Energy Dashboard

The City of Bloomington's Energy Dashboard: http://buildingdashboard.net/bloomington/#/bloomington/

For a short-and-sweet video on how to use the dashboard, see here.

One of the great challenges in promoting energy conservation and efficiency in energy use is getting access to accurate and timely information. Most utility customers never see anything but a monthly bill, days to weeks after their usage actually occurred, so tying specific behaviors to a specific level of usage is nearly impossible. Until recently, City Hall was the same way.

Energy Dashboard In late 2010, the City of Bloomington purchased an energy dashboard, which enables us to see our energy usage every hour, and to compare that usage to the previous day, the previous week, the previous month, and eventually, once we have enough data, the previous year. Even within the first month, we've been able to adjust the settings on heating and air conditioning systems in ways that we haven't been able to before, saving us energy now and into the future. We plan to add more of our facilities to the system in the future.

Before the dashboard was installed, we could make assumptions about energy use--like the fact that use increases when everyone arrives in the morning and starts turning on lights and computers and so on. But we didn't have data.

The dashboard helps users identify both patterns and problems-we now know immediately if something unusual is happening with our electrical system, and can investigate, and we can also identify peak usage times, and try to shave back those peaks. The dashboard also makes government operations more transparent. The impact of better information is both energy and financial savings.

After just a short period of operation, we can't yet quantify these savings. However, information provided by the dashboard has already enabled us to reduce electrical usage early in the morning and on weekends by tweaking the settings on our systems. Based on the experiences in other communities, we expect to see a reduction of 5-15% in our electrical bills.