Facilities Management

Summer Energy Reduction Measures

June 11, 2013

Western University Colleagues,

Western is taking a strategic approach to reducing energy consumption on campus this summer. The measures come in direct response to a utility repayment fee, known as the Global Adjustment (GA) tax that accounts for roughly $7 million of the university’s $16 million electricity bill. By reducing energy on campus at select times throughout the summer, Western can significantly reduce its contribution of the GA tax.

GA was created by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to recoup the cost of reserve energy that is purchased to protect the province from blackouts.  The IESO applies extra fees to large energy users on days in which energy is in the greatest demand, known as peak days. 

The strategy this year is to reinstate the same measures of tracking peak days and adjusting energy consumption accordingly. Since demand energy days are directly associated to outdoor air temperature in Ontario, one key area of conservation will be temporary and intermittent reduction of air conditioning. For example, during the peak energy days this summer, Western will be operating on reduced cooling between the hours of 2-6 p.m.

Last year, Western reduced its contribution applying this initiative, saving the university roughly $1 million. It is likely that temperature changes within the buildings won’t be significant and these small increments have big energy savings.

Beyond what Western is doing, that campus community’s involvement can impact energy consumption by as much as 15%.  Staff and faculty are encouraged to engage in the following types of initiatives to contribute to our summer energy strategy and to our sustainability efforts on an ongoing basis.

Some simple considerations: 

More information can be found on the Facilities Management homepage at http://westernu.ca/fm. For further questions on the cooling initiative, please contact Beverley Ayeni at beverley.ayeni@uwo.ca or extension 86311. I appreciate your cooperation as we work together to enhance Western’s conservation efforts.

Lynn Logan & Jane O’Brien
Interim Associate Vice-Presidents
Facilities Management