U of G's Energy, Water Conservation Efforts Successful, Report Says

February 07, 2011 - News Release

The University of Guelph saved $734,000 and reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 1,363 tonnes last year through comprehensive energy and water conservation programs, according to the just-released 2009/2010 Community Energy Plan report.

The report is now available on the Physical Resources website.

The report details the University’s progress toward long-term goals outlined in U of G’s first Community Energy Plan. Developed in 2008, this plan is updated each year.

The five-year plan was developed along with a City of Guelph initiative to engage the entire city in energy-saving strategies. The goal is to improve energy efficiency on campus by 1.5 per cent a year on average through retrofit and upgrading projects.

“The vision was to create a healthy, reliable and sustainable energy future by continually increasing the effectiveness of how we use and manage our energy and water resources,” said Nancy Sullivan, vice-president (finance and administration).

“The University’s plan includes measurable goals for reducing utility use, conserving water and improving transportation efficiency to offset increasing energy demands from institutional growth.”

The cost savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions in 2009/2010 came from various energy initiatives ─ energy and water conservation programs, ongoing retrofit projects and strategic capital renewal projects with energy implications ─ as well as the efforts of many individuals and campus departments.

Major projects completed in 2009/10 under the plan include:
• a comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory for the main campus to help U of G track its carbon footprint more effectively;
• renovations and the installation of energy-conserving windows in the Lennox-Addington Hall student residence;
• an energy-saving lighting retrofit in the University Centre;
• implementation of a water conservation project in the Hagen Aqualab; and
• installation of a heat-recovery system in the MacKinnon Building to reduce energy use and carbon emissions.

U of G students have committed to contributing $10 each semester for 12 years to the University’s energy conservation fund, which supports the Community Energy Plan. Along with matching dollars from the University and pledges from staff, faculty, retirees and alumni, the funded projects will total more than $10 million by 2020, representing a major retrofit of campus energy systems.

Fund disbursements are determined by a campus energy conservation working group of students, faculty and staff.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982 or dhealey@uoguelph.ca.

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