New dashboard highlights energy use across campus

Brock University has a new tool for monitoring its progress in its goals around energy use and savings on campus.

A new energy dashboard was installed in the Rankin Family Pavilion near the entrance to the James A. Gibson Library last week, displaying real-time information on energy use and carbon savings.

The dashboard was developed for Brock in collaboration with Blackstone Energy Services and puts the various statistics, such as daily electricity consumption per square foot, into perspective for the viewer, comparing the campus power generation and savings to different scenarios.

For example, campus power generation is compared to the “equivalency of powering the CN Tower,” while Brock’s carbon savings are compared to “tons of carbon removed,” “trees planted” and “cars off the road.”

“Energy and carbon are not typically tangible for people. The dashboard will help us bring these topics to the Brock community and will help people think about them,” said Drew Cullen, Manager, District Energy.

The energy dashboard screen allows viewers to engage in sustainable thinking, reflect on their individual energy use while on campus, and learn about overall campus energy usage.

Alongside the statistics, viewers can see the various buildings on campus and how much energy each building is currently using. Additionally, a scrolling banner will inform viewers of upcoming sustainability-related events on campus.

“The dashboard helps us capitalize on the large amounts of data that we now have available,” said Mary Quintana, Director, Asset Management and Utilities. “It will become a tool for better managing our energy and carbon outputs. For example, we’ll be able to use it to find more opportunities for improvement and to keep better track of our key progress indicators.”

While the dashboard is currently limited to electricity data, Facilities Management is working on adding metering for other utilities. In addition, the team will continue developing new resources for the dashboard to keep it current and relevant.

This story was written by Madison Lepp, a Master of Sustainability candidate and research assistant at the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre.

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