Smart Meters


In the past, Brandeis students had no way of knowing how much energy they consumed because they never saw the bill. They could not connect their own use of appliances, electronics, and lights to the cost of energy or the environmental impacts of carbon emissions caused by producing energy. In order to improve energy conservation efforts, students must know how much energy they use on a daily basis. By providing real time feedback on energy consumption, “smart” meters help fill this information gap. Studies show that “smart” meters have led people to reduce their energy consumption between 10% and 56%.

This project was designed to give students a new level awareness and responsibility for energy use on campus by installing “smart” energy meters in the four freshman residence halls of Massell Quad and one in the Village. The project received funding from the Brandeis Sustainability Fund and Facilities Services.

Online Building Dashboard

To create greater awareness, Brandeis will also install a real-time touch screen display in the Shapiro Campus Center and create a website devoted to Brandeis’ energy use. To preview how the system will work at Brandeis, check out Hamilton College’s online dashboard.

Energy-Saving Practices & Competitions

“Smart” meters will allow residence halls encourage energy reduction through inter-dorm competitions as well as competitions with other colleges across the country. The incentive of competition will supplement an educational campaign surrounding each building’s energy use and conservation methods. Students, staff, and administration can use this data to strengthen on-campus conservation efforts and encourage energy-saving habits that will last throughout their time at Brandeis and beyond.

Energy Saving Tips:

-  Utilize natural light during the day instead of turning on the lights

-  Use a power strip to turn off appliances when they’re not in use. (They often use energy even when they are turned off!)

-  Put on an extra layer instead of turning up the heat

-  Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy compact fluorescents 

By saving costs on energy, reducing energy consumption, and educating students about their environmental impact, smart energy meters will help make Brandeis a more sustainable place! Check back soon for Brandeis’ own dashboard website and updates on energy saving competitions on campus.