The University of South Florida (USF) was founded in 1956 and is a public university serving over 35,000 full-time students. The main campus, located in Tampa, is one of the twenty largest universities in the United States. Like many large campuses, a central energy plant with chilled water and hot water distribution throughout the campus provides heating and cooling to over 80 buildings. Undertaking a campus-wide metering project for over 4.3 million sq ft of conditioned space was no easy task.
USF did not have a comprehensive method of measuring actual energy usage in individual buildings. While some buildings had meters of various types in place, most did not. Internal utility bills were based on square footage of conditioned space, and this fixed-cost method offered no incentive for energy conservation by individual departments. In addition, the physical plant department was tasked with managing vast resources with insufficient information regarding their use.