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Energy

Lead by:
Neil Paskewitz, Associate Vice-President (Facilities Management), and PACS member
Dr. Janis Dale, Associate Professor in Geology, and PACS member


Current Mission Statement:
We will honour what we use from the earth and become even more energy efficient.


Background:

Environment and Climate Action is one of the areas of focus in the University’s new 2020-2025 strategic plan “All Our Relations” and sets forth an ambitious goal of 25% reduction in the University’s current ecological footprint – greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, waste production, and water consumption - by 2025.

Although there is no University GHG emissions commitment past 2025, Canada has made a commitment (Paris Accord) to reduce its GHG emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, and has just announced a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050. The City of Regina has committed to becoming a renewable City by 2050. City Council voted unanimously in support of this decision in October 2018, joining a growing number of municipalities around the world that are committed to moving to 100 per cent renewable energy sources. As part of the community of Regina the university will do its part to achieve these goals.  The U of R has had great success in managing energy (electricity and heating/cooling) and water consumption, however if we expect to meet this goal and any future reduction goals we need to create a plan of action.

Infrastructure of the campus is a major consumer of resources.  Annual cost for energy is $2.9M for electricity, $1.7M for natural gas, and $660k for water and sewer.  Annual carbon emissions resulting from electricity and natural gas usage is 30,000 metric tonnes, and carbon tax levies included in the above energy costs amount to $1.1M for this year.


Past and Current Activities:

As mentioned above, the U of R has had great success in projects and operations practices that have reduced our energy usage and carbon footprint.  More detail is provided in the PACS 2015-2020 Strategic Plan for Sustainability.  A recent analysis of heating/cooling systems at the U of R explored current condition and replacement timing for aging infrastructure, and available capacity of our systems to accommodate growth of the campus. This analysis has also explored alternate sources of energy, comparing levelized energy costs ($/MMBTU), operational considerations, CO2e emissions and Triple Bottom Line Factors for the options.

In response to the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, the Sustainable Utilities Master Plan was approved at the December 2020 Board meeting, at a total budget of $300k.  The Sustainable Utilities Master Plan will study and provide recommendations on how we can achieve 25% reduction in electricity, heating/cooling, and water consumption by 2025 with an ultimate goal of net zero GHG emissions by 2040, as it pertains to the infrastructure. This will entail assessing the current infrastructure and deferred maintenance; help us identify legitimate short, medium and long term goal for reductions; and identify actions that will get us to those targets.  It will consider policy recommendations as it pertains to utilities, for example policies regarding construction of new buildings, and how infrastructure can be part of a living lab.


Theme Group Candidates:

We are calling for a mix of students, staff, faculty and industry experts, and strive to address the principles of EDI and reconciliation.
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Session 1:   Duration: 1 hour.  Date: June 22, 2:00 pm

Each Theme Group will gather to:

  1. Confirm the Mission Statement
  2. Discuss how the theme is connected to the UR Strategic Plan
  3. Review which of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (and/or specific SDG Targets/Indicators) does your theme support? (Note: there may be several)
  4. Confirm the proposed membership and stakeholder engagement plan represents students, staff, faculty and principles of EDI and reconciliation.
  5. Review tool for Session 2 – Brainstorming Session


Session 2:   Duration:  2 hours.  Date: June 28, 2:00 pm

The Thematic Working Group will gather to;

  1. Describe the sustainability issues/problems of the thematic area.
  2. Describe how we can build on past success to advance sustainability and decrease environmental impact.
  3. Recommend action.


The Theme group will brainstorm the above items and produce a prioritized list of actions.