University of Toronto Knows resource consumption visibility key to future energy savings programs

July 14, 2011

The University of Toronto (U of T) is a leader in institutional energy management policy and practice. Active management of resource consumption at the University started in 1973, right after the OPEC oil price hikes, and a formal energy management program began in 1977 with the hiring of a full time energy management manager.

Since that time, $204,000,000 worth of energy purchase has been diverted due to energy savings — an impressive number to say the least. Still, U of T is constantly moving their energy management program forward — looking for new and better ways to manage and save resources.

According to Attila Keszei of the University's Facilities and Services department, a big challenge going forward is educating suppliers, partners, students, and staff about the energy management programs that have been put in place at the University — and how each of these stakeholders can contribute to future program success.

This is a common theme that continues to emerge from our work with institutional customers — that resource consumption information should be made available to a broad audience of stakeholders. There is no question that visibility of actual versus target usage promotes energy conservation. You can read more of our experience on this here.

When Triacta first introduced live dashboard and desktop update capability to PowerHawk Manager (our Meter Management Software) the response from our customers was extremely positive. Making information available and visible at all times helps sustain the short-term benefits of energy management programs and promotes long-term conservation.

To meet their needs, the University constructed an interactive touch-screen kiosk that is placed in high traffic areas. The kiosk provides energy program details and lets users explore energy consumption data.

The University of Toronto has 204 buildings spread across 3 campuses. In 2009, annual electrical costs exceeded $26 million, with gas consumption costing over $14 million and water over $3 million. Clearly, building on the University's energy management and conservation programs has major implications for the continued success of the University. Showing leadership and giving visibility to key stakeholders is an important step towards sustaining and continuing to improve energy management programs at the University.

Gord Echlin, VP Sales and Marketing, Triacta