Utility Cabinets and Commercial Metering

While all residential, industrial and commercial locations are metered for various utilities, commercial and industrial settings are much more complex than a simple home meter installation and setup. As a result, the utility cabinets that will be utilized in those locations are much different and more complex in a commercial or industrial setting as opposed to a residential setting.

Commercial Utility Cabinets

The location of commercial or industrial utility cabinets can vary, depending on the local construction, utility company and industry-standard requirements. They can be housed either indoors or outdoors and the type of utility cabinets selected will change based on the utility cabinet’s ultimate location. For example, if the utility cabinets will be located in the outdoors, they will need to be able to stand up to the elements, remain secure and prevent internal corrosion. If the utility cabinets will be housed indoors, they will need to have some type of security in order to avoid unnecessary or unauthorized access.

Commercial Metering

The specifications related to commercial metering will vary based on a variety of factors, including the demands that will be put on the systems in use. Additionally, they should be tested regularly and properly maintained in order to ensure safe use and accurate readings. For example, the American Water Works Association, which establishes the accuracy limits for water meters, recommends annual testing of commercial and industrial water meters due to potential under-registration issues. This is because as commercial meters age, there can be a tendency for them under-register water usage, which can result in unnecessarily high utility bills. If this issue is found during a meter’s annual testing, the failing commercial meter should be replaced by a new meter, which will provide much more accurate readings, thus saving money. This issue is not found as commonly in residential meters.

When deciding on how to handle commercial metering for electrical power and utilities, extra care should be taken every step of the way. Anytime someone is working with, or configuring, an electrical system, there is a great possibility for serious shock or even death. Commercial and industrial electric meters are installed and rated by the required or anticipated volt level at the facility. This will help ensure that the correct electrical load can be both handled and supplied at the specific facility. A metering transformer installation will consist of current transformers and potential transformers mounted within metal utility cabinets with a “watt-hour” meter and its accompanying manual “test-bypass” facilities. Just like water utility meters, electric utility meters should be tested regularly to ensure proper function.

Utility Cabinets and Industrial Metering

When a company is either moving into a new facility or upgrading their equipment in an existing facility, it is important to assess the utility metering setup, which should include the review of the utility cabinets in use. This way any potential issues or required changes are identified and handled in a safe and effective manner. This will ensure all equipment can be safely operated and utility billing is accurate.