For over a decade we’ve been actively working on a range of initiatives to reduce our energy consumption. You can join us and become involved on campus.
Minimising energy use
Improving energy efficiency is one of the key sustainability initiatives on campus. It is the most effective way of reducing carbon emissions and it saves money too. The University has been actively undertaking energy efficiency projects since 2006, striving to ensure our facilities run efficiently and reduce the University’s carbon footprint.
Since 2007 we have reduced our energy consumption by 6.7GWh/yr, despite adding an additional 30,000 square metres of additional floor space. This means we are using 20 percent less energy per student and 30 percent less energy per square metre of floor space.
We currently use about 30 GWh/yr of energy. About 40 percent of that is natural gas, which is used predominantly for space heating and hot water. About 60 percent is electricity, which is used for air conditioning, lifts, lighting, electronics, lab equipment and lots more.
Energy is responsible for just under half of our carbon footprint. While we have improved a lot in the past decade, we still have a lot more to do as part of our response to climate change. Our Energy Management Strategy lays out our goals and objectives.
We are continually looking for opportunities to save energy. Some examples of the energy efficiency projects that have been delivered include: upgrading heating, ventilation and air-conditioning plant and optimising its control; lighting upgrades; computer power management software; fume cupboard sash control; façade upgrades; installation of solar hot water and photovoltaic panels. We have a long history of collaboration with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority to deliver energy saving projects on campus.
What can you do?
- If you are the last person to leave a room turn the lights off, even if the room will only be empty for a couple of minutes.
- If there is enough natural light, turn the lights off – daylight is a much higher quality light to work by.
- Shut down PCs at the end of each day.
- Enable Power/Energy Save Modes on electronic equipment - MFDs, printers, monitors and other devices with these features.
- When you are finished working at a fume cupboard in a science lab, lower the sash to save on fan power.
Heating and cooling:
- Dress appropriately for the conditions – wear warmer clothes in winter, cooler clothes in summer.
- Close windows and doors to keep out the cold air and open to cool non-air-conditioned spaces.
- Be reasonable with setting temperatures. Adjust your radiator or air-conditioner to provide a comfortable but not excessive air temperature.
- Use the stairs if you are only going up one level or down two levels.