Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Managing Energy Demand (or How Western Saves a Million Bucks)

Members of FM represented WesternU as
panelists at the COU Innovative Ideas Forum
Last week, Western sent three project teams to the COU Innovative Ideas Forum in Toronto as panelists; Procurement, Campus Police, and Facilities Management.

Facilities Management's team, Mary Quintana (Energy & Environment Specialist), Dan Larkin (WES Controls Systems Specialist), and Doug Johnson (Manager, Electrical Services/Controls) demonstrated the power of our homegrown utility dashboard and building automation system.

The dashboard project has driven a large-scale upgrade to steam, water and electrical meters. Each meter is a trackable distribution point, providing usage data that is displayed in real-time on the Utility Dashboard.

Along with our enhanced building automation system (Western Environmental Systems (WES) Controls), Western has the ability to interact with thousands of data points across the campus. WES uses occupancy sensors, thermostat set points and, in some cases, window sensors, to automatically adjust indoor climates and lighting to meet the needs of our campus community.

With these systems in place we can automate building systems to perform at optimal efficiency. These systems have allowed our team to manage electrical demand during peak load times, saving the University upwards of $1M annually.

• Western's Utility Dashboard is available to the public. We believe sharing our data and being transparent in our usage will help the campus community become more engaged, taking ownership for their part in resource management.

• Please take a minute (seven to be exact) to view FM's video presentation to Ontario's Ministers and higher learning institution leaders at the Innovative Ideas Forum;

• Our demand management strategy was recognized with the 2013 CAUBO Quality and Productivity Award

• For more information on the COU Innovative Forum, view the report; Faster, Cheaper, Smarter: Improving Efficiency at Ontario Universities. FM initiatives are featured on page 17.

Posted by Brandon Watson