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Environment & Energy

CMU Develops New Way To Save Energy In The Workplace

A new way to reduce energy in the workplace developed at Carnegie Mellon University could save companies thousands of dollars.

The Intelligent Dashboard lets employees know how much energy they are using at their desk. Developers say this will encourage workers to take action to save energy by unplugging devices that are not in use.

“We wanted to investigate if there is any good way to show their energy usage and if there is any good way to motivate them to conserve energy at work,” said Ray Yun, PhD students and lead developer.  

The team of six students and two professors recently tested it out in a local workplace and the group that used the dashboard to its full capabilities cut energy use by 34.5 percent.

“Office worker they don’t get the electricity bill, so they don’t know how much energy they consume at work. And also they don’t pay the electricity bill, so they have very little incentive to put effort on energy savings,” said Yun.

Each device costs about $30 and saves a company on average about $70,000 annually.

Right now the dashboard can even be controlled from home, or by the use of an automated calendar that employees use for when they will and will not be in the office. The team is also developing lighting and temperature components to save companies even more energy.

The device is currently scheduled to be presented in Toronto and Crete.

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