Yesterday our team joined a London Universities Environmental Group (LUEG) meeting to talk about various ways to reduce our carbon emissions. LUEG meetings offer a great opportunity to share best practice with sustainability practitioners at other universities in London, as we all work on similar issues. One of those issues is energy use. With more than 25,000 students and 6,000 staff, the College spends about £10 million on energy per year! We listened to a presentation by DemandLogic, a company that works for King’s to identify energy efficiency problems in our estates by getting data from building management systems into ‘the cloud’. Or as Joe of DemandLogic described it, this is where the “hardcore industrial world meets internet geeks”.
Controlling buildings better can save a lot of energy and reduce emissions. The Carbon Trust estimated that UK businesses and public bodies could reduce 2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by encouraging more sustainable behaviours from employees, which could save a shocking £500 million! Since DemandLogic started to work with King’s a year ago we’ve saved 2500 tonnes of carbon. Overall it is estimated the project identified savings worth approximately £390,000.
So how does it work?
Information from the College’s estates is fed into the cloud from more than 100.000 data points. These could be sensors or physical meters, but also points in an electronic building management system. Each of these data points reflects how a building is performing. Imagine what a task it would be for one human to go over all of those points manually!
DemandLogic staff communicates problems that become visible in the online data via a Facebook-like ‘wall’ with the College’s building managers so they can fix the problem. The project has so far executed 38 energy-saving opportunities. Doesn’t sound like a lot? Imagine how much energy is wasted if one of the machines in the plant room above is unnecessarily turned on all night!
The needle in the haystack
Sometimes small changes can make a big impact! You can do your bit by letting us know if equipment is not working correctly, or if it’s always too hot or too cold in a building. You can contact the Servicedesk at email@example.com or tweet to @estateskings. They can find out more about the problem!