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Memorial University commits to energy savings

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

On July 10, Memorial University signed an agreement with Honeywell to commence the second phase of an energy performance contract (EPC). Initially started in 2008, the purpose of the contract is to find ways to save energy and reduce the university’s utility costs.

The second phase of the program is valued at $28.4 million, is fully guaranteed and will be funded through energy savings. The program focuses on energy-efficient solutions to upgrade facilities, reduce operating costs, improve indoor air quality and reduce environmental emissions.

“We’ve experienced great success with the initial phase of this program,” said Ann Browne, associate vice president of facilities, in a press release. “We are eager to continue campus improvements through this program and welcome the cost and energy consumption benefits.”

An EPC program allows the university to upgrade infrastructure without significant capital investment. Phase one of the program targeted eight major facilities on the St. John’s campus, with performance exceeding annual targets. Phase two is targeting 45 facilities on the St. John’s and Grenfell campuses. The program includes the installation of high-efficiency lighting and controls; upgrades to heating, ventilation and cooling equipment; upgrades and optimization of building system and equipment controls; and sealing air gaps in windows and doors to more effectively maintain conditioned air.

Not only will the EPC program help with reducing costs, but it will have a significant environmental impact, cutting annual greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 1,634 tonnes based on the published Environment Canada conversion factors for Newfoundland and Labrador, which is equivalent to removing 547 cars from the road.

“The university is facing fiscal challenges, and significant demands regarding deferred maintenance,” added Browne. “This makes innovative, self-funded projects ideal. This work will result in nearly $28.4 million in capital investment in infrastructure to occur and be totally funded from the savings.”

A targeted $6 million of critical deferred maintenance will be addressed during this phase of the program. Additional benefits include reduced energy and operational costs; greater environmental stewardship; improved comfort and safety; improved learning environments; minimized financial and technical risk; and the achievement of guaranteed results.

Honeywell started its EPC program in 1981 with the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, where their first Canadian program was implemented. Since then, Honeywell has delivered more than 250 EPCs across Canada.

“Our energy and infrastructure renewal program provides a means to implement improvements through a self-funded model,” said Luis Rodrigues, vice-president of the energy services group at Honeywell Building Solutions. “We applaud Memorial University for continuing their quest to improve the university’s infrastructure through an environmentally and fiscally responsible approach.”

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