Energy Channel debuts on campus cable
Published: Friday, November 2, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012 13:11
If you live on campus, you might have noticed that you have a new channel on your TV.
This one’s airing a different kind of reality show. The Energy Channel, channel 5, is currently showing on TVs in the lobbies of residential buildings across campus. The channel currently displays bar graphs showing the energy use of some of the suite-style buildings on campus over various lengths of time, including a single day, a week, and a month. Dr. Steve Hovan, of the Department of Geoscience, and Dr. Jack Makara, of the Office of Housing, Residential Living, and Dining, were the ones who came up with the idea of monitoring energy use in residence halls. The goal of the project is to increase residential students’ awareness of their energy impact, while reducing energy consumption in the residence halls and promoting a lasting awareness among students of energy conservation and sustainability. So far, the channel is getting data from five of the eight suite-style buildings on campus. By the end of the semester, they hope to have data from all eight suite-style buildings.
Over break, they plan to clean up the presentation of the data with the help of an outside company, Icetech. There are no plans to feature usage in the traditional dorms at any point in the near future. The graphs displayed currently only reflect electricity consumption, but will eventually reflect use of chilled water and steam as well. Those involved with the project are currently working to make the information easier to understand, and want to add other pieces of information like energy use projections and conservation tips. The buildings are not yet marked by their names; instead, they are identified by letters. No data is being collected from buildings A and B yet, but Building C is the Suites on Maple East, Building D is Ruddock Hall, and Building E is the Northern Suites. Building F is the Suites on Pratt, Building G is Wallwork, and Building H is Stevenson.
“It is a work in progress,” said Katie Shoemaker, a graduate student and the Residential Sustainability Educator in the Office of Housing, Residential Living and Dining.
While there are no specific plans in place yet, Makara is open to the idea of allowing data gathered for the Energy Channel to be used for research purposes. He also would like to see interested students becoming involved with the channel.
The Energy Channel is not affiliated with WIUP-TV.