Energy minister lauds Western conservation

Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli visited campus Thursday afternoon to see firsthand the strides Western has taken in its energy conservations initiatives and partnership with London Hydro.

Paul Mayne // Western NewsOntario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli visited campus Thursday afternoon to see firsthand the strides Western has taken in its energy conservations initiatives and partnership with London Hydro.

Western is an energy conservation and demand management leader when it comes to the province’s public sector institutions, said Ontario Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli during a campus visit today.

“It really shows tremendous leadership in innovation,” Chiarelli said. “It’s something, I feel, that can be replicated in other places. I had a general understanding of what I was coming to see. But to see the level of detail, management and, quite frankly, commitment and passion the people at the university here have for it, it’s something. It’s quite impressive.”

During the tour, Facilities Management staff demonstrated how building automation has played a role in conservation efforts. A one-of-a-kind utility monitoring and control system, developed at Western, manages building performance. The system has led to an average reduction in energy demand of 2 per cent per square foot each year and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 12 per cent since 2009.

“Western is committed to reducing energy consumption and is seeing great results,” said Lynn Logan, Finance and Facilities associate vice-president. “Not only is this consistent with our goal to embed sustainability into every facet of daily life on campus, but it is financially responsible. “

Partnering with London Hydro, Western benefits from several incentive programs, supporting a continued investment in efficiency, equipment and technology. London Hydro’s customized data cloud helps benchmark the performance of new infrastructure and buildings.

“It’s the people here at Western who are helping us,” said Paul Kilbourne, supervisor of meter and database management at London Hydro. “Not only do want to offer a product, but we want them to see what is happening with that product and be able to get feedback on what we need to, and can, do better. We can’t be operating independently from our customers. We are very fortunate to have that relationship here, where there is communication at all times and not just when a problem arises.”