WattTime: GHG Reductions From Campus Facilities

Project Lead: Anna Schneider, Sho Kawan

Sponsor: CITRIS

TGIF Grant: $21,700

Project Theme: Energy Efficiency and Conservation 

Project Location:

2015 Application Submission

Status: In Progress

Project Description: This project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions due to electricity use in facilities across UC Berkeley campus by identifying opportunities to shift energy use to times when the cleanest energy is available from the grid, and implementing software and building controls systems to take advantage of those opportunities.

Goals: Recommend demand management measures that would shift electricity usage to cleaner times in campus facilities. Reduce carbon emissions in campus facilities through real-time data, software, and controls. Support student interns and a student-founded nonprofit.


Expected or Actual Completion Date

Project Start date

May 2015

Initial meeting with Sutarja Dai Hall Building manager

May 29th 2015

Sutarja Dai facility inspection

June 5th 2015

Meet and inspection for CNR

June 15th 2015 (determined that buildings were not a good fit)

Proposal Sent for Sutarja Dai Hall  

June 16th 2015

Meeting with Energy Office and research to determine suitable buildings

June 30th 2015

Outreach Meeting:

w/ facilities staff, building managers, Berkeley Energy & Climate Institute, and Energy Office

July 16th 2015

1st project Installation at Sutarja Dai Hall

July 23rd, 2015

(Building manager was on vacation)

Monitoring for Sutarja Dai Started

July 24th, 2015

Inspection for Law School

July 29th, 2015

Meeting with HVAC specialist & software

August 10th, 2015

Meeting with RSSP Office

August 18th, 2015

Inspection at the Tang Center

August 20th, 2015

2nd Installation:  Simon Hall (law school)

August 28th, 2015

RSSP Office Building Site inspection

September 9th, 2015

Sutarja Dai & Simon Hall: system starts green-shifting, CO2 reduction begins

September, 2015

3rd building installation

End of September, 2015

4th building installation or Simon Hall System expansion

End of September, 2015

Notifications software development incorporating staff feedback

Nov 2015

Software training with facilities staff

Dec 2015

Notifications software starts operating, sustainability benefits begin

Jan 2016

GHG metrics monitoring, software improvements, and additional trainings as needed


Final project report, funds spent

Aug 2016

  • Hosted a community gathering for Building managers from various buildings, Berkeley Energy & Climate Institute, as well as the staff from the UC Berkeley Energy Office.  
  • Extensive Meeting with the Central IT staff to ensure that project data analysis will not violate university policies.
  • Working with the Energy Office to find best way to access data sets
  • Project is on track to not only fulfill the purpose of the grant but do even more with the funds. Project has installed monitoring/control equipment for buildings that are currently not being monitored by the energy office.
  • Installed monitor/control device in Sutardja Dai, got permission to do the same in Simon Hall (Law School). This allows project to closely look at HVAC unit energy consumption 
  • Sutardja Dai Hall data is being collected. The system is ready to start cutting CO2 emissions soon.  The connections made through this project have also led to another project with the residential student services office.
  • Campus staff were initially very difficult to reach but project has developed solid relationships with them and now have their direct contact information: this will make things much easier.  
  • Project is having more difficulty getting a larger building on board.  However, the data analysis will be ready to go and project can showcase the benefits of doing this on a wider scale.
Budget Update/Expenditures to Date  
  • Project is operating under budget so far and have used some funds to install additional monitoring in buildings that are not currently being monitored.  Furthermore, project is able to directly control the HVAC in those buildings and this can result in automated GHG savings. 
Education and Outreach:
  1. Twitter
  2. Twitter Post (retweet by the installing contractor of the monitor/control device)
  3. WattTime Twitter Post  (liked by Professor Scott Moura of the Civil Engineering Dept at Berkeley)
  4. Twitter Post 
  5. WattTime Blog 
  6. Facebook 
  •  Sutardja Dai project featured at the CITRIS foundry events


Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.