ENERGY SAVINGS TO DATE
The Sustainability Office focuses on the achievement of campus sustainability performance, resiliency and positive impacts to the bottom line.
The Sustainability Office works 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
- UBC Okanagan achieved an absolute reduction in carbon emissions in for a third consecutive year 2016, reducing the campus’ emissions by 6 per cent, or 165 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e), over the previous reporting year.
- Established the UBC Okanagan Whole Systems Infrastructure Plan (WSIP) and implemented key recommendations that support the continued mitigation of the campus’ carbon emissions and reduction of consumed energy. Recommendations integral to supporting the WSIP’s goals include the formation of a dedicated Energy Team to support the implementation of energy and carbon reduction programs as well as the completion and implementation of the Strategic Energy Management Plan (SEMP) and Campus-Wide 3-Year Energy Conservation & Awareness Strategy – under the program name the Power of You.
- UBC Okanagan established an MOU with FortisBC for Partners in Energy Efficiency Program.
From Building Optimization Program (BOP) to Strategic Energy Management Plan (SEMP)
- The BOP program, a partnership between UBC Okanagan and FortisBC, officially concluded in 2015 with significant results – the combined energy savings of 1,183,379 kWh and 5,544 GJ through the implementation of energy conservation projects reduces carbon emissions by 280 tCO2e and the program will save 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.
- Final energy conservation measures (ECM) implemented in two remaining buildings – the Administration and Science buildings – over 2016 improved the program’s projected savings and led to the achievement of an additional 6 per cent (33,996 kWh) in electrical savings and 87 per cent (1,625 GJ) in natural gas savings respectively, accounting for a projected emission reduction of 81 tCO2e annually. These savings exceeded preliminary BOP targets of 1 per cent electrical savings and combined gas and Medium Temperature District Energy System (MDES) saving of 22 per cent.
- Developed from key recommendations of the UBC Okanagan Whole Systems Infrastructure Plan (WSIP, 2016), the establishment of a dedicated Energy Team and the development of the Strategic Energy Management Plan (SEMP) ensures that ongoing building optimization will continue at UBC Okanagan. The implementation of SEMP projects in 2017/18 by the campus’ Energy Team are projected to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by 2,128,133 kWh, 13,882 GJ and 715 tCO2e annually.
The Power of You
- Continued communications-based 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, Power Down, and residence-focused Bundle Up.
- Retaining the Power of You program identity, the UBC Okanagan campus developed a 3-Year Campus-Wide Conservation Awareness & Engagement Strategy in 2016. Identified as a key recommendation of the Whole Systems Infrastructure Plan, the new strategy leverages and scales up the Power of You’s success, implementing awareness campaigns targeting all WSIP’s performance areas. The Power of You will commence with implementation in early 2017.
In 2016 the campus achieved a 6 per cent absolute reduction in carbon emissions, reducing the campus’ annual carbon offset by 165 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e). A continued focus on demand-side energy reductions programs, ongoing infrastructure performance improvements, and participation in energy conservation activities formed the basis of our carbon emission reduction activities in 2016. The campus also established an MOU with FortisBC for Partners in Energy Efficiency and developed a dedicated Energy Team to support the implementation of energy and carbon reduction activities.
The establishment of the UBC Okanagan Whole Systems Infrastructure Plan (WSIP, 2016) – developed in parallel to and in support of the UBC Okanagan Campus Plan (2015) – was foundational to this year’s achievement. The WISP establishes a long-term roadmap, goals and an implementation plan to address energy, carbon, water, landscape, ecology, biodiversity and engagement.
The Building Optimization Program, a partnership established between the Sustainability Office, Facilities Management and FortisBC in 2012 to conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions from legacy campus buildings, significantly outperformed its savings estimates and targeted paybacks in 2015, and posted additional savings in 2016.
Savings achieved through the integration of energy conservation measures across 5 legacy buildings between 2012-2015 were 1,183,379 kWh and 5,544 GJ, totalling 280 tCO2e. Utility cost savings have also doubled from projected. Final energy conservation measures (ECMs) implemented during 2016 in two remaining buildings – the Administration and Science buildings – improved the program’s savings and led to the achievement of an additional 6 per cent (33,996 kWh) in electrical savings and 87 per cent (1,625 GJ) in natural gas savings respectively, accounting for a projected emission reduction of 81 tCO2e annually. These savings exceeded preliminary BOP targets of 1 per cent electrical savings and combined gas and Medium Temperature District Energy System (MDES) saving of 22 per cent. 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.
Moving forward, the implementation of the campus’ Strategic Energy Management Plan (SEMP) will be supported by a dedicated Energy Management team established in 2016. Developed to support key recommendations of the 2016 Whole Systems Infrastructure Plan, the SEMP’s objectives target energy, carbon and infrastructure optimization that support the successful implementation of the WSIP and achievement of its long-term targets and performance goals.
 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)]
The establishment of UBC Okanagan’s Campus-Wide Three-Year Conservation Awareness and Action Strategy, called the Power of You Program, was developed to respond to a key recommendation of the WSIP in 2016.
Built on the foundation established by the inaugural run of Power of You from 2012-2015, the 2016 strategy broadens the program’s scope to include a campus-wide impact on all performance areas targeted within the WSIP – energy, carbon, waste, water, ecology and biodiversity. The 2017 implementation will deploy campaigns and events that continue to focus on building capacity and encouraging voluntary energy, waste and water conservation actions through community engagement, awareness and education. The campus constituents will also be introduced to measures that support campus ecology and biodiversity.
Founded on the principles of community based social marketing, this behaviour change program will continue to promote conservation awareness and action through the provision of 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 2017.
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 the campus’ absolute greenhouse gas emissions, for buildings only, since the 2007 baseline year against campus growth and increases in student FTE.
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.
Environmental stewardship and cost reduction can be achieved by reducing campus energy, 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 2016 Whole Systems Infrastructure Plan (WSIP) 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 UBC Okanagan’s Whole Systems Infrastructure Plan.