Energy Monitoring Analysis

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High Mills Electricity Use

As of February 2013, Mills uses a visibly high share of electrical energy: Why would Mills be different?

Unlikely/Insignificant Factors (According to the Author)

Heating Costs: Mills has 56700 sq feet and three floors of rooms. If one estimates a floor to be 8 feet high, Mills has 170,100 cubic feet of volume. Bundy has 45413 sq feet and four floors of rooms. Making the same estimation, Bundy has 181,652 cubic feet of volume. Since the energy use disparity between Mills and Bundy occurs in the Winter (when they would both be heated) and heating costs would need to align with building volume, heating cannot explain the gap

Wasteful Students: Unless inefficient, ecologically incognizant people intentionally cluster in Mills to establish a safe-haven free of vegetarians and those who recycle, it would be very improbable that they'd all end up there. Because people chose their dorm based on a large set of considerations, I don't think relatively wasteful students would all end up in the same place.

A Higher Number of Students: Mills is not an outlier in terms of student capacity. A list in decreasing order of student capacity in dorms is Bundy(165), Barrett(141), Mills (132), Olvey-Andis(111) , Earlham Hall (108), Hoerner (80), Warren (56), Wilson (49).

Probable Significant Factors

Mills, unlike the other residence halls, has private bathrooms.

The Mills measurements differ from the actual energy usage by a constant proportion. In electrical terminology, an incorrect amperage correction factor would be responsible for a consistent, proportional source of error.

Open Questions

Does Mills aggregate energy usage of the U in any non-obvious way?

The amperage correction value used in the code is the same as the value in our wiki documentation. How can we check if these figures match reality?

Daily Cycles

Energy usage in most dorms peaks around midnight. An example:


In the evening, around midnight, people tend to leave common spaces like the libraries and coffeeshop and return to their rooms. Campus energy usage, then, would be concentrated in the dorms

People oftentimes take showers at night. This would contribute if heating water uses electrical energy.

Open Questions

Is electrical energy used to heat water for showers, etc?