Original Energy and NYSERDA Enter Partnership to Reduce Oil Consumption
Jim Slattery’s article for MANN Report Management originally published in the October 2016 issue. View Original Article
Retro may be in style–but not when it comes to ’60s-era methods of measuring and delivering oil in a multifamily building. However, many companies in the oil and energy industry still opt for this outdated gauging technology, called a petrometer, or are unaware of the newer technologies that exist.
While these companies have yet to catch on to newer methods of measuring oil, Original Energy has been selling digital fuel gauges, which measure oil in real time, for many years.
Situations in the oil and energy industry have basically sold these gauges for Original Energy, a full-service provider of energy services to commercial and residential clients in New York City, Westchester and Long Island.
Original Energy’s experience with these innovative gauges have led to a unique pilot project with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which announced in June that Original will lead its first-ever monitoring and measurement test pilot of #2 oil fuel consumption in mid-sized to large multifamily buildings.
The pilot, which will initially launch in 10 buildings and then expand as budgets allow, will examine oil consumption through two installed measuring devices: an ultrasonic tank gauge and an oil flow meter, which serve as verification instruments to test the accuracy of oil reserves, deliveries and real-time burn quantities
Readings from these devices are transmitted via the Internet in five-minute intervals, which eliminates the large blocks of time between oil bills and enhances the ability to truly identify oil efficiency opportunities. Dean Zias, Project Manager for NYSERDA indicates that, “NYSERDA’s ultimate goal is to bring measurement of oil consumption on par with how it measures electricity and gas in real time.”
These tools will also help verify and track a building’s daily inventory, which helps them comply with NYS Department of Environmental Conservation regulations and prevents unnecessary runouts of oil. Eliminating runouts reduces the risk of thousands of dollars in service calls to clean equipment and deliver new heating oil.
There are many benefits to these digital gauges, according to Original Energy. For one, it provides transparency in the delivery process.
“When a truck delivered 2,000 gallons and the gauge reports there are only 1,800 gallons actually added in the tank, it begs the question of where the other 200 gallons went,” explains Original Energy Director of Operations Kenneth Camilleri. “This provides a checks-and-balances system and prevents inaccurate deliveries.”
Additionally, it keeps owners and building managers in the know. They can visit a website, punch in the building’s access code, and look at a screen to determine whether the property is burning more oil than it should, using information gleaned for efficiency projects. The software also warns them if they’ve gone over a preset percentage of oil–for instance, if there’s less than 25% oil left in the tank, contact personnel would receive an email alert. Oil levels can easily be overlooked, and then suddenly, you have hundreds of tenants with no heat or hot water.
Lastly, the gauges can help reduce emissions from oil delivery trucks through increased efficiency of scheduled oil deliveries and allow an owner to know exactly how much oil is remaining in the tank, so they won’t be afraid of ordering too much.
Camilleri reports that Original Energy has solicited the first 10 buildings and is scheduling the installation of the gauges in all buildings. Additionally, flow meters will be installed within four of those buildings. The monitoring will take place over a year with a three-year follow-up; the pilot will then evaluate all the benefits of the devices in their analyses, producing a final report pointing to the energy efficiency savings opportunities possible.
While it’s too early to determine the results of the pilot program, Original Energy customers who already use the devices have realized significant cost reductions and an approximate 10% to 15% savings on consumption.
While the NYSERDA test pilot program is focused initially on 10 buildings, the gauges are available for purchase directly from Original Energy if a building owner assumes the cost–typically a few hundred dollars.
To learn more about this program or the gauges offered, contact Original Energy.
Jim Slattery, President