M Today | Stability | Celebrate Electricity Day | Whuff News

5 October 2022-

It’s Energy Efficiency Day in Canada, and UM is taking steps to increase efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve our sustainability goals.

Recently, UM committed $22 million to increase energy efficiency on campus and received an additional $14.5 million from the Investment in Infrastructure Program of Canada through the Government of Canada. With this funding, UM is upgrading the Max Bell Center Ice Plant to increase the efficiency of the refrigeration loop which will reduce energy consumption costs and GHG emissions. The new ice plant will include a waste heat recovery system where additional heat can be distributed where needed on campus!

In addition to the Max Bell upgrade, UM has commissioned the implementation of new electric boilers to help heat our campus. By 2021, an assessment of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is being implemented in UM’s Climate Action Plan. The list showed that the university emits 57,000 tons of total GHG emissions. With the implementation of these new electric boilers, we will offset a total of 16,000 tonnes of GHG, furthering UM’s goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

In addition to reducing GHG emissions, these boilers will also be able to produce an average of 51% of the campus’s total heat and provide all the heating needed during the summer months!

What can you do to celebrate energy efficiency today and every day?

  • Unplug the electronics: When you are not using your electronics, be sure to unplug them to prevent phantom power or use a smart strip/power bar to prevent power from being wasted. Phantom power is when the electronics use less power even when turned off. According to Natural Resources Canada, electricity “can account for 5 to 10 percent of a home’s electricity bill.”
  • Bundle up: Fall is here, and winter is near. Avoid overheating in your home and office. Instead, try wearing a sweater, grab a blanket, make your favorite hot drink and take a short break to increase blood flow.
  • Use daylight: Sunlight will not only save you from turning on the lights and using excessive energy but will also help increase brain productivity. Natural light has been proven to keep the human mind alert. Open the blinds to let the light in and turn off any lights you don’t need. At night, make sure only the lights you use are on.
  • Shut down your computer: By turning off your computer at night, turning off the monitor when you’re away and setting your computer to turn off the monitor or screen after a set time, you can save energy and save money on your electricity bill. In addition, reducing energy consumption extends the life of your electronics, which means you buy less and save more of our Earth’s resources.

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