College Is Energetic About Energy Conservation

energy conserve

Through a variety of strategies carried out during the past several years, St. Clair is saving hundreds of thousands of dollars on its energy costs, according to the annual “conservation report” that was presented to the Board of Governors during its June 28th meeting.

The report was provided by President Patti France and Vice-President of Human Resources, Safety, Security and Facilities Joe Sirianni.

The report to the Board also reflects documents furnished by the college to several federal and provincial agencies, outlining its energy-conservation and greenhouse-gas-emission-reduction projects.

At all campuses, the college annually updates or replaces inefficient lighting and heating/ventilation/air-conditioning system in its comprehensive effort to reduce both consumption and costs.

Among the tidbits highlighted in the report:

• Since 2016, the college has implemented 27 separate projects to replace interior lighting across all campuses, and six projects to replace exterior road and parking lot lights. These projects have collectively saved: 1,526,000 kWh of electricity annually, $270,000 in electricity costs annually, and $100,000 in maintenance costs annually.

• An additional benefit is the increased safety for pedestrians and vehicles, and the higher quality light in interior spaces such as offices.

• Old parking lot lights consumed 4000kW per pole, enough to power a 1,500-square-foot home for an entire day. The new parking lot lights consume only 530W per pole.

• The SaveOnEnergy incentives have amounted to $110,000 since 2016. This program, through the Independent Electrical System Operator (IESO), incentivizes businesses to invest in energy conservation projects by providing an incentive (percentage of project) back to the company if they move forward with the project. The percentage varies based on the project.

• HVAC Retrofits/Upgrades: In this category, the college has been aligning the deferred maintenance replacement requirements with energy and greenhouse gas reduction initiatives. We accomplish this through careful planning on replacements to include variable frequency drives, updated controls and higher efficiency equipment. The updating of our extensive HVAC portfolio across all campuses is an ongoing project.

• One particular success story is the duct sealing project that was completed in March, 2022. One of the larger HVAC systems was targeted for this project, and netted the following results: increased airflow of 25 percent, annual energy savings of $60,902, annual greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 145.38 tonnes, simple cost payback of 3.6 years, extend lifespan of ductwork.

• Energy Conservation Highlights Summary/Energy Savings Estimated (2016-2021): $169,000 incentives received, $450,000 annual electricity savings, 882 tonnes greenhouse gas emission reduction.

• Future Initiatives: classroom and office lighting updates across all campuses, ongoing HVAC system updates and optimization, duct sealing expansion, external building boiler updates, alternative energy source programs and efficiencies are being reviewed.


• Year-end financial details: 

• New high-tech programs next fall: 

• Low domestic enrolment report: 

• College in good shape for new provincial funding formula: 

• President honoured, Board’s “changing of the guard”: