Q: Are there any fees for participating in CCN?
A: No, participation in CCN is FREE, including use of Lucid’s Building Dashboard, BuildingOS, and Building Blocks during the program.
Q: Do campuses have to participate in both electricity and water?
A: No, you can choose to participate in electricity only, water only, or both!
Q: Can community colleges participate?
Q: What about Canadian colleges & universities?
A: Yes! We certainly welcome the participation of Canadian institutions and have had great Canadian competitors in years past.
Q: Do I need Building Dashboard to participate?
A: No, all CCN participants that do not already have Building Dashboard will be given a free copy of Building Dashboard to use during their competition.
Q: Do we need to have sub-meters and smart meters?
A: No, you can run CCN with any level and any type of meter so long as you can get weekly (or ideally more frequent) readings. Many schools have run successful competitions without smart meters--taking in-person readings of their meters and manually entering their data into BuildingDashboard. In fact, most participants enter their data manually. Only Lucid customers and those with access to Green Button utility data have the option for automatic data uploads.
Q: How do I register a group competition?
A: We're still finalizing group competition registration for CCN 2015. Once finalized, instructions will be posted on the CCN website and emailed to competition organizers at all registered schools.
Q: How do I change the logo on our competition page?
A: Send your new logo to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: How long do we get to keep our Building Dashboard + BuildingOS + Building Blocks?
A: You will have access to these tools through May 31, 2015.
Q: What is a baseline period?
A: The baseline period is a period of time prior to the competition in which a “baseline”, or standard level of consumption, is established. The baseline serves as “normal” period against which consumption during the competition period can be compared to produce a percent reduction.
Q: When should our baseline period be?
A: CCN recommends that your baseline period be the two or three week period immediately prior to your competition. For for information about picking a good baseline, download the Competition Planning Guide.
Q: Why isn’t the previous year used for the baseline?
A: We believe that using a baseline immediately prior to the competition results in a better comparison for two reasons: First, buildings often undergo changes year over year. For example, facilities upgrades are done over the summer, and comparing a building against its previous year’s performance could skew the results to show reductions that are due to changes in the building itself, not behavior. Second, part of the goal of CCN is to inspire students by showing them that personal actions can collectively make measurable differences in consumption. We think having a baseline that represents the current occupants of a building is a more accurate way of measuring the effect of a group of students changing their behavior.
BuildingOS and Data Collection
Q: Can I use data from my school’s monthly electric and/or water utility bills to participate?
A: Unfortunately no. In order to hold an energy or water reduction competition, you must give the individuals that live/work in the participating buildings feedback on how they’re doing, which isn’t possible if you only have monthly utility bills. CCN requires that you be able to provide your participants with feedback at least twice a week. Your options for getting access to this data are:
- Physically reading your school’s electricity and water meters every 3 or 4 days to see how much electricity or water has been used in the building since you last looked at the meter
- If your buildings have “smart meters” (i.e. digital utility meters) and your school’s utility makes your utility data available online, you (or someone with permission to do so) can log into your school’s account on your utility’s website and download the data twice a week
- If the meters in your buildings are connected to a building automation system (i.e. energy management system), such as a Siemens Apogee, JCI Metasys, or ALC WebCTRL system, a member of your facilities staff may be able to send you reports twice weekly of how much electricity/water each building has used over the last 3 or 4 days.
For more information about data options, download the Competition Planning Guide.
Q: What if we don’t have a meter on every building?
A: You can still participate in CCN! Though you won't be able to do a building vs. building competition, you can do any of these other great options:
- Option A: Do a campus vs. campus competition
- Option B: Have buildings compete in groups (for example, north quad vs. south quad)
- Option C: Do a challenge (goal of reducing by ___% campus-wide) instead of holding a competition
Q: How often do we need to submit meter data to BuildingOS during the competition?
A: Schools are required to submit data at least twice per week, though we encourage you to submit data more frequently if you are able to.
Q: Do we really have to enter data twice per week during our competition? Isn't once a week enough?
A: There's lots of research that suggests that more frequent feedback is more effective at motivating people to change their behavior. Thus while entering data twice per week is not a hard and fast requirement, we strongly suggest doing so since otherwise participants in your competition will only get actionable feedback twice over the course of your competition (end of the first week, end of the second week), or maybe three times if you do mid-week readings.
Q: If I’m a Lucid customer, can buildings on my campus that are not connected to our Building Dashboard still participate in CCN using data manually entered into BuildingOS?
A: Yes! You’ll be able to add as many manual data buildings as you like to BuildingOS and your Building Dashboard for CCN.
Q: How often do competition results on Building Dashboard update?
A: Every hour.
Q: Does Building Dashboard normalize data to account for differences in the weather between the baseline period and competition period?
A: No. Unfortunately, weather-normalizing data is very tricky, and is not something that is currently provided by CCN. However, weather rarely affects water consumption, and competition timing, along with other tactics, can be used to minimize the extent to which weather affects buildings’ electricity consumption. For more information on reducing the impact of weather on your competition, read the Competition Planning Guide.
Q: Where do I enter the meter readings for the baseline period?
A: All meter readings, including readings for the baseline period and competition period, are entered into the "Data Manager" section of a meter's profile in BuildingOS.
Q: My competition ended at midnight, but I have final data to enter - will it count?
A: Yup! BuildingOS continues to recalculate competition standings even after a competition has finished, so final meter data entered after the end of a competition will be incorporated into results as soon as it is entered.
Results and Standings
Q: How are competition standings calculated?
A: Competition standings are dependent on the percent reduction in a building's rate of electricity usage during the competition period in comparison to the average rate of electricity consumption the during baseline period. Specifically:
percent reduction = 1 – (average rate during competition / average rate during the baseline)
where rate is measured in kW (electricity) or gallons per hour (water)
Note that since we use rate (kW, gallons/hour) instead of total consumption (kWh, gallons), the competition period and the baseline period can be different lengths.
Q: Where can I see results for the other schools in the competition?
A: You can only see results of other schools if they are in your same group competition. We publish the collective savings on the website, but not results for individual schools. Results for individual schools are kept private. When all the spring competitions are over, however, CCN will publish distribution charts that let you see how your reductions stack up nationwide. See examples from 2014.