This can mean dimming the light by 10%, or raising the thermostat temperature by a few degrees in the summer, or pre-cooling rooms, or pre-heating the water.
“A building can respond,” said Dale Hoffmeier, CTO of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Administration of the US Department of Energy.
These automated buildings can then be connected to solar panels, batteries, waste heat generators and other small energy sources. Connected together, smart buildings with different usage patterns can be programmed to share resources.
Madison’s project will include lighting, heating and cooling systems, and electric vehicle charging stations. – “Anything that uses energy,” Schütter said.
Schütter said the first phase will focus on about half a dozen municipal buildings, although the goal is to eventually expand to public and private sector buildings at Madison Gas and Electric site.
“We want to use the city as a testing ground and then pilot the MGE in the wider community,” Schütter said.
Stacey Rees, City’s Sustainability Coordinator, said the award is “great news” that will help the city move towards its goals of increasing resilience and reducing carbon emissions.
The five-year project, set to start in early 2022, will also help researchers know how far they can go with small changes without affecting comfort.