Over the past few years, the Facilities Management team, in collaboration with other units and areas on campus, have worked on implementing a Demand Management program, which allows us to reduce our electricity consumption used for cooling our buildings.
What is demand management?
It is a methodology used to forecast, plan and manage electrical demand. "Demand management" represents Facilities Management overall efforts and activities to protect its users and Western's infrastructure. It is important to manage how much electricity is drawn from the grid, as it effects the price of energy and the capacity of the grid to supply that power. Overloads in the electrical grid can lead to outages and damages to the infrastructure. Western is doing its part by monitoring and reducing its load when necessary to avoid problems in the province's grid. In addition, the electrical demands of Western during Ontario's peak demand hours determine a significant portion of the costs for the following year. Therefore, by reducing demand Western saves an average of $2,000,000 per year.
Demand Management efficiency initiatives are reducing Western's need for more energy infrastructure. As the campus grows it would be natural to add or expand substations and chillers to grow with it. By investing heavily in efficient systems and retrofitting or upgrading others, Western can continue to grow while drawing less energy from the grid.
How can the Western community get involved?
The campus community's involvement can impact energy consumption by as much as 15%. Here are some simple considerations for energy conservation campus community members can implement;
- Keep hydrated. Visit one of Western's water stations throughout the day
- Set the thermostat between 22 and 24 degrees Celsius
- Shut down all non-essential equipment (coffee makers, printers, desk lamps, monitors, fans, etc.)
- Unplug all appliances in the kitchen
- Unplug all research loads that do not need to be working during the night
- In days of extreme heat, keep windows, curtains and blinds closed to prevent your space from warming up
- Turn off all lights when leaving a room