UCSD’s Energy Usage Dashboard Pinpoints On-Campus Energy Hogs

All right, fess up: who’s the wise guy who just had to run SETI@Home in every computer lab on campus for 24 hours straight? These and other pressing energy usage-related questions can be answered concretely using UC San Diego’s Energy Dashboard, which allows users to view up-to-the-minute info on a build-by-building basis for 60 of the largest buildings on the school’s campus.

The energy usage service, provided courtesy of UC San Diego Physical Plant Services, streams data from over 200 meters that provide building-level energy usage information; another 40 meters measure office energy consumption, such as the energy used by a computer and its monitor. Another deployment of meters targeted at providing the energy usage stats of individuals is currently in the planning stages.

energy dashboard

Image via UC San Diego Energy Dashboard

“The Web portal provides statistics updated at least once every minute on total power consumption, power generation, imports from San Diego Gas & Electric, and a comparison between power usage and production,” reads a release issued by the UC San Diego News Center. Dashboard viewers interested in the stats for a particular building, such as the UC San Diego School of Medicine or any of the six undergrad buildings, simply select it. Thus far, data has indicated that over 25 percent of a building’s energy usage can be attributed to personal computers that often remain on when not in use. Coupled with other IT-related equipment such as servers, and the Dashboard points to a staggering 50 percent total baseline energy usage — all that for a single building.

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