Optergy is a combined building automation and energy management system. Combining both systems and displaying information in a meaningful way through dashboards for building operators and occupants helps align all stakeholders working towards efficiency both actively and passively.

The significance and effects of real time dashboard visualisation on building occupants was studied by Petersen et al (2007) from Oberlin College Ohio, USA. The college completed a study of building occupants and their behaviour when exposed to real-time visual feedback of energy and water usage. Extract of the study below:

Abstract

Purpose:

In buildings, personal choices influence electricity and water consumption.

Prior studies indicate that information feedback can stimulate resource conservation. College

dormitories provide an excellent venue for controlled study of the effects of feedback. The goal of this study is to assess how different resolutions of socio-technical feedback encourage students to conserve resources.

Design/methodology/approach:

An automated data monitoring system was developed that

provided dormitory residents with real-time web-based feedback on energy and water use in two “high resolution” dormitories. In contrast, utility meters were manually read for 20 “low-resolution” dormitories, and data were provided to residents once per week. For both groups, resource use was monitored during a baseline period and during a two week “dorm energy competition” during which feedback, education and conservation incentives were provided.

Findings:

Overall, the introduction of feedback and education resulted in a 32 percent reduction in electricity use (amounting to savings of 68,300 kWh, $5,107 and 148,000 lbs of CO22). Dormitories that received high resolution feedback were more effective at conservation, reducing their electricity consumption by 55 percent compared to 31 percent for low resolution dormitories. In a post-competition survey, students reported that they would continue conservation practices developed during the competition and that they would view web-based real-time data even in the absence of competition.

Click Here to view full study.

The results of this research provide evidence that real-time visual feedback systems, when combined with education can motivate and empower building occupants to reduce utility use. The more detailed the feedback, the more energy was saved, indicating that detailed real-time dashboarding data is extremely important to drive energy performance within buildings.

Are you a building owner of facilities manager in need of user specific real-time dashboards to manage your building more effectively or to help drive behavioural change amongst building occupants? Contact us now to find out how to implement an Optergy solution at info@optergy.com.

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