Energy and Water Conservation

Health, Safety and Environment

Authorization: Board of Governors
Approval Date: Oct 9, 2014

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure the university operates in a sustainable manner managing energy and water consumption by using energy and water efficiently, wisely and responsibly.  This policy contributes to meeting the university’s commitments and goals with respect to energy and water-related costs as well as greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy use.

To align with the university’s greenhouse gas reduction targets, which are identified in the Climate Action Plan, the university has set a goal to reduce energy and water consumption annually by 5%.  Reducing overall energy and water consumption is key to meeting the university’s commitments as a signatory to the University and College Presidents’ Climate Change Statement of Action for Canada (UCPCCS).

This policy supports and enhances the university’s commitment to environmental sustainability and encourages change in individual behaviors, actions, and campus processes. 

The policy supports management of ongoing energy and water related costs and reduces university risk to future carbon compliance regulations and payments.  Energy and water management provides leadership on this global issue.

Principles

The university is committed to modelling sustainability and practicing effective stewardship of institutional resources while providing an excellent learning, teaching and research environment.

The university is committed to increasing environmental sustainability through implementation of the Campus Sustainability Plan.

Scope of this policy

This policy applies to faculty, staff, students, researchers and other members of the campus community.  All water and energy sources (including, but not limited to, electricity, steam, chilled water, gasoline, diesel and natural gas) are included.

The Campus Sustainability Plan states: Every member of the campus community will act sustainably and will make informed choices in all areas of campus life: education, research, operations, governance and community engagement. 

Policy

Energy and water are essential to university operations to support all work, study and research. All members of the campus community will endeavor to use energy and water in the most efficient manner possible.  Energy and water use can be managed by all departments, colleges and units through awareness and adoption of the most efficient procedures and practices.

The campus community shall make informed choices to minimize the institution’s ecological footprint associated with energy and water, with a goal of continuous improvement and reduced operating costs.

Responsibilities

Members of the campus community, faculty, staff, students, researchers and visitors, are responsible for identifying areas of inefficient energy and water use and measures to remedy inefficiencies, and actively working towards eliminating inefficiencies in energy and water use.

The Office of Sustainability is responsible for developing energy and water conservation awareness campaigns and assisting members of the campus community in identifying areas of inefficient use of energy and water and finding potential solutions to address those inefficiencies.

The Energy Steering Committee, overseen by the Sustainability Committee, is responsible for the oversight, guidance and endorsement of energy conservation on campus; approving the Energy Management Plan and energy reduction targets; updating this policy; approving energy and water conservation procedures; engaging working groups to develop and implement solutions for energy reduction; and supporting working groups in allocating required resources.

The Sustainability Committee is responsible for leading the institutionalization of sustainability in all areas of campus life, including reducing the university’s ecological footprint associated with energy, water and GHG emissions.

The Associate Vice-President Facilities Management Division is responsible for reporting GHGs annually to Environment Canada through the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Program. Reporting is required for facilities that emit more than 50,000 tonnes of GHGs annually.    The AVP FMD is co-chair of the Sustainability Committee and a key member of the Energy Steering Committee.

The Vice-President Finance & Resources is responsible for committing to energy and water conservation on campus and providing executive sponsorship of the Energy & Water Conservation Policy.

Procedures

Any process, procedure or equipment that does not use energy or water efficiently, should be reviewed and changes implemented by appropriate responsible parties.

All equipment procurement decisions should include review of energy and water consumption specifications.  Where possible the highest efficiency models should be purchased.

Facilities Management Division will provide information and make recommendations on energy conservation actions. 

Each university organizational unit shall identify energy and water inefficiencies and work towards continuous improvement and reductions.

Appendix 1: Best Practices

Many sources of information are available on methods and practices for using energy and water efficiently.  The following are some helpful tips on individual actions to consider.

Turn lights out when you leave rooms unoccupied or in unoccupied rooms that you pass.  Encourage others to do the same.

Turn off or unplug office equipment, laptop computers, monitors and lab equipment, unless in use, especially at night and on weekends.  Unplug equipment that is not used frequently.

Turn off fume hoods and biosafety cabinets when not in use to prevent the loss of conditioned air.

Adjust the thermostat to save energy when you are away from your office or dorm room for extended periods or vacations*.  Set to lower temperatures during the winter and warmer settings during the summer. (*where thermostat is adjustable)

Once-through water-cooled devices are strongly discouraged.

Develop research processes that are efficient and use resources wisely.

Dress appropriately for each season.  Personal heaters and cooling devices are strongly discouraged.

Choose computer and device power management settings to minimize energy usage.

Report water leaks to Customer Service Centre.

Use compact fluorescent light or LED bulbs in all floor and desk lamps.

Do not idle fleet vehicles.

Best practices for the design of new facilities and large renovations are included in the University of Saskatchewan’s Design Manual.  As standard practice, energy and water efficiency are considered when designing new buildings.

Institutional best practices include:

Develop policy and procedures with goals of energy and water efficiency and continuous improvement.

Integrate energy and water management into organizational structure with clear delegation of responsibility for energy consumption.

Develop an Energy Management Plan with implementation across campus.

Develop funding opportunities to support investment in energy and water conservation projects.

Develop a communication plan to share with the campus community energy efficiency and energy and water performance. 

Develop engagement and awareness programs with regular publicity campaigns.

Implement an Energy Management Information System to monitor consumption and measure and verify savings for energy and water.

Related Documents

There are no other documents associated with this policy.

Contact Information

Contact Person: Kathryn Theede, Energy and Emissions Officer, Office of Sustainability
Email: kathryn.theede@usask.ca
Phone: 306-966-2495