Over $40,000 in Utility Costs Avoided Through Student Heating Study

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Building heating and cooling make up a significant portion of campus energy use, so as part of their sustainability internships with R&DE, students Sierra Killian and Teo Camacho looked at how to reduce heating in Student Housing over winter. Together, they oversaw the installation of temperature sensors and thermostat instructional stickers – designed to help students understand and manage their heat – in 1,500 student rooms. These efforts reduced heat use by 1,383 MMBTU compared to last year, equivalent to the energy used by 33 homes for one year.

During the same period they also led an incentive program for off campus residents to reduce their energy usage by 30%, and studied the benefits of installing programmable thermostats in apartments with the highest energy use. The program resulted in over 94,000 kWh of electricity saved in 79 apartments - equivalent to over 70 metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions, or taking eight homes off the grid for a year. Overall, Teo and Sierra's efforts saved over $40,000 in utility costs.