If you walk  into 70 McCormick or Dolan Hall,  you might see a new television. But don’t expect to catch a basketball game or the latest episode of House.

Do expect to see the number of kilowatts the building is demanding.

That’s one of the many bits of information displayed on the televisions, which are part of a campus-wide climate action program to reduce energy use.

“It’s to heighten peoples’ awareness as to what they’re using,” said David W. Frassinelli, Associate Vice Provost for Facilities Management, who spearheaded the program. “They’ll know what impact they’re having and [it will] allow them to change usage patterns.”

The televisions, which run a program known as Dashboard from Connecticut-based Automated Building Systems, shows energy demanded by the entire building as well as individual rooms in selected dorms. The results also appear online at dashboards.fairfield.edu.

At any given time, the dashboard displays the current electricity demanded as well as the British Thermal Units, which measure heating and air conditioning use.

Currently 51 McInnes, 70 McCormick, Barone, Central Utilities Facility, Claver Hall, DiMenna-Nyselius Library, Dolan Hall and Kostka Hall have data on the dashboard.

Frassinelli wants to roll it out to more buildings but said they might not be able to apply it to every dorm. He said it’s much easier to add the wiring needed for it during construction of new buildings than retrofitting an old building.

Aside from the wiring, the project cost was “minimal.” Each dashboard unit needs a TV and a Mac Mini.

Frassinelli hopes that the data provided by the dashboards will fuel some friendly environmental rivalry.

“The idea is to be able to have competitions within a building — to encourage people to shut off flat-screen TVs,” he said.

Many students have spoken very highly of the new dashboards.

Zach Gross ‘12, a student with the LEAF environmental group, hopes that the new gadget will raise awareness.

“I hope the dashboards will remind students that… leaving all the lights on in their apartment does have a tangible effect in terms of energy waste, even though they cannot see it with their own eyes,” Gross said. “All of our actions have consequences, and the dashboards will point out wasteful habits and hopefully motivate students to reduce their environmental impact.”

Another student sees the value in the dashboard system even though her building doesn’t have one.

“It’s a great way to make people aware of our energy problem and getting people thinking about it,” Erin Sullivan ‘14  from Loyola Hall said. “I wish we had one in my building.”

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