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Energy Savings to Date

The Sustainability Office focuses on the achievement of campus sustainability performance, resiliency and positive impacts to the bottom line.

We work with high impact operational units on campus to embed sustainability actions at the unit level through engagement and planning, setting annual unit level carbon neutral commitments and developing utility partnerships and associated funding opportunities – actions that are demonstrating measurable results.

Year in Review



  • Campus achieved a 17 percent absolute reduction in carbon emissions resulting in a $14K carbon offset savings to the university.
  • Project funding of over $85K from BC Provincial Government's Carbon Neutral Capital Program, ongoing routine capital investments, and FortisBC.

Building Optimization Program (BOP)

  • Energy savings achieved is 1,183,379 kWh and 5,544 GJ through the implementation of energy conservation projects.
  • BOP saved the campus over $150,000 in ongoing annual utility costs in a 0.7 year payback period- the equivalent to a 140 per cent return on investment.

The Power of You

  • Continued engagement of the campus community through a range of energy reduction campaigns promoting a variety of initiatives and energy awareness, such as Turn Off the Lights and Power Down.
  • The "Recycle your empty coffee cup" campaign introduced to the campus initiating the recycling compliance, waste reduction awareness campaign. 
  • The development of a new Three-Year Campus-Wide Conservation Awareness & Engagement Strategy commenced. Identified as a key recommendation of the Whole Systems Infrastructure Plan, the new strategy will leverage and scale up the Power of You's success. 

In 2015 the campus achieved a 17 percent absolute reduction in carbon emissions and over $150K utility cost reductions. A strategic focus on demand side energy reduction- supported by combined project funding of over $85K secured by the campus through the BC Provincial Government's Carbon Neutral Capital Program, the Sustainability Office's partnership work with FortisBC and ongoing routine capital investments- formed the basis of our carbon emission reduction activities in 2015. 

Energy SavingsThe Building Optimization Program, a partnership between the Sustainability Office, Facilities Management and FortisBC to conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions from legacy campus buildings, significantly outperformed its savings estimates and targeted paybacks to-date. Savings achieved through the integration of energy conservation measures across 5 legacy buildings was 1,183,379[1] kWh and 5,544 GJ. Utility cost savings have also doubled from projected. This does not include savings at the district energy and central heating plants, where savings will be amplified through the relative efficiency of those systems. $200K of this project's external funding was secured by the Sustainability Office for this three-year project in 2012. 

[1] [601,720 kWh: K:\ADM\PPLANT\Shared\Energy and Sustainability\BOP\SES\Projects Implementation\UBCO Implementation Management Tool – Ver 2.1 Last Updated June 2015]

[1,183,379 kWh: K:\ADM\PPLANT\Shared\Energy and Sustainability\BOP\SES\Projects Implementation\UBCO Implementation Management Tool – Ver 2.1 (from June 2016)]

POU1The Power of You encourages voluntary behavior change toward energy conservation on campus.  Sponsorship and in-kind support for the program was secured by the Sustainability Office from FortisBC in 2012 for the three-year program.

POU3Founded on the principles of community based social marketing, this energy conservation behaviour change program continued to provide education to staff, faculty and students with an aim to foster, promote, and assess the impact of voluntary actions to conserve energy and reduce environmental impacts in 2015.  

The Power of You will be broadening its scope in its next phase of development. As a key recommendation of the Whole Systems Infrastructure Plan, a new three-year Behavioural Change Energy and Environmental Stewardship Plan will be completed in 2016. The new engagement strategy will scale up on the Power of You's success by continuing to focus on community engagement, awareness and education designed to build capacity and encourage voluntary energy, waste and water conservation actions, as well as measures to support campus ecology and biodiversity. 

Campus Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In compliance with Provincial legislation the Sustainability Office has been measuring, reporting and offsetting campus greenhouse gas emissions since 2010.

The table below provides a summary of campus greenhouse gas emissions, for buildings only, since the 2007 baseline year against campus growth and increases in student FTE.

*Total GHG Emissions for 2007-2009 reported buildings only emissions; 2012-2015 includes all in-scope emissions.

 Campus GHG emissions have remained relatively stable as compared to growth in floor area and student FTE. The energy efficiency of new construction, the retro commissioning of existing facilities, and the implementation of a geo-exchange district energy system which provides aquifer ground-sourced heating are contributing factors.

Going Forward

Environmental stewardship and cost reduction can be achieved by reducing campus energy and water demand and the production of carbon emissions and waste.  These will become more important areas of focus with anticipated regional impacts of climate change; uncertain commodity pricing; and carbon offset liability costs associated with compliance with BC Provincial greenhouse gas emission reporting and offsetting legislation. 

The campus undertook a significant building and infrastructure analysis in 2015 as part of a broader sustainability planning process that helped advance early actions towards the achievement of the campus' 2050 Whole Systems Goals. Demonstrating our commitment to sustainability and fiscally responsible development, the Whole Systems Infrastructure Plan establishes UBC Okanagan's long-term sustainability roadmap, performance targets, and 5-year implementation plan that will define our continued actions to support climate stewardship, resiliency, and the overall health and wellbeing of our campus community. 

Click here to learn more about our emergent Whole Systems Infrastructure Plan.

Last reviewed shim11/30/2016 1:01:40 PM