Washington, DC, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- April 5, 2013 - The Building Technologies Office in the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy office is to launch the Low-cost Wireless Meter Challenge to industry to produce a cost effective, wireless metering system capable of electrical energy measurement at various locations in a building and wireless communication to a remote data collection point within the building complex.

The primary goal of the program is to catalyze the development of low cost panel level metering solutions. Selected devices may, in some cases, also be applicable to a whole building application, although that application is outside the scope of this challenge.

The basis for the Challenge is that while it is technically possible to get (near) real time, granular energy use data for even the most complex building, many decision makers do not have that information, as the high cost of purchasing and installing additional meters is prohibitive. This is particularly critical in jurisdictions where metering of building energy use is required by law, such as the federal sector and a growing number of markets like New York City.

The market is in need of reliable, cost effective metering systems. It is estimated that using metering systems in buildings result in energy efficient actions that deliver electricity energy savings of at least 2 percent.

DOE intends that demand side interest from commercial sector actors will form a compelling incentive to manufacturers to provide low cost, reliable metering devices. Manufacturers will see benefits from DOE raising awareness about the need for metering by working with Better Buildings Alliance (BBA) members and other stakeholders to implement technologies. DOE will also provide technical assistance in the form of 3rd party verification and testing of the challenge technologies. DOE can then drive the implementation of electric metering through lower pricing and a greater understanding of the performance of the technologies.

The performance specification for the Challenge, which was developed with input from federal agencies and members of the BBA, is now available for review, with comments due by April 23. Thereafter the revised specification will be presented by DOE on April 30. Manufacturers will then be able to indicate their intention to participate with a letter of intent.

Commercial building owners from both the government and private sector will also be able to signal their support by providing letters outlining their interest in technologies that meet or exceed the Challenge specification. It is anticipated that commercial sector organizations will be able to purchase and demonstrate through case studies products that meet the specifications.

The Challenge will then be formally launched in late May.