Energy Saving Initiatives
Saving energy is everyone’s responsibility and there are initiatives across the university that contribute to reducing the university’s footprint. Here are a few highlights.
Plug-In Power Cycling
Many of the university’s outdoor parking lots offer electrical power outlets so that drivers can power their block heaters. This keeps cars running in the deepest cold of winter.
To help reduce needless energy consumption, Parking Services employs a unique strategy whereby electricity to the power outlets is cycled on and off in response to outside temperatures.
Electricity is not supplied if the outdoor air temperature is too warm. Between -15ºC and -25ºC, the power supply is cycled off and on. Only when the temperature is below -25ºC will the block heaters be powered full time.
View the full schedule and details
Information Services and Technology is working to save energy in campus computer labs, offices and facilities. New equipment, including LCD displays and servers, are reducing electricity-use and require less air conditioning to operate. Virtualization consolidates multiple computing systems into one, more efficient server. Default settings in computer labs shut everything down at night, saving as much as 50 per cent on energy use.
In March 2015, users in GSB 217 and GSB 866 participated in a new energy-saving initiative. Computer display settings where changed to sleep-mode when the computer was left idle. To wake the computer up, users could press any key.
Tips for home and at work:
- Power down your computer, laptop or tablet when not in use.
- Ensure power saving settings are activated.
- Plug into a power bar to eliminate standby power.
- When it’s time to upgrade, ensure you buy an ENERGY STAR certified product.
Plug Load Energy Reduction Project
From computers and printers to fridges and microwaves to laboratory equipment, there is electricity being used at power outlets all over the university. New plug-load monitoring devices allow this energy to be measured and devices to be scheduled to reduce energy use. This project is in the pilot stage.
What does it take to produce 30 per cent of the electricity and all of the heating and cooling used on campus?
One heating plant, two cooling plants, a thermal energy storage system, two electrical switching stations, 10 km of underground service corridors and an extensive metering system covering over 100 buildings on 123 hectares of land.
Mike Versteege, Manager
Energy Management & Sustainable Operations