University of New South Wales

Improving campus energy efficiency with the Live Energy project

The University of New South Wales is one of Australia’s top teaching and research universities, with a strong commitment to sustainability.

Needless to say, managing the energy and water demands of over 60,000 UNSW staff, students and visitors is no easy feat, and its Energy Management Unit uses more than 650 smart meters to monitors consumption across the campus, looking for faults and opportunities.

University of New South WAles

The Live Energy project

Traditionally resource consumption data was only accessed within this limited group. However the team believed that providing this information more widely – to staff, students and other stakeholders – could help significantly reduce consumption and help foster a more sustainable campus.

With this in mind, UNSW teamed up with Greensense to launch its ambitious Live Energy project, which aimed to bring real-time feedback on energy and water use to the university community.

Monitoring more than 100 facilities

Armed with Greensense View® sustainability monitoring software, UNSW was able to monitor campus energy and water efficiency in real time across more than 100 facilities. Performance could be viewed either on building-level or campus-level dashboards.

Building-level dashboards showed each facility’s consumption, emissions and how it was tracking against targets.

The campus-level view included the total energy and water consumption across all buildings, as well as the contribution of its co-generation, tri-generation and renewable power systems.

UNSW Greensense View dashboard

Engaging staff and students

These dashboards were then promoted to the university community – accessible online and via large screens throughout the campus.

At any time, staff and students could view the dashboards as well as a live leaderboard of the best performing buildings on campus.

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Making energy efficiency real and relevant

UNSW’s staff and students were able to see how their personal day-to-day actions – like leaving the lights on or opening windows in climate controlled rooms – directly impacted the energy demand of their building.

Similarly, they could see how positive actions such as turning off lights not in use, switching off their computer or taking the stairs reduced the amount of energy consumed.

To keep educating people over time, each building-level dashboard also featured a series of rotating tips, such as, “Don’t forget to turn off lights and projectors when you leave labs or lecture theatres”.

Energy saving a team sport

Nick Jones, UNSW’s Energy Manager, commented, “Here in FM we do lots of behind-the-scenes work to improve campus energy efficiency, but saving energy really is a team sport where everyone plays a part. The Greensense energy dashboards are a terrific way to let everyone on campus find out how they personally contribute to energy use and, more importantly, how coordinated individual efforts can have a significant impact on reducing consumption.”

Source: Greensense Live Energy Project, UNSW Facilities Management

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