Measurements for checking consumption – "Minimal Monitoring"

Author: Soeren Peper, Passivhaus Institut Darmstadt

A key issue that often arises with reference to realised innovative, energy efficient buildings and retrofits is whether the planned low energy demand is actually achieved in a measurable way. The aim is to determine the total consumption of a building using simple means and with as little effort as possible, and to be able to differentiate between the areas for heating, hot water and electricity use as far as possible. This question has nothing to do with significantly more extensive scientific analyses.

In this connection, the term “minimal monitoring” should be understood to mean “an efficiency review of a building regarding its energy consumption using minimal effort”.

The question that arises is: what is needed to achieve this objective and what is unnecessary? What is the extent of the conclusions of such an investigation and what exactly can or cannot be said about that building? The measurement e.g. of the total gas consumption is very easy, but determining the share for heating without hot water generation, distribution and conversion losses requires much more effort. The solutions presented here are based on at least monthly meter readings taking place manually without the use of a complicated data acquisition system. They are intended to enable an initial analysis of the building without major technical effort.

Read more

Download (pdf 1,3 MB) of the report “Concept for a minimal monitoring of different buildings undergoing step-by-step energy-efficient refurbishment ” on www.europhit.eu that has been written in the context of the EuroPHit project.

Summary of minimal monitoring

The most important points regarding minimal monitoring are summarised below:

  • Monthly meter readings of all essential meters (electricity, gas, district heat) or specification of the procured quantities of firewood, wood pellets or crude oil.
  • An additional heat meter is necessary in case of a solar heating system.
  • Distribution and conversion losses are taken into account as a simplified overall value.
  • The energy consumption for hot water generation is calculated from the consumption data of the summer months. An overall adjustment can be made here additionally in order to take into account the summer/winter fluctuation in consumption of hot water.
  • In the case of apartment blocks, the non-utilisable distribution losses are taken into account as an overall value.
  • Temperature adjustment of the consumption values can be carried out optionally if there are variations from the calculated value (standard 20 °C) and these are known.
  • The total annual electricity consumption (domestic electricity and electricity for technology/auxiliary use) must be accounted (PV electricity must be taken into account using a separate feed-in meter).

Despite the limited accuracy of this method for estimation of heat consumption and disregarding of the various influencing factors, this provides a valuable overall picture for an initial assessment of the building.

Calculation of the primary energy use is reliable due to the use of the total unadjusted final energy consumption and can be used successfully for checking compliance with the PE limit value.

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See also

Overview of Passipedia articles on Refurbishments

Overview of all Passipedia articles about Passive Houses in use

Overview of all articles that have been written within the framework of the EuroPHit project

operation/operation_and_experience/measurement_results/minimal_monitoring.txt · Last modified: 2015/08/04 18:06 by kdreimane