McGill University Uses Pulse Energy API to Create the McGill Energy Map


Flexibility and configurability are two of our guiding principles when it comes to developing great, user friendly software.

McGill University in Montreal has taken advantage of this open approach, offering students access to the Pulse Energy application program interface (API) to experiment with and build their own applications.

Ian Tattersfield, a student at the McGill Energy Project and Website Communications Associate for the McGill Office of Sustainability, has built a great visualization of campus energy use.

Starting with a satellite view of the McGill campus from Google, Tattersfield added an additional layer to the view to show the distinct shape of each building on campus.

He then pulled in energy data for every building on campus through the Pulse Energy API with the end result being the McGill Energy Map, a map that displays how much energy each building uses, updated at hourly intervals.McGill Energy Map

Buildings with consistently high use during the day appear to be McLennan Library and Maass Chemistry Building while Redpath Museum and a number of the student residences have lower energy requirements.

The configurability of the API and open access to the building data is a great tool for student learning and also helps raise awareness about how everyone at McGill can contribute to saving energy.


Tattersfield is not the only student who has taken advantage of the opportunity to experiment with our API.

McGill also hosted a Code Jam in 2013, a competition where students built their own energy visualization software using data retrieved data from a variety of different sources including the Pulse Energy API.

In that competition, the grand prize winner used the API to incorporate energy and weather data to come up with a predictive energy model for the campus.

This is essentially a very limited version of the advanced energy intelligence software (EIS) that energy managers in large building portfolios around the world use today.

This includes those energy managers at McGill as well, who used insight from their EIS to save over 2,300 GJ of energy between May 26 and June 26, 2014.

It’s important to us to ensure our customers from the largest of utilities to the smallest of universities can configure the Pulse Platform to their liking and we love seeing the learning opportunities that come out of experimenting with different programming tools.

If you’re interested in learning more about our work with McGill, check out our case study on how their energy management team uses EIS, or contact us to learn more about the Pulse Platform.

Comments are closed.