In order to reduce electricity costs and contribute to the sustainability of the province’s energy system, Queen’s is once again participating in an electricity peak demand management program this summer. As part of the program, Physical Plant Services (PPS) will shut down air conditioning systems in a number of campus buildings on roughly 10 afternoons over the months of July, August and the first week of September. These shutdowns will be tim ed to coincide with the expected peaks in provincial electricity demand and, combined with the university’s cogeneration activities, are expected to save roughly $1 million on the university’s electricity
Occupants in the affected buildings will notice temperature increases during the shutdown periods. However, where possible, PPS will attempt to mitigate this by pre-cooling buildings prior to the shutdown. Health and safety is always a top priority and PPS will closely monitor building temperatures. bill in 2015-16.
Queen’s participation in the peak demand management program this year will potentially save the university $1 million on its electricity costs in 2015-16 and contribute to a sustainable energy system in Ontario.
The university’s annual electricity bill is roughly $11.5 million, with approximately 45 % of that amount attributable to a charge called the “Global Adjustment” (GA). The GA is applied to the electricity bills of Ontario’s large electricity users based on their proportion of total provincial demand during the 5 peak demand hours from the previous year. It was established to recover costs associated with renewable power generation and other power contracts, and to create an incentive for large electricity users to reduce their consumption during peak demand periods and thereby reduce or delay the need to purchase electricity or construct new power generation capacity, both of which can carry financial and environmental costs.
Peak demand management programs are common at large electricity users like Queen’s, which has been participating in the program since 2012. During the summer of 2013 the program saw air conditioning systems shutdown in a number of campus buildings between 4 and 6 pm. The results were roughly $500,000 in savings on this year’s electricity bill.
This year, the university will expand its demand reduction efforts and also use its electricity cogeneration facility to feed power into the grid, which has the same net affect as reducing demand. Air conditioning systems will be shut down roughly 10 times this cooling season, between noon and 6 pm on the expected peak demand weekdays in July, August, and early September.
The following buildings will be impacted by air conditioning shutdowns. Note that buildings with large labs and those without central cooling systems are not included in the program.
Beamish-Munro Hall Jeffery Hall School of Kinesiology
Chernoff Hall (Admin Wing/Theatres) John Deutsch University Centre Stauffer Library
Douglas Library MacDonald Hall Stirling Hall
Dunning Hall Queen’s Centre Watson Hall
Fleming Hall, Stewart-Pollock Wing Richardson Hall
Gordon Hall Rideau Building
Building occupants will likely notice temperature increases during the shutdown periods. PPS will distribute weekly notices of anticipated air conditioning shutdowns and we recommend that departments inform staff and plan accordingly. Staff and faculty may wish to wear clothing appropriate for slightly higher indoor temperatures.
Last year, during the two-hour long air conditioning system shutdown, interior building temperatures increased by 2 or 3 degrees. With this year’s shutdowns running for a longer period (noon to 6 pm), temperature will naturally increase by a greater amount. However, where possible, PPS will attempt to mitigate this by pre-cooling buildings prior to the shutdown. Keep in mind, not all campus buildings have air conditioning systems.
Health and safety is always a top priority and PPS will closely monitor building temperatures. Anyone with concerns is encouraged to contact FIXIT at 77301 or by email. The university has health and safety guidelines for working in hot environments.
PPS will be working with Event Services to ensure that conferences happening on campus are not disrupted by the shutdown. If you are holding a conference on campus and would like more information please contact FIXIT.