Working together as a community and communicating with decision-makers can make a big difference in enacting change and promoting large-scale energy conservation. Students at the University of Guelph felt so strongly about the necessity for energy conservation that they voted to enter a funding partnership with the university administration. Each undergraduate student pays $10 a semester, and graduates $6.75 a semester, over the next several years. Each dollar paid by students is matched one-to-one by the university and directed solely at energy conservation projects. A multi-stakeholder committee of students, faculty and staff called the Energy Conservation Working Group (ECWG) meets monthly to discuss projects and opportunities for using the joint energy conservation funding.
Projects are selected based on:
- reducing environmental impact
- educational opportunities
Here are some highlights from past years:
Rozanski Projects 2003 - 2004
Stack Heat Recovery
The university heats close to 9,000m2 of our building space with recovered waste heat. A significant step in energy conservation on campus was the installation of a stack heat-recovery unit in our Central Utilities Plant, which produces the steam which heats most of campus. The heat recovery unit captures a portion of the exhausted heat energy from the stack and uses it to heat the water that heats Rozanski Hall and the MacKinnon Building Extension, essentially heating them for free.
Most cooling on campus is taken care of through the use of centrally chilled water. The installation of new chillers in 2003 helped energy efficiency at the source. The newer chillers use 0.5 kilowatts/ton of refrigeration instead of the 0.8 kilowatts/ton that the old chillers used. The new chillers also use non-CFC coolants.
Crop Science Retrofit 2004 - 2005
The Crop Sciences building underwent an energy retrofit over the summer of 2004, greatly reducing water and energy use. Changes included upgrading and altering the lighting in the horticultural growth rooms, upgrading urinal systems, adding aerators to taps, upgrading the air handling units to respond to increased or decreased occupancy, and upgrading the ventilation fans and controls for the growth rooms. Simple measures like sealing exterior doors and adding door sweeps were also implemented.
|CO2 Prevented||600 tonnes|
|Natural gas||1,700 m3/year|
|Overall utility savings||$205,000 per year!|
Lighting Retrofits 2011-2012
The library had zone-based controls installed for the area lights. This allows "light harvesting", i.e. making sure that ceiling lights near windows are off during bright daylight hours.
In MacNaughton, Zavitz and the J.T. Powell building the T12 fluorescent fixtures were upgraded to high-efficiency T8 fluorescent fixtures.
MacNaughton HVAC Retrofits 2012-2013
MacNaughton building's mechanical air systems was upgraded. This project was the fourth major undertaking by the energy conservation working group.