USask receives funding to reduce carbon emissions

SASKATOON—The University of Saskatchewan (USask), with the support of federal funding, will work to improve energy efficiency resulting in significant cost savings.

More than $1.5 million was announced today by Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, as part of the Government of Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Fund to help USask improve energy efficiency at its Saskatoon campus.

“Our project will follow a tried and true process of energy management,” said Greg Fowler, vice-president, finance and resources at USask. “We will improve energy efficiency of USask buildings through retro-commissioning, controls upgrades and energy improvement measures.”

Fowler said the project, which has a total budget of $3.48 million, will cover work in about 26 buildings on campus and would be completed by March 31, 2022.

“When we are done this work, we are expecting $647,683 in annual energy savings,” said Fowler, adding that the project would also result in a reduction of greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide equivalent) of about 4,000 tonnes per year by 2030.

The Low Carbon Economy Fund—an important part of Canada’s climate plan—was established with this goal in mind, to significantly reduce greenhouse gas in support of Canada’s 2030 emission reduction target of 30 per cent below 2005 levels.  

“The most obvious impact of climate change in Saskatchewan is the increasing frequency and severity of damaging weather, including storms, floods, droughts, and wildfires,” said The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Regina-Wascana. “The costs in the last few years have added up to hundreds of millions of dollars. So doing nothing about climate change is not cost-free. By supporting innovative projects like the University of Saskatchewan’s, we can lower emissions, lowering many of those costs, and grow our economy at the same time.”

To that end, the USask project will include everything from repairing broken equipment and searching for equipment that is running when not required, to installing energy recovery systems and looking for energy savings opportunities in how building temperatures are controlled.

“These measures look to fix, replace or eliminate equipment or systems that waste energy or don’t use energy as efficiently,” said Fowler, noting that sustainability has been a key priority for USask.

“We introduced several new initiatives in the past few years and we are realizing that small changes can make a big difference,” Fowler said, adding that in the Education Building alone, plumbing retrofits save 30,000 litres of water every day.

In 2017, because of its sustainability initiatives, USask received a silver Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Ratings System (STARS) ranking, three years ahead of its original target of 2020.

“We have lots to be proud of when it comes to sustainability,” Fowler said. “But we also know there is always more to do, so support we receive from programs like the Low Carbon Economy Fund makes a huge difference.”

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For more information, contact:

Jennifer Thoma
Media Relations Specialist
University of Saskatchewan
306-966-1851
jennifer.thoma@usask.ca

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