VUB begins EnerJettic energy-saving project

VUB begins EnerJettic energy-saving project

Jette student block is pioneer for an energy-efficient campus

VUB research group MOBI has begun an energy consumption study in the student accommodation on campus Jette. For 18 months, the students will receive various tips relating to energy consumption. Researcher Shary Heuninckx explains: “The goal of EnerJettic is to look at what is needed to reduce the consumption of gas and electricity. We will also learn which energy-saving actions VUB can successfully roll out on a large scale in the future.”

EnerJettic, the first energy project for Brussels students

To guarantee an environmentally friendly future, we need to focus not only on switching to renewable energy sources but also on reduced and more efficient use of energy. That’s why EVERGI, a sub-group within MOBI led by Professor Thierry Coosemans, has developed a two-part pilot project in the framework of the European Horizon 2020 project RENAISSANCE. On the one side, a safe and reliable micro energy network will be created for UZ Brussel, while under the name EnerJettic, students on the campus will be encouraged to use the available energy in their accommodation sparingly. EnerJettic is the first energy-saving project aimed at Brussels students.

Heuninckx: “To increase the awareness of the student community of their own energy consumption, smart meters have been installed in student house A on campus Jette, which collect individual data. Until now, there has been no separate data collected about electricity and heating use and the students don’t receive personal energy bills, so there is little motivation to save energy.”

Students have access to an online dashboard where they can view their electricity and heating consumption at any time. Evolutions over time are indicated, as are peak times, and they can see if their patterns of use are similar to those of their flatmates.

Covid-19

Because of Covid-19, only 10 of the 40 rooms in block A are in use. Heuninckx: “We’ve turned this disadvantage into an advantage. Originally we’d planned to start by nudging, and to have the students carry out energy-saving tasks on site. But given the current situation, that makes little sense. The advantage, however, is that it gives us the time to collect a reference measure – individual measurements of existing use. And through a social media tips campaign, we will also work on the energy awareness of students outside their normal dorm context.”

During 2021-22, various challenges for the students involved will be launched, with the chance to win sustainable prizes. Actions will take place to put saving tips into practice, researchers will test how willing students are to adapt their daily habits in relation to fluctuating electricity prices, they will look at which temperatures ensure optimum feelings of comfort, etc. The measurements will show how much is saved by applying certain tips. Researchers can also see which actions have a positive effect in the long term. This provides useful information for future campaigns.

EnerJettic runs until mid-2022.

Contact

Shary Heuninckx – MOBI – EVERGI research group

shary.heuninckx@vub.be,

0472 91.63.20

http://enerjettic.be/

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