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Energy Solutions Center Inc.

400 N. Capitol St., NW 4th Floor
Washington, DC 20001

Voice 202-824-7152
E-mail dweiss@escenter.org

 

News

Relms Incorporated – A Metering Solution

An interview with Tom Halliday  – President, Relms Incorporated

 

What is the primary role of your technology in measuring energy in a facility?

Relms Corporation is a full service entity providing sub metering service to the multi- family and condominium market. Our goal is to provide energy metering to our end- users and monitor their consumption to promote conservation and proper billing. Sub-metering systems promote energy conservation while allowing owners to construct a quality building and save on the construction costs. The proper use of natural gas will help lower their carbon footprint without reducing their level of service.

Relms works with local natural gas suppliers to provide natural gas service in locations that might otherwise have gone to total electric systems. Our sub-metering systems help utility companies supply natural gas to locations in vertical subdivisions that have been too costly to provide in the past. Single main lines make the cost of new construction far less than traditional home distribution systems.

 

What are the competitive advantages of your product compared to similar types of submeters?

Relms makes use of many meter types that when combined makes for a cost effective approach for using natural gas. We provide metering solutions – gas flow meters, BTU meters, hot water meters and beyond.

 

What misconceptions do you typically need to un-do when dealing with potential customers of your product?

 

When dealing with new construction the local gas supplier needs to understand that Relms is not trying to take away the customer base, but is attempting to help the utility gain load in areas that it will otherwise lose. When dealing with property owners we have to make it very clear that we are not the local utility company and that we are a service company bringing the best of all services to the end-user through the use of natural gas.

 

Who is your direct customer – a gas utility, property manager for an apartment complex, or a plumbing contractor?

Relms contracts with the property owner or owners. We work with local energy providers to help educate developers, engineers and architectural firms. Relms desires to work with local plumbing contractors for meter installation.

 

What are your strategies to communicate with and educate those types of customers?

In partnership with the local utilities, Relms provides lunch and learns for architects and engineers. When dealing with existing properties we deal directly with property managers and or owners.

 

Have you sought partnerships with companies that manufacture energy conservation software and monitoring systems?

For many years now, we have been dealing with manufacturers of sub-metering systems and utility metering companies for the best equipment on each project. As for partnerships we do not have ties to any one provider of product. We write most of our own software for billing services and can interface with most of the popular management software.

 

What are the market and institutional barriers to greater deployment of your product?

In the past, there have been many products that have claimed to reduce energy consumption but failed to meet expectations. Property owners need to feel comfortable with the solutions Relms and other companies can provide. Misuse and erroneous billings to the end users have also added to the concerns of property owners. Relms works with the property owners to help assure that fairness is maintained across the board.

 
 

I imagine that the soft economy and the downturn in building have created obstacles for you. As the economy begins to re-bound, what type of facilities will you be prioritizing as likely customers?

Even with today’s economy, existing properties can utilize our services to help reduce their operating costs by passing utility costs on to the end users. This helps promote conservation of energy through awareness and personal responsibility for the cost of utilities. When building resumes, we look to add customers in the multi-family arena where the uses of trunk lines will reduce building costs. We must also remember that central systems, water, heat and cooling are very efficient and should be considered in our approach to developers.

 

How can sub-metering impact the outcome and help get more gas appliances installed in multi-family buildings?

Getting gas service to high rises is one of our main goals. Once the gas service is available, individual owners of condo units can upgrade their units to include gas ranges, hot water, heating, fireplaces and various other appliances.

 

What can gas utilities do to promote the deployment and acceptance of your product?

Relms would like to have the utility companies introduce our staff members to developers, architectural firms and mechanical contractors that are building in their service territory. Further, we would like to work with the sales personnel at the utility company to educate the sales department on options where sub-metering can assist in getting natural gas into projects that may have gone total electric.