Utility company provides incentive for University’s conservation efforts

A new system to monitor the University’s energy use will help to identify ways to save both energy and money, says the Facility Services engineer responsible for the project.

“Each building has meters to measure its consumption of electricity, natural gas and cooling water, and now we have a central system to gather all of that information on one desktop,” says Dan Castellan. “We can analyze each building independently and set performance standards.”

The monitoring and targeting program won support from Enwin Utilities on Monday in the form of an incentive cheque worth $42,375, half of a total of $84,750 in funding through the Ontario Power Authority’s saveONenergy program. The second incentive payment will come after Enwin assesses the system in operation.

Michael Duben, Enwin’s vice-president of customer relations, called the company’s support of conservation efforts “the right thing to do.”

“It’s the only way for us to be part of a sustainable future,” he said. “We can reduce costs and you can do other things with the money saved.”

He pointed to a number of projects, from the adoption of green principles in building design to the development of recycling programs, as examples of the University’s focus on energy and water conservation. The University received the company’s GreenSTAR Award, its highest conservation honour, in 2009.

“If we didn’t have partners to work with, we wouldn’t be able to be as innovative,” Duben said.

Honeywell design the University’s new system to collect data from existing monitors and equipment. It sets up a network that will allows users to analyze both real-time and historical data; allocate energy costs on a building-by-building basis, view information from any computer, and generate reports for export to spreadsheets and database applications.