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Funding powers sustainability efforts

University and city partnering to reduce energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) accepts a cheque from Sean Meleschuk, Vice-President of Utilities Kingston.
Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) accepts a cheque from Sean Meleschuk, Vice-President of Utilities Kingston, in recognition of Queen's University's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as energy and water consumption. (University Communications)

Queen’s is continually working to reduce its carbon footprint and on Thursday the university received more than $700,000 in funding from Utilities Kingston in support of a number of projects aimed at cutting energy and water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The $717,915 in funding, provided in part through provincial Save on Energy programs that are powered by the Independent Electricity System Operator, accounts for grants and incentives for projects completed in 2017, primarily as a result of realized water and electricity savings. 

CAPit BY THE NUMBERS
1,147 toilet retrofits
61 urinal retrofits
353 shower head replacements
1,523 faucet moderators installed
1,666 LED retrofits
1,364 upgraded ballasts
9,216 fluorescent tube replacements

Much of the funding is related to the university’s CAPit program, a $10.7-million comprehensive energy conservation project with international energy services company Honeywell. The project has a target of reducing the university’s greenhouse gas emissions by over 2,600 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of taking 944 mid-sized cars off of Canadian roads.

“Queen’s has placed a priority on financial and environmental sustainability. This funding enabled the university to expand the CAPit project, reducing our utilities expenditures while, at the same time, significantly cutting our impact on the environment,” says Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration).  “The CAPit program has been a success, and we thank Utilities Kingston for their contribution supporting these conservation measures.”

When complete this December, the CAPit project will have implemented more than 170 individual energy conservation measures in 66 campus buildings. These include the installation of low-flow fixtures to reduce water usage, upgraded lighting and building climate controls to reduce energy consumption, as well as heat recovery systems and improvements to building envelopes.

The measures are already having a positive effect.

By the end of 2017, Queen’s will have saved 185,000 m3 in water, enough to service 3,700 four-person homes for a year. Similarly, electricity consumption will have been reduced by 2.95 GWh, enough to power 295 average Ontario homes for a year.

"We applaud the university's commitment to reduce energy and water consumption, and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Queen's' efforts to install water and energy conservation measures help extend the useful life of municipal utility infrastructure and further our progress towards meeting provincially-mandated electricity conservation targets. All this, while making a positive impact on the environment," says Sean Meleschuk, Vice-President of Utilities Kingston. “Our unique multi-utility model provides our customers with one-stop access to water, gas and electricity conservation programs. We are proud to partner with local businesses and institutions as we help build a better community.”

The Queen’s Climate Action Plan is available online.

More information about the CAPit program is available on the Sustainability Office website.