Summer Energy Reduction Measures

June 10, 2014

Western University Colleagues,

In direct response to climbing energy costs and the Global Adjustment (GA) fees, Western is once again reducing the demand for electricity on select days this summer. The effort is expected to mitigate a significant portion of the University’s $17.5 million hydro bill. In previous years, this strategic approach has saved roughly $1 million in utility fees and is expected to be equally successful this year.

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

Western is implementing the same measures of tracking peak days and adjusting electricity demand accordingly. Since electricity demand is directly associated with outdoor air temperature in Ontario, one key area of demand management will be temporary and intermittent reduction of air conditioning. It is anticipated that temperature changes within the buildings will have little impact on occupants and these small increments will equate to big savings.

Our mitigation effort will be more significant with engagement from the campus community. Small acts of conservation by our building occupants can impact energy consumption by as much as 15%.  Staff and faculty are encouraged to participate in the following initiatives to contribute to our summer demand management strategy and to our sustainability efforts on an ongoing basis.

Some simple considerations:

• Lower blinds to prevent the sun from beaming into a room, reducing the amount of work required by air conditioners;

• Turn lights off when a room is not in use;

• Avoid “phantom power” - unplug electronics/appliances when they are not in use;

• Set your computers/laptops to energy saving mode;

• Turn off computers, monitors and printers when you leave for the day.

More information can be found on the Facilities Management homepage at For further questions on our demand management initiative, please contact Brandon Watson at or extension 88736. I appreciate your cooperation as we work together to enhance Western’s conservation efforts.

Lynn Logan
Associate Vice-President (Finance & Facilities)