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University of Bradford energy-saving project cuts bills
7:00am Monday 11th February 2013 in News
An energy-saving initiative at the University of Bradford was so successful it prompted emergency calls from its energy supplier, thinking its meters had broken.
The multi-award-winning scheme, at the university’s School of Health Studies, cut bills by up to a third over 16 months and is now being rolled out across the campus.
But at first, the dramatic drop prompted a worried call from the university’s energy supplier, said Russell Smith, estates manager at the University of Bradford.
He said: “They just thought that their meter had broken, but it hadn’t.”
Mr Smith said the scheme had saved the university thousands of pounds and had more than paid for itself.
In the project, called EMU (Environmental Move for You), a system was installed which showed where energy was being used.
The system, called Edd:e, allowed staff or students to see how much they were saving if they changed their behaviour or turned off equipment.
Mr Smith said it encouraged users of the building to switch off chargers, turn down the heating or make sure lights weren’t left on. He said: “It got quite obsessive with them, I think.”
Physiotherapy lecturer Hilary Pape said: “We found Edd:e to be vital to the success of the project. It allowed us to root out ‘rogue’ power usage and as it gave us real time information on output it allowed us to see whether we were having an effect when we switched things off.”
The School of Health Studies also put together an Energy Savings Team to monitor energy use across the department. Mr Smith and his team are now installing the kit into more university buildings and he said the eventual aim was to have different buildings competing against each other to see which could be the most efficient.
The EMU scheme won an award for encouraging behaviour change at the 2012 Green Build Awards and won the Tom Bradley Award at the Association of University Engineers 2012 Conference. It was also highly commended at the 2012 National Energy Awards.
Edd:e’s manufacturer, Energywise, is encouraging other companies to take the same approach to cutting their bills.
Adam Thompson, Utilitywise’s chief operating officer, said: “The University of Bradford has shown what can be achieved by monitoring your energy and getting people to change their behaviour.”