Local energy startup Ibis Networks has installed more than 1,000 “smart” electrical sockets, called “InteliSockets,” across three University of Hawaiʻi campuses—Windward Community College, UH Mānoa and UH Hilo. State officials gathered at Windward Community College to learn more about the innovative pilot project.

“What can be done at the university can very much be ported into any other type of organization in our state—the DOE, DAGS, anywhere else. UH is a great testbed for this type of technology,” said Luis Salaveria, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

InteliSockets

InteliSockets give real-time data readings, which can be viewed and controlled from mobile devices.

Ibis Networks’ sockets and energy management software help to control and reduce electricity usage from devices such as printers, copiers and televisions—almost any device that can be plugged in.

Sockets can be programmed to turn on and off. Each InteliSocket also gives a real-time data reading every 15 seconds, which can be viewed and controlled from a mobile device such as an iPad.

If all recommendations are adopted, Ibis believes that UH’s pilot project could save up to $200,000 over five years.

We think there is the potential to save a pretty significant amount of energy and money for the university,” said Ibis Networks CEO Michael Pfeffer.

At Windward Community College, the sustainability club initiated the project and it’s become the focus for student research into energy waste and heat mapping.

Windward Community College student Madori Rumpungworn said, “I would like people to know that what is important to us is being sustainable, not just for your school but for our community. We would love to be the model for the rest of the community.”

The three-campus pilot project was made possible with financial support from Hawaiʻi Energy and the Energy Excelerator.

“Growing these kinds of companies in Hawaiʻi takes a community,” said Dawn Lippert, director of Energy Excelerator. “It takes people like UH and our business community believing in companies and stepping up to help them work together and that’s really what we’re seeing in this project.”

Larry Newman, director of business operations at Hawaiʻi Energy, said “I think that this successful project will have implications in the home and the office. Plug loads is a growing aspect of energy use, whether in businesses or in homes. I think that’s going to be a new frontier in energy efficiency and conservation.”

The pilot project will also have benefits in the classroom. Professor David Krupp is is planning to incorporate lessons into Windward Community College’s curriculum.

“To me the big take home thing out of all of this is the university being the example that the community can follow,” said Krupp.

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