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May 9, 2013

Camosun's five-year energy management plan concluded on a high note March 31, greatly exceeding its targets and contributing over $2.7 Million to the fiscal bottom line in avoided costs and new equipment/infrastructure.

No Planet B

This success clearly demonstrates how energy conservation can enhance operating budgets while maintaining a vibrant, productive and livable work/study environment for students and staff.

The numbers tell it all:

  • $4.4 Million in incentive and project funding
  • $1.2 Million in cost avoidance through conservation initiatives. NOTE: this number would be higher if all conservation actions were measured.
  • Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of 828 tonnes per year (original target was 200 tonnes by 2012)
  • Carbon offsets worth over $48,500 each year, entirely compensating for Camosun's annual carbon tax of $40,500

"Camosun has a long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability," says Brian Calvert, Associate Director of Facilities Services, "When BC Hydro and the Public Sector Energy Conservation Agreement (PSECA) announced their five-year energy management incentive program in 2007, we seized the opportunity to expand our efforts and rally the whole college community."

With two campuses, 120 acres, 38 buildings, 2,400 rooms, 85,000 light bulbs, 20,000 students and 1,000 employees, it was reasonable to conclude the college could find energy savings and contribute to overall campus environmental sustainability. Calvert and his team aimed to achieve energy cost savings of 10% and greenhouse gas reductions of 200 tonnes by 2012, measured against 2005 baselines.

By switching to low energy lighting systems, improving ventilation and air conditioning systems and implementing awareness campaigns to help shift consumption behaviours, Camosun was able to achieve success without imposing hardships to students or staff, and without compromising day-to-day operations. "Our goals were quadrupled! It just goes to show how small actions translate into big savings," says Calvert.

Camosun's strategic plan identifies sustainability as one of the four key pillars, standing on a par with education, community engagement and culture of excellence pillars. All facets of the college contribute to overall environmental sustainability, from the award-winning Environmental Technology diploma program and the Solar Thermal course taught by nationally-certified instructors, to parking and transportation programs, printing services, and the Environmental Sustainability Council that connects students, faculty and staff. Through the dedication of our entire college community, Camosun is shifting the net impact towards a long-term, positive ecological footprint.

Now that the Energy Management plan is finished, areas for future consideration include Information Technology upgrades (e.g. virtual server analysis), new solar technologies and new business practices to instill an energy culture.

Media Contact

Brian Calvert
Associate Director, Facilities Services
Camosun College

Last updated: May 10, 2013 10:51 am

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