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Watt's in the News? - Volume 26

BTU Crew Newsletter Volume #17: A Growing Trend: Consumption & Demand Charges. With a goal to spread out electrical demand and reduce stress on the grid, many utility companies are in the process of implementing demand charges and/or time-of-use rate charges. Here are two short videos from two utility companies in the Midwest, Understanding Demand Rates & Time Based Plans, to have your students watch to help explain these new rate programs.

With policies like these being implemented not just for commercial customers, but residential customers, too, it illustrates the need for all students to be learning about energy use to be wise consumers in the future. This is where “smart” technology now allows consumers to see and analyze the data to make data-driven decisions. Utilizing school buildings as Living Learning Labs helps bring these lessons to life and provides real-world applications not easily made with a textbook lesson. When there is only one meter reading/month, energy efficiency suggestions are really nothing more than that…suggestions. There isn’t data to clearly indicate what is going on in the building and when it is happening. With smart buildings, though, we can see what is happening every 15 minutes and now we can make data-driven decisions…your students can, too! 

Here is a look at one way students are able to see and really study peak demand:

graph watts in the news

For a different perspective, here’s an example of a one month heat map in a different building: 

graph watts in the news

The purpose and goal of Trane’s Educational Program is to help create these connections between industry and the classroom, assisting teachers and students with interactive industry tools that provide experiential learning opportunities to increase both consumer awareness and career development. As Educators in Residence, we use our 70+ years of combined classroom experience to provide the support to build this bridge, enabling teachers and students to learn together as you get started. Have questions or would you like more information as to what this might look like in your classroom? Feel free to contact us any time! 

Tate Honaker

Meet Dan WhislerTrane Educator in Residence

Tate Honaker

Meet Bill NelsonTrane Educator in Residence

Learn more about Trane's STEM Education Programs