The University of Bradford reduces energy use through behaviour change

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Overview

The site - The University of Bradford consists of a large estate of approximately 125,000 sq meters, which includes over 30 buildings. The University Estates department is responsible for developing and maintaining all aspects of the University estate including utility management. The University decided to implement a behaviour changes programme called EMU to educate staff and student on the impact they could have on lowering energy use in the new School of Health Studies building. The objective was to demonstrate that through behaviour change alone energy use could be lowered and to provide concrete evidence of the drop in energy various changes brought.

The University estimated that a 10% reduction in energy use could be achieved through behaviour change.

Edd:e is a circuit-level power monitoring system, meaning it can gives you the information you need to make informed decisions about the actions you need to take in order to save energy. It shows you exactly how much energy is being used, where it is being used, and when. For example, Edd:e will show you the energy being used on one floor and compare it with the energy being used on another. It will show you how much energy is used when your office is closed, and help you spot which departments are using power and what they’re using it for.

Edd:e gives you an incredible amount of detail about your energy use:

  • Identify where, when and how energy is consumed on site.
  • Identify unusual, unexpected, or above average levels of consumption.
  •  Shows where energy consumption can be reduced.
  •  Shows actions that can be taken to lower your carbon footprint.

Edd:e is fed into a web-based reporting platform. This allows you to see your energy use across all your circuits in real time from any computer with an internet connection.

Energy use is measured in five minute intervals (with the option to measure in one minute intervals) and retains two years’ worth of data for analysis.

Typical client profile

The profile for this project consisted of undergraduates and graduate students, teaching and facility staff including out-of-hours staff.

Challenges & Actions

Both the estate department and the EMU green team needed information on the energy use in the Health Studies Building so they could target their efforts where there was the most energy used. They also need to see evidence that their actions and the energy saving projects undertaken by staff and students were producing results.

Challenges included the high level of people movements in the building, the long opening hours, communicating with night staff working, the low level of engagement on energy issues amongst the staff and students and the size of the building.

In order to provide the level of detail needed the University decided to use Utilitywise’s Edd:e systems to measure power use across the circuits in the building.

The Edd:e system measure the power use in real time for each circuit on a distribution board. The Edd:e system record power use 24-hours a day 365 days per year. Energy use is measured in five minute intervals (with the option to measure in one minute intervals) and retains two years’ worth of data for analysis. This analysis is done on Utilitywise’s web-based reporting platform: Utility Insight.

edd1

Edd:e will show you the energy being used on one floor and compare it with the energy being used on another. It will show you how much energy is used when your office is closed, and help you spot which departments are using power and what they’re using it for.

Edd:e gives you an incredible amount of detail about your energy use:

  • Identify where, when and how energy is consumed on site.
  • Identify unusual, unexpected, or above average levels of consumption.
  • Shows where energy consumption can be reduced.
  • Shows actions that can be taken to lower your carbon footprint.

edd2

To engage students and staff, large TV screens were installed in the building displaying Edd:e data with actual energy reduction mapped against targets.

Lessons & Results

The key lesson from the project and a deciding factor in its overall success was the level of engagement and use by staff of the Edd:e system. By constantly referring to the energy reading coming in and acting on any high or anomalous use the staff where able to drive energy consumption down. The system also uncovered groups of high energy users, including cleaners and security.

Key issues identified

  • Poor user engagement
  • Buildings not performing as designed
  • High out-of-hours consumption
  • Life of equipment on site expired

Edd:e maps out the energy landscape but it is up to the staff to drive the actions based on this knowledge. Another key lesson was that the real-time feedback provided by Edd:e acted as a reward and incentive to do more: put simply the staff could see within 5 minutes the results of their actions on the buildings energy consumption.

The University also discovered that the new buildings did not always perform as designed and Edd:e provided a check on the energy saving claims made by equipment suppliers and designers.

Overall the EMU project achieved a drop of 33% in power use overall.

edd3Slide taken from University of Bradford presentation about the EMU project

The University has asked that the EMU project be rolled out campus wide. With the project acting as a cornerstone of the Universities carbon management programme.

The programme was highly commended in the 2011 Energy Awards and won the behavioural change category at the 2012 Green Build Awards.

Credits

The University of Bradford has found Edd:e to be an extremely cost effective way of analysing energy use to an extremely detailed level.” Russell Smith – Estates Manager, Department of Estates and Facilities, University of Bradford.

We found Edd:e vital to the success of the project. It allowed us to root out ‘rogue’ power usage and as it gave us real time information on out[ut it allowed us to see whether we were having an effect when we switched stuff off.” Hilary Page – Lecturer in Physiotherapy, School of Health Studies, University of Bradford.

A building is not green unless the people are.” Russell Smith – Estates Manager, Department of Estates and Facilities, University of Bradford.

Client and lead supplier

University of Bradford, Department of Estates & Facilities is the client. Utilitywise plc is the supplier.

More info www.utilitywise.com


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