Posted 7:21 AM 10/18/2012 : UA hopes to save on energy bill with new online measuring system
TUCSON- UA senior Natalie Lucas will tell you straight up, students can waste a lot of energy.
She's the executive director of UA Students for Sustainability.
"When we're using our computers, we don't really turn them off, so there's a lot of ghost energy that's used," Lucas says.
But now they can see first-hand the cost of their habits.
The university recently linked up all campus dorms to an online meter system called a dashboard. "The energy dashboard is a great web based tool that allows anyone on campus, or anyone in Tucson for that matter, to look at how much energy our dorms are using," says Dan McCrady, a member of the UA Energy Management Facilities Team.
Anyone can go to the UA Facilities Management website and click on "Energy Dashboard". For each dorm, it breaks down the cost of heating, cooling and electricity by the hour. "One student leaving their light on overnight might only cost 50 cents," McCrady says. "But we have 40,000 students, so when you put it in that context, now we're talking thousands of dollars."
Every year the U of A spends about $37 million on utilities. McCrady hopes easy access to the bill will cut costs by five to 10%. "Having that feedback is a proven way of helping people conserve energy," McCrady says.
"It allows students to really see how they are making a big impact on the earth," Lucas says.
The U of A hopes to link all campus buildings up to the system by the start of 2013. To check on the online dashboard head to:
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