Energy metering helps university change student habits

Real-time energy data from installed metering devices has helped Kingston University engage with its staff and students and promote behavioural change, says the university's energy manager, Wayne Hitchings.

Speaking at the Energy Solutions show in London yesterday, Hitchings said that the university’s recently installed energy metering system had allowed them to educate staff and students about their energy consumption.

“Our metering system enabled us to show [staff and students] specific data about their, and campus buildings, energy usage”, said Hitchings.

This provided them with the knowledge and awareness of how they were using energy and where they could make cuts.

“Showing staff and students this data encouraged them to change their habits and behaviours to reduce their energy consumption and effectively help the university make huge cuts to its energy bills and CO2 emissions”, he added.

Through its sustainability programme, the university aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 35% from a 2005 baseline.

At its Sopwith building, reduction measures have cut energy by 25% in September 2012 year on year.

Hitchings said: “This amounts to 26000 kWh and £2000 saved per month”.

Although the education sector is not as draining on resources as some, it has strongly encouraged students and staff to cut energy and resource consumption.

Making students aware of the costs involved, Kingston says on its website: “Kingston University pays more than £2.5million a year for electricity and gas, and has annual carbon emissions of almost 15,000 tonnes. That’s the equivalent to 15,000 hot-air balloons”.

Leigh Stringer

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie