Gain Control, Save Money and Help The Environment
Author: Darren A. Cooper, P.Eng, LEED® AP, CBCP, President Renteknik Group Inc.
With Canada on the path to investing millions of dollars to increase efficiencies, sustainability and reduce our carbon footprint, Smart water meters are stepping-in and replacing conventional, mechanical meters as renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar emerge.
Smart meters offer immediate end-user benefits, such as more accurate and potentially lower bills – based on consumers changing their behaviour due to greater visibility of their consumption. If everyone uses less energy, the reduction in emissions would be considerable and help in obtaining the 2050 emissions targets.
The days when water was simply consumed without constraint at a low yearly cost is long gone. Water is a precious and limited resource that can and must be metered as accurately as possible.
The powerful information your business will gain using smart versus mechanical water metering will allow you to see exactly where your company needs to focus its operational efforts and goals. Remote reading will enable you to eliminate misreading errors and time-consuming follow ups.
Providing real-time updates, smart water meters will allow you to monitor your water usage as it happens. Through an online dashboard, you can understand when and where your water is used. You can view your monthly, daily and real-time consumption in easy to understand graphs.
Access to easy and secure meter data – without having to disturb the end-users will increase the quality of your analytics and makes it easier to report as you review consumption and supply data from readings made at the same time. The increased reading frequency allows you to evaluate your improvements and discover problems a lot sooner and easier, than with traditional mechanical metering, which is typically just once a year.
You will begin to notice that your energy consumption and carbon emissions will decrease and improve your bottom line by understanding and avoiding peak demand so you can improve your overall building operations.
Smart water meters are designed to help you reduce excess water usage and take control of your consumption. It is also accurate, quick and simple to use on a daily or weekly basis. Once businesses adopt these methods, they’ll find more opportunities to optimize their water usage, have less waste and save time and money.
Traditional water meters are not only less accurate than smart meters, but they tend to lose accuracy over time as they age. The equipment must be replaced every 15-20 years on average.
One of the biggest water management problems in the utilities industry is inaccurate readings. That’s because they can result in inaccurate billing and many customer complaints.
A smart meter is more sensitive to low water flows, making it noticeably more accurate and providing in-depth reports. In contrast, a traditional water meter measures total consumption of a building or home, meaning leaks are difficult to detect and customers struggle to pinpoint inefficiencies.
Cleaner & Greener
As governments and utilities worldwide look to conserve energy and reduce carbon footprint, they are using wireless Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to transform traditional energy infrastructure into interconnected “smart grids.” Smart metering is an essential element in smart grid implementations.
Improving daily operations is vital for our environment and carbon footprint. Smart metering provides the basis for businesses to improve their daily consumption and overall building operations. With a better understanding of usage, it’s easier to see where small changes can be made to reduce energy consumption and lower energy emissions. This leads to lower bill payments and a smaller carbon footprint.
Smart metering also opens the door to better manage the supply and demand of energy to reduce waste, and also shift energy usage away from traditional peak times, which are currently reliant on fossil fuel energy, making more use of renewables.
Smart meters also provide more flexibility to businesses. By monitoring usage through collecting, analyzing and reporting on consumption, supply and demand, it can then be determined how to save water during peak times or other significant times of the year.
We all want an energy system that is geared to the future, not the past. And to make big changes, sometimes we have to start small. Smart meters can’t solve climate change on their own, but with a smarter, more efficient energy system they help to create a noticeable step in the right direction.
Imagine a scenario where a company’s heating system is leaking water. If the problem goes unnoticed in the basement of their facility, the building manager is on the hook for thousands of gallons of wasted water.
Now imagine that same building manager has the ability to detect that the water has been running in the basement at this facility for the past twenty-four hours. Detecting, managing and fixing this utility issue can help solve a wasteful situation, that could have gone unnoticed for an extensive amount of time, resulting in an expensive issue and potential water damage.
Traditional water meters do not perform well when it comes to detecting and measuring low flows, missing the mark and signal on detecting leaks. Newer water metering technologies are sensitive to low flows and are therefore more reliable at detecting and reporting leaks.
“Smart Meter With Ears”
The most effective way to find leaks in underground water pipes is with acoustic water leak detection equipment. This new technology allows for audible mechanical vibration if a water leak is present.
Identifying and locating system leaks can be difficult. Acoustic leak-detection technologies use sound waves to help locate leaks in distribution systems and prioritize leak repair by identifying the largest leaks. Having the means to target the problem area(s) for repair or replacement is important for effective building management and water conservation.
A Danish company called Kamstrup sees non-revenue water as one of the main challenges driving innovation, with many utilities locating leaks like “finding a needle in a haystack due to limited knowledge”.
Kamstrup and a third-party agency conducted a survey among 37 utilities in Northern Europe, finding that 31 per cent of the water loss comes from leaks in service connections and 36 per cent from leaks on distribution mains. SOURCE: https://www.aquatechtrade.com/news/article/smart-meters-tech-dive/
Driven by this data and feedback, Kampstrup developed a brand new system that combines smart metering and acoustic leak detection technologies.
The flowIQ 2200, is the “smart water meter with ears”.
Contact Us Today To Learn More & For A Quote!
HOW COLETTE COOPER TRANSITIONED FROM TRAINED NURSE TO SELF-TAUGHT CO-OWNER OF A SUCCESSFUL ENGINEERING COMPANY
With four small children and the challenges of juggling home, her nursing career, and her husband having his own business, Colette Cooper made the decision to step away from a demanding career as an intensive care nurse — and never went back. Instead, she joined forces with her husband Darren, ultimately taking on the role of Executive Vice President at Renteknik, their energy efficiency and operational management, engineering and consulting company.
by Shelley White
When Colette Cooper first entered the world of entrepreneurship alongside her husband Darren 16 years ago, she thought it was just a temporary career change.
Colette was an intensive care nurse by training, and had stepped away from that demanding career to look after her four small children. Darren had just started a renewable energy engineering company and asked Colette to help him structure the business. She found the new vocation suited her and that she and her husband made a great team.
“I’m a better mom when I’m doing things, and I’m a career-driven individual,” says Colette, who’s based in Burlington, Ontario. “Darren’s very entrepreneurial, very personable, he can inspire confidence to embrace change with anybody. I’m more behind the scenes — very organized, very ‘Type A.’ But everybody has their strengths and I think that’s why we work so well together.”
Now, Colette is Co-Owner and Executive Vice President of Renteknik, an energy efficiency and operational management, engineering and consulting company. She and Darren founded Renteknik with a since-retired colleague nine years ago. Colette says they came up with the name, which means “clean technology” in Swedish, around a kitchen table over a few cups of coffee.
“We are a boutique company working with our clients using state-of-the-art, real-time technologies to monitor their operations, efficiency and productivity,” Colette says. “If there is energy wastage, we can identify operational efficiency and energy management opportunities, helping them to be more competitive and successful and also sustainable from an environmental standpoint.”
The company’s clients include hospitals, arenas, recreation complexes, office buildings and manufacturing facilities across Canada (with some clients in the U.S.). Renteknik leverages innovative technologies like the ClimaCheck Performance Analyzer, which optimizes HVAC systems by recording and reporting on operations in real time. Another important technology is Panoramic Power, which provides wireless electricity monitoring through self-powering wireless sensors to identify malfunctions and inefficiencies through a cloud based software platform.
Colette says they are currently working on integrating their different analytical platforms into a single watchdog-type software portal that both they and their clients will be able to use.
“It’s going to provide the visibility that our clients need to achieve greater efficiency and fuel their business success,” she says.
Renteknik has been helped along in their quest to create this software portal through Cisco’s Women Entrepreneurs’ Circle (WEC) — and more specifically, the Circle of Innovation program that’s a part of this broader initiative. WEC is designed to provide technological and advisory support for women-owned and part-owned businesses across the country, and the Circle of Innovation pairs up companies with interns from Canadian universities to help them complete specific technological goals and projects. Colette says she heard about the program through their relationship with BDC — Canada’s bank for entrepreneurs, and a key supporter of the Circle of Innovation program.
“BDC brought forward this opportunity for us and said, ‘Your company is 50 per cent owned by a woman. And we think that this would be a wonderful opportunity for you,’” Colette says.
“I try and take every opportunity to influence and show other women that it is not just about getting a business education or being the smartest or prettiest. I am self-taught in business and have achieved success by following my core values which include responsibility, integrity, creativity, learning, teamwork and partnership.”
This past summer, Renteknik was paired up with Harsh Guraya, a McMaster University student in his third year of the Electrical and Biomedical Engineering Program. Colette says the experience was a positive one, and she would recommend the program to other women entrepreneurs.
“Through Harsh’s contribution, we are well on our way to completing the back-end stage of the project,” she says. “So we’re working now towards creating a front-end solution that will incorporate automatic analysis and machine learning algorithms.”
Colette says programs like WEC are crucial supports for women entrepreneurs. As a female business owner in a male-dominated industry, Colette says she sometimes struggled to get the respect she deserved. “It would be like, ‘Oh, you’re in business because your Darren’s wife,’” she says. Now, she hopes she can be a role model for other women entrepreneurs in male-dominated spaces.
“I try and take every opportunity to influence and show other women that it is not just about getting a business education or being the smartest or prettiest,” she says. “I am self-taught in business and have achieved success by following my core values which include responsibility, integrity, creativity, learning, teamwork and partnership.”
Colette says she also feels good about the WEC program because it provides valuable learning opportunities for the students who take part as interns. At Renteknik, providing opportunities to students and new graduates is a key priority, she adds, as they are our future.
“Our company is very multicultural, and we’ve hired a lot of people that couldn’t get their foot in the door in Canada,” she says. “And we have a lot of women professionals including engineers, we’re probably at about a 40/60 split.”
With their tech goals on the road to completion, Colette says she and Darren have plans to expand their services throughout Canada and beyond. She admits that being an entrepreneur can be challenging — “It’s not for everyone,” she says — but over the years, she and Darren have figured out how to keep their home lives and their business lives in balance.
“I think that it’s just all about communication,” she says. “And our kids, we’ve brought them up to know that you don’t get anywhere in life if you don’t work hard. We all just have to work together.”
The Cisco Women Entrepreneurs’ Circle — a program led by Cisco in partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) — addresses some of the obstacles women-led businesses face in building their tech capabilities.
October 31, 2019
This week, we present a special episode in collaboration with Centrica Business Solutions and GTM Creative Strategies.
For the last decade and a half, we’ve been hearing about how the internet-of-things would completely reshape how our buildings operate — and how people operate within them.
But while the layer of digital tech in buildings is advancing all the time, the IOT revolution is taking longer to play out than some expected.
“In short, a lot of the promise has not been fulfilled,” says Paul Kuehn, a senior sales director for distributed energy at Centrica Business Solutions.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily a measure of the technology at this point. We’ve gotten past the hype of having the devices. It’s the use of the devices and the competency of the operators to be able to figure out how to solve problems with those devices,” explains Kuehn.
By next year, there will be 10 billion IOT devices connected to the cloud globally. In another three years, the number will more than double to 22 billion.
Billions of those devices — sensors, intelligent lighting and HVAC systems, control systems — are being deployed in commercial buildings and industrial facilities. They’re making buildings smarter. But are they making the people who run buildings any smarter?
We brought Paul Kuehn together with Darren Cooper, the president of Renteknik Group, to answer that question and discuss the state of play for IOT in C&I buildings.
This podcast was produced on behalf of Centrica Business Solutions. Centrica is using analytics, market know-how, and distributed technologies to help C&I customers take control of their energy use and improve their environmental performance.
Through the implementation of an Energy Management Information System (EMIS) the goal is to engage individuals on all levels of an organization. Guiding our Clients through the various phases of the EMIS, we are able to provide them with the in depth visibility on energy usage and performance they require to make informed decisions and take effective actions to manage energy use and costs.
With Renteknik’s expertise and knowledge we can implement an Operational Efficiency & Energy Management Plan that is unique to each Client that focuses on their financial planning, project and resource needs.
Throughout the EMIS process there is a deep focus on improvements, integration of efficiency implementations, ongoing communication, optimized performance analysis and reporting on systems on a continuous basis.
An energy management information system (EMIS) is a performance management system that enables individuals and organizations to plan, make decisions and take effective actions to manage energy use and costs.
An EMIS makes energy performance visible to different levels of the organization by converting energy and utility driver data at energy account centres into energy performance information. It does this by using performance equations that are compared with the organization’s energy targets.
Implement an EMIS in your organization
There are three phases to developing an EMIS.
Phase 1: EMIS Audit
An EMIS audit is an in-depth, eight-step process that will help your organization find out how much energy it is using, identify gaps and make recommendations. Critically, it will help you determine whether there is a financial case for implementing EMIS.
Phase 2: Implementation Plan
This phase shows you accurate costs for implementing EMIS and details the scope of the project and the resources your organization needs to manage it. It also gives you a schedule to implement and manage an EMIS
Phase 3: Implementation
The implementation phase allows your organization to make continuous energy efficiency improvements. Once all aspects of your plan are implemented, your EMIS will:
- Gather information on energy consumption
- Gather information on the useful outputs that result from the consumption of energy
- Gather information on any other factors that may affect energy consumption
- Contain analysis routines that allow you to compare between energy consumption and utility drivers
- Build and display energy performance reports
For more information, read the guidebook for managers, engineers and operational staff called Energy Management Information Systems: Achieving Improved Energy Efficiency (PDF, 1.14 MB).
Our mandate is to empower our Clients in every area of the
organization, whether with Owners, Managers, Engineers, Finance or Operational Staff to see what is happening within their businesses. With EMIS in place Improved Energy Efficiency can be achieved, ultimately saving your business money and contributing to overall sustainability.
Contact us today for a FREE Consultation to discuss how we can support your business to receive the NRCan EMIS Program financial assistance, manage your energy and operational efficiency needs and provide you with solutions that will benefit your business and bottom line.
To Note: Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) provides cost-shared financial assistance to Canadian industrial companies of up to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $40,000. NRCan may adjust its level of funding if combined with other sources of funding, so that the combined level from all public sources (including provincial-territorial-municipal governments and Crown-owned utilities) does not exceed 75% of total eligible project costs.
CLIMATE ACTION INCENTIVE FUND:
Small and Medium sized Enterprises Project stream
The Climate Action Incentive Fund (CAIF) SME Project stream provides support to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for retrofit projects in sectors such as Building, Transportation, Industry, Waste, Agriculture, and more.
The CAIF program is available to applicants operating in the provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick.
90 days starting July 17, 2019, or until funding exhausted.
- Small-sized incorporated enterprises of 1-99 employees
- Medium-sized incorporated enterprises of 100-499 employees
(Note: Participants in the Output-Based Pricing System are not eligible.)
Eligible rebate amount
- Up to 25% of project’s total eligible costs
- No less than $20,000 CAD and no more than $250,000 CAD per project and per recipient
- A $250,000 CAD funding cap will apply to the group of applicant franchisees who operate under the same franchise trade name in each eligible province
Eligible project categories (non-exhaustive) and sample activities
- Changes to agricultural processes to improve energy efficiency
- Fuel switching to lower emitting energy sources in agricultural operations
- Other energy efficiency measures in the agricultural sector
- Enhancements to building envelope (with direct energy savings), including energy efficient windows/doors/skylights, increased insulation, weatherproofing, and glazing
- Energy efficient lighting system
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment/systems/controls
- Water heating retrofits, including high efficiency condensing water heating
- High-efficiency motors and controls
- Energy management controls, including building automation systems
- Fuel switching to lower emitting energy sources in existing buildings
Electricity, energy or fuel production
- District energy (heating and/or cooling)
- Combined heat and power for own use
- Renewable energy systems (e.g. solar photovoltaic, wind energy, micro-hydro, stand-alone storage systems) on-site and for own-use
- Low-emission fuel production for own-use
Industrial process improvements
- Retrofitting and upgrading of existing equipment used for industrial processes
- Fuel switching to lower emitting energy sources
- Process changes
- Waste-heat recovery
- Heavy-duty vehicle retrofits, including energy efficiency and/or fuel switching to lower emitting sources
- Marine vehicle retrofits, including energy efficiency and/or fuel switching to lower emitting sources
- Energy efficiency measures in waste management
Application Guide: Preview the Applicant Guide.
Important: The act of submitting an Application Form and Application Certification does not guarantee selection nor provision of funding under the Climate Action Incentive Fund SMEs Project stream.