will require you to manually input this information. SETS will allow you to compare your
school with other schools in your cluster.

Assessing and on-going monitoring monthly consumption through SETS is a crucial ingredient
for good school energy management. When energy auditing a school it is also worth reviewing
energy use data in more detail.

To assess if savings are being made at your school through efficiency actions, your current
energy consumption can be obtained on a monthly basis through energy bills or on an hourly,
daily, or weekly basis, by reading your energy meters (see section on reading meters below).
Maintenance personnel should be approached to establish the location of meters and if there
are access/safety restrictions. Where access to the electricity meter is not an option and your
school is serviced by an electronic meter, a detailed load profile can be obtained from your
energy provider and can provide excellent information on when energy is used at your school
(see student activities at the end of this section).

Presenting the data


Create a graph showing the historical monthly data collected, this is best done by using an
excel spreadsheet. Future consumption data can continue to be added to the work book to
monitor the impact of energy efficiency changes and to pick up if energy is being wasted.

1
This has been established by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure and the Department of Employment, Education and
Training on schools behalf.
Total kWh's
70000
2005 2006 2007
60000

50000

40000

30000

20000

10000

0
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Month

An example of a schools historical electrical energy consumption


Figure 1

For schools which have an electronic meter installed the billing data is supplied for each month
and can be charted as above, for schools which have disk meters installed the billing data may
span over varying numbers of days depending on when the meters are read. For these schools
the chart should be based on the average daily consumption for the month, not total monthly
data, to produce a more accurate comparison between each previous years data.

Create graphs for current daily and/or weekly consumption data.

kWh
1600.00
7-DAY ELECTRICAL ENERGY CONSUMPTION
1400.00

1200.00

1000.00

WEDNESDAY
800.00 6/06/2007
FRIDAY
MONDAY TUESDAY THURSDAY
600.00 8/06/2007
4/06/2007 5/06/2007 7/06/2007

400.00

200.00 SATURDAY SUNDAY


2/06/2007 3/06/2007

0.00

Figure 2
Analysing the data

Seasonal trends
 Is less energy being used during school holiday breaks? High energy use over these
periods would indicate that energy is being wasted
 Is more energy being used in the Wet or Dry season? Air-conditioning accounts for the
majority of electrical energy used in Top-End schools so energy consumption should be
highest in the warmest months.

Monthly comparisons
 Are there any major differences between the same months between each year? Some
possible reasons for the difference in energy consumption include: annual variation in
the number of school days for a month; additional after hours use of air-conditioners
due to special activities (planned) or incorrect timer operation (unplanned); higher or
lower than average weather conditions; installation of new energy consuming
equipment; un-maintained or faulty air-conditioning systems; energy efficiency
improvements.

Weekly consumption profile


 How does energy use throughout the week change? Find the cause for higher or lower
than average week-day energy use, there could be an obvious reason such as planned
special activities (for example large energy consuming lights being used at assembly
once a week) or it may be less obvious such as maintenance to school facilities.
 Is weekend energy use higher than expected? Some appliances need to operate over the
week-end (security lighting, timers, some refrigeration, computer servers) so there will
always be a load, however the total energy consumed should be much smaller than
consumed on a school-day. High energy use on the week-end would indicate energy
waste.

Daily load profile


 Over what period of the day is most of the electrical energy consumed? Obviously for
schools this should be when students are present. Students could compare when they
use most of their energy at home with that of the schools. A very detailed daily load
profile can be produced using 15 minute electronic meter data if available. Indications on
start-up and shut-down times of the schools equipment can be obtained from this data.
This will be discussed in the student activity section.

STUDENT ACTIVITIES

1. Create spread sheets and collect data (school & home). Records of household electrical
energy consumption can be obtained from their household power bills if these are not
available their parents can request a table with this information from their energy
supplier. If access is available and all safety issues have been addressed students can
start to record daily or weekly consumption from meter readings.

DETAILS OF INVOICE

YOUR ACCOUNT
CONSUMPTION CALCULATIONS
(kWh / kL) AV.
METER BILLED CURRENT PREVIOUS USAGE x DAILY
DESCRIPTION NO DAYS READING READING RATE TYPE READ TYPE CHARGE AMOUNT

Service Charges
(Address of property)
Normal
Electricity XXXXXX 94 50850 49905 945 x 0.1438 DOMESTIC Reading $1.45 $135.89
Supply Charge
Service ID:XXXXXXX 12/02/2006 16/5/2006 FIXED DAILY CHARGE 94 days x $0.283400 $26.64

The total
The total kWhkWh
consumed over the
metered period If an estimate has been taken due
consumed over the
to access restrictions this should
metered period
be indicated here
Period of consumption

Note: If power is supplied in three phase there will be three separate readings for each meter, add
consumption figures to obtain total kWh consumed.

Example of a home power bill

Most homes in the top-end are serviced by a disk meter; Power & Water provide the following
information on their web site to help householders undertake their own meter readings.

Finding your power meter

Your power meter is usually located in a metal box on the front or side of
your house. If you live in a unit, you may have to ask your Body Corporate
where your meter is, and possibly to gain access also. Rural consumers will
usually find their power meter in a metal box on a pole at the front of their
property.

Reading the meter

Before reading meters it is important for your safety to remember once you have opened the
meter box to look but dont touch. When reading your power meter, read the meter dials
from left to right. The digits represent the amount of kilowatt hours consumed.
For example, the digits above indicate that 37,294 kilowatt hours of power have been
consumed since the meter was installed.

Though some schools will still have disk meters installed the majority will use electronic power
meters. These meters are normally encased within an electrical distribution board and can only
be accessed by authorized personnel. To record energy use on a daily or weekly basis you will
need to contact power and water to organize them to email the information to you over the
desired period being analysed.

The information that you receive will be similar to that shown in the table below. For
monitoring purposes, only the date, time and kW column are needed.

RECORDER ID DATE HOUR KW KVAR KVA PF


128780 1/03/2007 545 16.44 9.96 19.22 0.8553
128780 1/03/2007 600 16.56 10.32 19.51 0.8487
128780 1/03/2007 615 17.28 10.68 20.31 0.8506
128780 1/03/2007 630 19.56 11.28 22.58 0.8663
128780 1/03/2007 645 17.52 10.92 20.64 0.8487
128780 1/03/2007 700 24.72 17.28 30.16 0.8196
128780 1/03/2007 715 102.36 87.36 134.57 0.7606
128780 1/03/2007 730 150.84 130.44 199.42 0.7564
128780 1/03/2007 745 247.20 197.52 316.42 0.7812
128780 1/03/2007 800 252.96 202.68 324.14 0.7804
128780 1/03/2007 815 290.88 226.92 368.92 0.7885
128780 1/03/2007 830 302.16 231.12 380.42 0.7943
128780 1/03/2007 845 289.08 222.72 364.93 0.7922

Electronic meters measure the electrical load every 15 minutes and this is used to calculate the
energy that your school must pay for. To calculate the energy used over a given time period
multiply the total load by 0.25h.
For example the energy used between 6:30am and 8.00am would be:
(17.52kW + 24.72kW + 102.36kW + 150.84kW + 247.20kW + 252.96kW) x 0.25h =
198.9kWh

15 minute data is an excellent tool for checking if large loads such as air conditioners are used
during after hours periods. Using the load and time, produce a graph of your 15 minute data
over a 24 hour period to obtain a representation of the schools daily load profile.
Example of energy data tables:

HOUSEHOLD ENERGY CONSUMPTION


ELECTRICITY

24 HR CONSUMPTION
Time 7.00am 4.00pm 7.00am
Meter Reading 25432 25464 25589
kWh Consumed 5 (7am-4pm) 17 (4pm -7am)

7 DAY CONSUMPTION
(Reading to be taken at same time each day)

Day Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Mon


Meter
Reading 25432
25432 25589
25589 25614 25637 25653 25685 25713 25737
kWh Consumed
22 25 23 16 32 28 24

ANNUAL CONSUMPTION
(From Billing Data)
Billed Consumption
Days (kWh) kWh/day
92 1584 17
89 1253 14
91 1796 20
91 2243 25
Average 19

2. Chart collected data (school & home).

3. Analyse consumption patterns (school & home).

Note: If the amount of available time for data collection is limited it is recommended that priority be given to
the collection and analysis of the schools historical and current monthly data.