Carleton University is continuing to implement actions and programs within its Energy Master Plan. This plan provides key strategic direction for achieving reductions in energy usage and emissions reduction; utility and carbon cost savings and campus engagement towards the university’s plan and individual actions. Carleton has set aggressive targets towards carbon reduction with a 50 per cent reduction by 2030 and zero carbon/neutral by 2050.
You can find out more about the work towards energy and carbon reduction in our Energy Master Plan.
Switch to LED lighting
In 2018, over 1,200 exterior lighting fixtures including parking lots, roadways, pathways and tunnels, were replaced with more energy efficient LEDs. This project will provide annual savings of 652,000 kWh. With funding coming in part from the Green Revolving Fund, tunnel lighting was also included. The overall LED lighting project will save the equivalent CO2 emissions from 93 homes energy for one year and annual cost savings of an estimated $115,000.
Carleton University has committed to ensuring that all new construction and major renovations achieve a minimum rating of 3 out of 5 globes with the Green Globes Rating system. To date 11 buildings on campus have been certified to this standard. Find out more about Carleton’s commitment to Green Buildings and the measures and initiatives involved.
Large scale energy retrofits have been completed in Athletics, Robertson Hall, Loeb, Mackenzie, Minto CASE, Dunton Tower and Maintenance Building. This has seen targeted energy reduction measures including building assessment and energy audits, LED re-lamping, replacing control systems, retrofitting plumbing fixtures with high efficiency, IT computer sleep software and improvements to building exteriors.
To date, within the five initial buildings included as part of the first phase of energy retrofit programs, there have been annual cost savings of $660,342 and GHG reductions of 1281 equivalent CO2 tons. A number of other buildings have been targeted for future implementation and retrofits.
Further promotion and engagement to individual departments to encourage energy conservation has also been further developed. This is included as part of the Green Workplace checklist. Targeted promotion in residence has seen the installation of Energy Display Screens to provide real-time data regarding energy use to all residents. In addition, the development of a sustainable living floor has ensured wider promotion of best practices.
How can you… save energy?
Turn off lights when not needed
Whenever possible, turn off the lights when not needed, as your leave your workplace, and always at the end of the day.
Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL’s) use significantly less energy than traditional bulbs and last longer. However, the elements inside CLF’s make the bulbs toxic once they burn out or break, so follow the correct procedures when dealing with old or spent bulbs.
Here on campus we have a dedicated bulb crusher, to safely and responsibly dispose of our old light bulbs before onward collection.
What can you do?
- Buy energy-efficient (ENERGY-STAR rated) light bulbs
Enable power management on my computer
Setting your computer to standby or sleep mode after a few minutes of inactivity will use up to 80% less energy than leaving it awake, and will only increase boot-up time by a few seconds.
Additionally, unplugging your computer and letting the battery drain (instead of leaving the computer plugged in whenever possible) extends overall battery life, reducing your consumption of electronic goods.
What can you do?
- Learn how to power manage your computer
- Unplug your computer when you do not need to charge it
Wash clothes in cold water
90% of the energy used in washing clothes comes from heating the water. If you switch to cold water for washing your clothes, you can save up to $35 a year just in heating bills. If you use warm instead of hot water you can cut your energy use in half.
Using cold water also makes your clothes last longer and prevent color bleeding, preventing unnecessary consumption of clothes.
What can you do?
- Put a note on your washing machine to use only cold water
Replace incandescent light fixtures with Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs
On average CFL’s use 75% less energy than traditional bulbs, plus they last 10 times as long. Just make sure to properly recycle it when it eventually burns out because it can be reused and throwing it away will leach harmful chemicals, like mercury, into the soil.
Plug electronics into power strips
Plugged-in electronics use energy, even when they are turned off. This “vampire energy” that is never actually implemented can end up costing you hundreds of dollars every year. Be sure to turn off power strips when not in use or simply unplug the cords you are not currently using.
What can you do?
- Write notes on appliances to remind yourself to unplug them
- Buy a smart power strip that will automatically keep appliances from using vampire energy
Take the stairs, not the elevator
Although opting out of the elevator once does not save much energy, over the course of the year it is possible to save enough energy to power a plasma TV for 48 hours. Plus, taking the stairs burns upwards of 5 Calories a minute and strengthens cardiovascular and lower-body strength.
Use blinds and shades more effectively
You may not realize it, but you can significantly warm a room (or cool it down) by what you choose to do with your window treatments. During the daytime, if you have bright sunlight coming directly through your window, this will heat up a room significantly. If you are trying to keep a room warm at night, put the shades or curtains down, so that heat doesn’t leak out the windows.
Defrost your freezer periodically
Regularly defrost manual-defrost freezers and refrigerators; frost buildup decreases the energy efficiency of the unit. Don’t allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.
Set your thermostat 2 degrees cooler or warmer
Each degree below 78, when you are trying to cool your home, will increase your energy use by 3-4%. So don’t set your A/C lower than 78 when you are trying to cool your home, a good goal is leaving it at 80. Doing so can save you about $19 from your bill and CO2 from the atmosphere
In the winter months when you are trying to heat your home set the temperature 2 degrees lower than normal and bundle up, rather than wearing a tee-shirt around.
What can you do?
- Turn off your A/C or heater while you are not at home
- Close A/C or heater vents that lead to rooms you do not use often
- Invest in blankets and try to cuddle up to feel warm before turning up the heat
- Insulate the walls of your house or apartment to ensure the air you are heating is not escaping