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VCC achieves $3 million in energy cost avoidance

Posted on January 18, 2021

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As of September 2020, Vancouver Community College (VCC) has proudly exceeded $3 million in total energy cost avoidance in existing buildings since 2010.

While VCC had set the goal of reaching 45 per cent below 2010 levels by March 2021, the college has already well exceeded this goal with a 54 per cent reduction in energy intensity.

This represents actual energy savings of 51,400,000 ekWh, enough energy to power over 2,300 B.C. households for an entire year. VCC has also cut greenhouse gas emissions from both Broadway and Downtown campuses by nearly 70 per cent 
since 2010.

Reducing carbon footprint through innovative practices

As part VCC's overall Strategic Plan, the college has committed to seeking innovative and improved practices that reduce its carbon footprint. VCC has since undertaken significant projects to change the way energy is used on campuses. 

Major upgrades undertaken include LED lighting installation for exterior and parking lights, adding occupancy sensors and digital controls to campus classrooms, and implementing energy saving measures from continuous optimization programs for heating and cooling systems. These projects have, in part, helped keep VCC’s campuses well below median in terms of energy intensity when compared with similar post-secondary institutions in B.C.

 

Graph showing VCC's energy savings 2011-2020

Creating a culture of energy conservation

VCC has also worked to integrate energy conservation and sustainability into the culture on campus. VCC is part of BC Hydro and FortisBC’s Energy Wise Network program, which consists of both public and private sector organizations committed to saving energy through behaviour change and engagement. 

Over the years, VCC’s energy team has collaborated with IT staff to update computer settings to switch to energy saving modes while the user is away. VCC’s “Take the Stairs” campaign encouraged people on campus to skip the elevator, thereby saving energy and staying active. In early 2018, VCC’s Facilities Management Team launched an Energy Saving Ideas Competition inviting staff to submit their ideas for saving energy on their campuses.

A greener future

With the achievement of over $3 million in energy cost avoidance and the college handily meeting energy reduction targets ahead of schedule, VCC is proud to be making progress towards a greener future.

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Download and read VCC's full Strategic Energy Management Plan (SEMP).