In a class taught by Dr. Alan Meier, Fundamentals in Energy Efficiency (TTP289), Sheida spent the quarter analyzing the energy use in Academic Surge. Before using the Campus Energy Education Dashboard (or CEED), Sheida didn’t have any information about energy use on campus. She used the energy data on CEED to look for opportunities to increase energy efficiency in the building.
Sheida analyzed two years of building meter data, and found that 27% of the electricity use in the Academic Surge is from plug load standby power *! This finding highlights an area of potential energy savings and lets our office (the Energy Conservation Office, ECO) know we should encourage building occupants to reduce their plug load energy use.
Since computers also use standby power, it’s important to streamline your office equipment. Sheida estimates annual savings of $13,000 if everyone in the building used power saving options on their computers.
Sheida also spent time going door to door, to survey 50 people who work and study in Academic Surge. She found that 84% of those surveyed feel the building is cold and keep extra layers of clothing in their offices. We think Sheida is on to something, and our engineers are looking into it!
The findings from Sheida’s study have let the Energy Conservation Office know where we should focus our efforts to save energy in the building. We’re interested in looking into the thermal comfort of the building and how we can lower the plug load electricity use in the building. If you would like to be more involved, we are always happy to collaborate with students to improve energy efficiency around the campus.
* The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory explains standby power as electricity-using products that can’t be turned off without being unplugged, e.g. microwave ovens. “These products draw power 24 hours a day, often without the knowledge of the consumer.” (Source: http://standby.lbl.gov/)