Intelligent meters to reduce 1,200 heating bills

Coop A/S, Denmark

Intelligent water and heat meters are going to reduce energy consumption and optimise operations in nearly 1,200 Coop stores. Furthermore, it is an investment in maintaing the retail giant’s leading position within energy management.

Coop, Denmark’s largest consumer goods retailer, is well under way with the roll out of Kamstrup water and heat meters in stores, warehouses and administration buildings across the country.

This is part of their ambitious energy programme to significantly reduce energy consumption with 20% throughout 2020.

Meters provide transparency
First and foremost, the new meters make it possible to reduce heating bills and identify both errors and the potential for optimisation in stores: 

“In a warehouse of maybe 4,000 m2, the consumption levels can be so high that there can be equipment or devices using up a lot of energy. 

But we have no way of knowing as there’s no indication on the main meter,” explains Johnny Greve Andersen, EMS Manager with Coop.

In addition to energy-intensive installations, there are plenty of examples of minor errors that are still important to catch.

“With the new meters, we can identify if something is wrong – like a ventilation system that is both cooling and heating. Such things may only result in the use of an extra 10 kW of heat per hour, but it adds up fast if it such an error occurs throughout the whole day, every day.”

There is also money to be saved by reducing water waste from leaks and correcting inefficient cooling operations from, for example a valve that does not close properly:

“There may be 1.5 m3 running through each hour. At 2 DKK per litre, you could end up paying 72 DKK a day for wasted water. In addition to this comes the extra wear and tear on the pipes, extra power to pump water through the pipes etc., so there are also many indirect costs.”

Finally, it is important for Coop to send a clear green message:

“Ultimately, we measure to achieve a saving, but we also want to show that this is actually an area where we are going ‘all in’ because resource conservation means something to us,” says Johnny Greve Andersen.

When we have the average consumption for the stores, we can benchmark them against each other and identify variables that are either too low or too high.”

- Johnny Greve Andersen

Data for benchmarking
In addition to troubleshooting, data from the meters will be used to benchmark the energy consumption across stores. Johnny Greve Andersen explains: “When we have the average consumption for the stores, we can benchmark them against each other and identify variables that are either too low or too high.”

Coop has trained a large number of electricians to screen every store by carefully going through and assessing what makes sense to measure. A typical supermarket can easily need 10 meters for the likes of hot water tanks and ventilation systems. Therefore, each meter is tagged in Coop’s system, so they know exactly what and where it measures.

“A unique tag on each meter makes the optimisation very concrete. It tells us, for example, if revolving doors are more efficient than sliding doors with a hot air blanket (a continuous stream of air circulated across an entrance, also known as an air door or air curtain). 

Otherwise, it would basically be guess work, “says Johnny Greve Andersen. Over time, the many meter data will eventually also form the basis for other optimisation efforts.

Experienced subcontractor
While the overall design of Coop’s new energy management system is set by Honeywell Belgium, Coop has specifically chosen Kamstrup’s ultrasonic water and heat meters. The software is provided by Danish Energy Data, and the installation is being carried out by three other subcontractors.

The installation process has involved consultation with multiple contractors regarding a large number of buildings, so having a reliable and flexible meter supplier has been crucial, explains Johnny Greve Andersen: “It would be nice if everything could go as well as it does when working with Kamstrup. They are excellent at following up and are highly flexible if, for example, we need to reschedule a delivery. Everything has gone smoothly from day one.”

It would be nice if everything could go as well as it does when working with Kamstrup.

- Johnny Greve Andersen

Customised quality product
There were several reasons for choosing Kamstrup meters, but the quality was crucial. “We chose Kamstrup’s products primarily because of their unconditional high quality,” says Johnny Greve Andersen, who also has very good experiences from previous interactions with Kamstrup.

“Being responsible for meters in 1,200 stores, I need to know that they are performing as they should and Kamstrup has really good products that you can count on,” he continues, signalling out Kamstrup’s strong service department as always being quick to help should a problem arise.

It was also important for Coop to have their logo on the meters. “We wanted our own “main meter” in all stores because then we are in charge of it. With the Coop name on our meters, nobody is in doubt when the utility comes to change one of the meters.”

Positive figures
Coop’s energy programme aims to reduce its total energy consumption by 20 % by 2020 compared to 2014.

There is an overall objective for electricity, water and heat, of which the savings on electricity are by far the largest.

For water and heat, the goal is to minimise waste and it is an exciting process to be part of, explains Johnny Greve Andersen:

“It’s all about continuously asking: What can we do differently or better? And because I can multiply with almost 1,200 stores, there is reason and money in identifying even the smallest of savings. We are very future focused and moving forward we will look to find optimisation opportunities and implement them across all stores.”

About the project

Solution:

  • 2,000 water meters, MULTICAL® 21 and flowIQ® 3100
  • 2,000 heat meters, MULTICAL® 403 and MULTICAL® 602

Time frame:

  • Continuous rollout over 24 months from May 2017
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