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Using work space-scheduling software to save energy

PeopleCube's Resource Scheduler room reservation software connects to buildings' climate control systems, turns off room's air conditioning and heating when not in use.

PeopleCube, a company that makes software for managing rooms and other resources in buildings, has added energy efficiency features that can gather information to optimize office building energy usage.

The company's Resource Scheduler software lets people arrange the use of conference rooms, shared desks for telecommuters, and equipment for tasks such as video conferencing.

Next month, it will announce Carbon Footprint Tracker, a program that links the company's resource management software to building climate control systems.

The software will do things like turn off the heat or air conditioning in a room when people are not scheduled to use it, and turn it back on before people use it.

These automations will enable people to cut down on their building's energy usage by up to 20 percent, according to PeopleCube CEO John Anderson. "We think of it as low-hanging fruit," he said.

Buildings do need to have relatively recent climate control systems--done in the last five to seven years--to be able to share information between applications, according to Anderson.

The company on Monday also announced additions to its resource-scheduling software that provide reports on energy savings. People can view how much energy is saved, or the carbon emissions avoided, by using resources like videoconferencing or by having employees telecommute.