Dashboard plugs campus into energy data

By Jason Winders
September 20, 2012

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Starting today, you can monitor in real time the energy use of your campus building – or the use of any building across campus – using Western’s Real Time Energy Dashboard.

By logging on to the dashboard site, users can view campuswide energy demand at that time, as well as a building-by-building breakdown showcasing energy use across most of the university’s facilities. Clicking on an icon gives users an up-close look at that particular building’s electricity use. The data is sortable in a number of ways, including tracking data for the day, week, month and year as well as various comparison options.

The system is the first step in what developers see as a response to demands from a number of different stakeholders including, most importantly, from the users on campus.

“We wanted to showcase Western’s current state and future improvements with respect to energy usage. We wanted to go above and beyond the mandatory requirements under provincial regulations on energy reporting,” said Jamie Whitty, Western Mechanical and Energy manager. “The Western community has demonstrated interest in the energy information; we realized there was a need for this tool.”

While electricity use is the lone category now, more elements will be added to the dashboard, said Mary Quintana-Lopez, Western Energy and Water Projects compliance coordinator.

“Our plans are to add more utilities to it: water, natural gas, perhaps even steam,” she explained. “In the future, all buildings will have meters for each and every utility they use. In addition, we’ll be constantly looking for ways to improve the dashboard to keep it current and relevant.

“This is a major undertaking, considering we have more than 90 buildings.”

Developers hope the wealth of information provided by the dashboard makes for a more informed Western community, and, in turn, a more aware one when it comes to this aspect of sustainability.

“Our intent is that the Western community will use this as learning tool to become more aware of energy usage within our campus buildings, and that this will result in more energy conscious choices,” Whitty said.

Team members working on the project included Whitty, Quintana-Lopez, Dan Larkin, WES Control Systems specialist, and Mike Townshend, web designer/developer.

Facilities Management is interested in your feedback on the dashboard. Contact them at wes_pi@uwo.ca .

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