Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

April 11, 2007

Province Honours Students For Energy Initiative

The Ontario Power Authority’s Conservation Bureau today recognized undergraduate students at the University of Guelph for their initiative to improve energy efficiency on campus.

The students were presented with a Certificate of Recognition by Peter Love, Ontario’s Chief Energy Conservation Officer. It recognizes the recent approval of a student referendum that has undergraduates committing more than $4.3 million over 12 years for energy conservation.

The money will be used for projects ranging from lighting and heating to water efficiency to retrofitting. The University is matching all the money raised, earmarking all of the funds for energy conservation and continue looking for partnerships from all levels of government.

“The U of G students are doing exactly what we need all Ontarians to do,” Love said. “They are committing to using energy wisely and they are putting their resources into the challenge. It’s good for the students, it’s good for the university and it’s good for Ontarians.”

The certificate was accepted on behalf of U of G students by Adam Scott and Derek Pieper, who helped lead the referendum campaign. “I am very happy to see the amazing commitment made by Guelph students recognized by the province,” Scott said. “Students have truly demonstrated leadership through their actions here, and acknowledgment of their contribution is well-deserved. I hope this referendum will be seen as a catalyst to provoke similar actions to reduce energy at other institutions.”

The referendum, which was approved in late March, was proposed by the Student Executive Council (SEC), a broad coalition of all student governments, and Guelph Students for Environmental Change’s Renewable Energy Group. It was approved by a 14-per-cent margin.

“The Energy Retrofit campaign was a collaborative effort made by a group of very dedicated students and supported by a student body that values the importance of energy conservation,” Pieper added.

President Alastair Summerlee congratulated the students on the provincial recognition, as well as on their initiative and commitment to reducing energy consumption. “I am proud that our students have taken the lead on this initiative. They have really set the stage for both our University community and other universities to follow.”

Summerlee added that energy conservation is a shared responsibility and that Guelph has made great strides in reducing energy consumption. The University has launched a number of initiatives in recent years to reduce energy consumption, including energy retrofit programs and engaged educational programming, which have had a positive impact on its overall energy consumption. The University has also identified a list of projects that it wishes to complete to further green the campus.

“With the help and support of our community, we can do even more,” Summerlee said. Faculty and staff also have the opportunity to contribute to ongoing energy conservation efforts, and that money will also be matched by the University. Information is available online or by calling 519-824-4120, Ext. 56695.

In addition, Summerlee announced Wednesday that the University is teaming up with Deborah Kaplan at Zerofootprint to launch an initiative to measure the “ecological footprint” of every member of the University community. It will involve a web-based calculator that people can use to estimate and analyze the impact daily activities such as car travel and electricity use are having on the environment.

For media questions contact:

Lori Bona Hunt, Associate Director (News Service), Communications and Public Affairs, University of Guelph, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338

Tim Taylor, Manager, Media and Public Relations, Ontario Power Authority, (416) 969-6353,

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