U of G, City Collaborate on Retrofits

November 30, 2007 - News Release

The University of Guelph, the City of Guelph and Guelph Hydro have collaborated on three campus conservation projects aimed at reducing water consumption and energy use. The retrofits will also save the University hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

The projects include a water retrofit of six campus buildings, a new sewer rate agreement with the city and a lighting retrofit of an additional five University buildings.

The $350,000 water retrofit, which included incentives from the City of Guelph, involved upgrades to Lambton Hall, the MacKinnon Building, the W.F. Mitchell Athletics Centre, the McLaughlin Library, Creelman Hall, the Bullring and the University Centre.

The retrofit involved installing low-flush toilets, urinal flush controls and low-flow aerators on taps. The changes are expected to save 315 cubic metres of water per day, which will save U of G about $94,500 annually in water costs.

The University’s new sewer agreement with the city is expected to save the campus about $250,000 a year. Under its terms, U of G will be charged for actual water usage rather than having charges be based on a 1966 formula that considered variables such as the University’s population. U of G has pledged to invest half of the savings into additional water conservation projects over the next five years.

The water initiatives were supported by the City of Guelph as part of an effort to reduce consumption in line with its water supply master plan.

“Our campus community has a long-held reputation for acting with social awareness and concern,” says president Alastair Summerlee. “We are now engaged in active and timely conservation and have made great strides in reducing our water and energy use. Help and support of this type from the City of Guelph is essential to our being able to do even more.”

In addition, Guelph Hydro is helping to fund a $229,000 lighting retrofit that took place in six campus buildings: the Gryphon arena, MacLachlan Building, Stewart Building, Reynolds Building, Trent Building and Athletics Centre.
The project involved removing existing fluorescent light fixtures and ballasts, fitting them with smaller, more efficient lamps and more efficient reflectors, which reduced the number of lamps required in some fixtures. In the Athletics Centre, incandescent lights were also replaced with fluorescent lights. Overall, the reduction in energy demand is expected to save about $65,000 annually.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, l.hunt@exec.uoguelph.ca or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982, d.healey@exec.uoguelph.ca

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1