UTServicesCFMSustainabilityNewsHow can people become more aware of the energy consumption at the University of Twente?

How can people become more aware of the energy consumption at the University of Twente?

Sanne Metten, Creative Technology student, wrote her bachelor thesis about designing an energy data representation to raise awareness within the UT community.


The challenge was to convert the current UT Energy Data Platform into a visualization that everyone can quickly and easily understand. On the Energy Data Platform you can view the consumption of electricity, water, gas, heat and cooling on campus. In addition, energy consumption can be compared between individual buildings and the time range can be selected. Although the Energy Data Platform clearly shows how much energy is being consumed at the university, it soon became clear from literature research that this was not the best way to raise awareness and make people identify with this data.

Personalizing data

To make people aware of their energy consumption, you need to make impact. This was done by making the data, which is currently only measured per UT building, more personal. It has been calculated how much energy a student and employee in a building consume on average. For the prototype the Zilverling was chosen as a starting point. Assumptions have been made about how many students and staff members use the Zilverling, what the occupancy rate is and what the distribution of educational space and office space is. This gives the UT community insight into how much they consume on an individual level. Often big numbers do not mean something to people.

Subsequently, Sanne compared the energy consumption per student and employee with daily used appliances. For example, the electricity consumption is compared to the number of times you can charge your phone, the water consumption to the number of minutes you can shower, and the consumption of the heating to the number of toasties you can prepare. By making these comparisons, Sanne hopes to give people more insight and clarity about how much energy they consume at the university.

Convey a message

The aim was not only to give the UT community insight into their energy consumption at the university, but also to show that you can save energy with small changes. You can easily save 33% energy when you put your laptop on standby, or 7% when you turn the heating down a degree.



Finally, Sanne made an interactive prototype where people can see how much energy the Zilverling consumes per day and can choose to view the average energy consumption per student or employee in the Zilverling. You can also see what you can do per energy source to save energy.

Unfortunately, the development of the prototype is still in its early stages and cannot yet be placed in the buildings at the UT. To make this possible, it must first be linked to the database and it should be applied to multiple UT buildings. Sanne hopes that it will be further developed in the future, to see what effect it has. A challenge for the new group of students!