Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Energy management efforts pay off with $500,000 in savings

  Posted on: December 19, 2016

LED outdoor lamp

This lamp is one of the many on campus switched over to more efficient LED technology.

BC Hydro has recognized Thompson Rivers University as an energy conservation leader. Saving $500,000 collectively in utility costs this year alone, TRU has more energy savings as a percentage of total consumption than any other post-secondary institution in the province.

A participant in BC Hydro’s Energy Manager Program for the past seven years, BC Hydro congratulated TRU and Jim Gudjonson, director of the Office of Environmental Sustainability and energy manager for the program, for outstanding energy efficiency results and ongoing support for conservation and energy management.

In his letter to TRU President and Vice Chancellor Alan Shaver, BC Hydro Marketing Manager Jim Nelson cited TRU’s work in establishing an overall target that was signed off by senior management, undertaking lighting projects to switch to more energy efficient LED technologies, and participation in BC Hydro’s Continuous Optimization program as key contributions to achieving the energy management goals set out in TRU’s Campus Strategic Sustainability Plan (CSSP), created in 2014.

“I appreciate your dedication to energy management best practices,” Nelson wrote, “and taking a strategic approach to continued reductions in energy use which will help students to learn about the importance of being smart with power.”

Gudjonson says the energy savings were only possible because of the team effort. “We surpassed our energy savings goals thanks to strong support from senior administration, collaboration with Facilities and numerous departments, and the commitment of so many staff and faculty who turn off their lights or shut down their computers when leaving the office.”

The five-year CSSP guides the Sustainability Office’s efforts with short-, medium- and long-term goals. The CSSP is aligned with the overarching goals of TRU’s strategic priority to increase sustainability, and with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Reporting System (STARS). In March 2015 TRU received a Gold AASHE STARS rating with a score of 71.58.

“The university made sustainability one of its five strategic priorities, followed up with an ambitious plan which won the active engagement of students, faculty and staff and now we are seeing remarkable energy savings,” said Shaver. “The university community deserves to feel proud of their commitment.”