College Students Leave Dorm, HVAC Adjusts

Energex, a Vancouver, BC, developer of occupancy sensors for commercial buildings, installed sensors in 275 rooms across two residence buildings at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario.

With the help of financial incentives provided by Kitchener Hydro and Kitchener Utility, the project reduced energy consumption by nearly 150,000 kWh between August and November 2012. As a result, utility costs for both buildings were reduced by over $26,000. It is projected that the system will pay for itself within two years, after which Conestoga College will continue to receive the cost savings resulting from reduced energy consumption.

Student housing, similar to hotels, is faced with the problem of keeping residence rooms heated and cooled when the rooms are often vacant. With Energex, occupancy status of a room is detected through the use of passive infrared sensors. After a room has been vacant for over thirty minutes, the system switches to ‘conservation’ mode and automatically lets the temperature drift. Once an occupant has returned to the room, the system quickly reverts to the initial HVAC settings.

Energex systems are currently deployed in over 150,000 university, hotel, and residential rooms worldwide, according to the company.

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