Lighting requirements account for 12 per cent of the energy used in institutional and commercial operations in Canada 1. To support operational sustainability on campus, the Sustainability Office encourages building occupants to practice the following behaviors to save energy and costs associated with lighting:

  • Turn off lights when leaving a room or when you notice an unoccupied space with lights on.
  • Work by daylight when possible, or near windows to utilize available natural light.
  • If lighting in your work space is sensor or timer-controlled which doesn’t reflect user needs, connect with Facilities Management to determine the most sustainable and user-friendly approach.

Lights Out! Challenge

Turning lights off when not required can be a small, yet effective way to reduce energy. In October 2013, the Sustainability Office implemented the Lights Out Challenge which encouraged building occupants to turn off lights in occupied and unoccupied spaces for one hour. The Lights Out! Challenge yielded strong participation with a 2,323 kWh reduction in energy consumption over one hour among academic buildings compared to baseline. If academic building occupants conserved such an amount of energy every noon hour during a regular work week for a year, the campus would save over $44,000.

Lights Off

In a survey commissioned by the Sustainability Office in early 2014 targeting staff and faculty, 75 per cent of respondents claimed to turn off office lights at the end of the day. Although turning off lights was regarded by 98 per cent of those surveyed as the easiest energy-saving activity for staff and faculty to engage in, nearly 40 per cent reported to never or infrequently observe others turning off lights.

Energy-Efficient Lighting

Supplemental to supporting improved energy-conscious behavior among campus constituents, lighting systems upgrades have been conducted to achieve dynamic energy savings. In multiple campus locations, occupancy sensors and timers were installed and incandescent lights were replaced with LED standard to save electricity whenever possible. An intensification retrofit of valance lighting in the Administration building was completed resulting in 14,600 watts of immediate power savings. Lighting retrofits in the Gymnasium involved installation of a supplementary energy-efficient lighting option for non-sporting events. Building signage around campus is lit by solar power as a further operational measure taken to reduce electricity consumption.

With your support in turning off the lights when not required, we will save energy!

[1] Energy Efficiency Trends in Canada 1990-2010, National Resources Canada. http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/products/categories/commercial/15150