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Environmental Dashboard to offer more accurate impact readings

November 22, 2016
By Whitney Helm
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In the spring, students will be able to see more detail on their energy impact because of an environmental dashboard that Steve Huss-Lederman's capstone course is currently building.

The dashboards will work with the submeters that were installed in Chapin, Maurer, and Aldrich residence halls over the summer. The submeters measure energy consumption in those buildings, which can be broken down by floor.

Along with the submeters, there is an accompanying website, which allows students to see their energy use one week to the next. The dashboard would allow data to be specified even further.

Steve says that while the project will be used at Beloit, it won't be Beloit-specific, with at least 10 other schools interested in using the dashboard to monitor their energy impact. Steve says his class has studied best practices and conferred with other schools and professionals to build the dashboard.

"The purpose behind it is to give students a sense of their impact," says Lindsay Chapman, sustainability coordinator. "The complaints I get are two-fold, with facilities saying students don't know their impact, leaving windows open in the winter, while students want to know their impact. [They want to know] how much energy does it take to run a dorm room?"

Lindsay said she and her energy team of five students are already brainstorming creative ways to display and use the data for when the dashboard is finished.

Steve expects the dashboard to be finished and implemented prior to the end of the spring semester.