"If you build them, we will buy." That is what U.S. manufacturers are being told by a coalition that includes the U.S. government and more than 200 companies in the commercial building sector. What the coalition wants is a wireless sub-meter that costs less than $100 and allows users to identify money-saving opportunities in energy use.
At least 18 manufacturers had already agreed to participate in the challenge as of early June, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Those manufacturers, which include Dent Instruments, Eaton Corp., Schneider Electric and Leviton, have pledged to meet specifications outlined by the DOE and private-sector partners that have signed letters of intent to purchase the wireless sub-meters.
The Energy Department notes that sub-meters alone don't save energy. Instead, they provide users with information required to identify energy-saving opportunities. While wireless sub-meters are available today, they typically cost about $1,000 per installation, the energy agency said.
Among the private-sector organizations that have issued the wireless sub-meter challenge are Stanford University, Whole Foods Market and Yum Brands.