Hydro Ottawa Limited

Hydro Ottawa Limited

August 11, 2008 08:00 ET

University of Ottawa Earns Top Conservation Grades from Hydro Ottawa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 11, 2008) - The University of Ottawa's campus size and population may have grown by 50 percent since 1993, but you wouldn't know it by the University's energy consumption, which has grown by only eight percent over the same period. In recognition of this considerable achievement, and the numerous energy-conservation measures implemented across its campus, Hydro Ottawa is adding the U of O to its Companies for Conservation honour roll this month.

"The University of Ottawa has set a high standard for energy efficiency that is an example not only for educational institutions, but for large organizations across our city" says Rosemarie Leclair, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hydro Ottawa Group of Companies. "As the campus continues to increase in size, the university is continuing its commitment to sustainable growth. Hydro Ottawa is proud to recognize their outstanding efforts in this respect."

Founded in 1848, the University of Ottawa is North America's largest bilingual university. It boasts a number of historical buildings on its campus, and a population of over 40,000 students, faculty and staff. As a forward thinking institution, the University of Ottawa began its power conservation efforts more than 30 years ago, when it hired its first manager in charge of overseeing and improving campus energy consumption.

Now, facilities staff are making sure the campus is one of the most energy-efficient in Canada by re-engineering its heating and cooling systems. The university anticipates it will save 2,600,000 kilowatt hours annually - enough to power 280 homes for a full year - when the current project is completed.

Fauteux Hall, which houses the law department, has recently had its ventilation system converted to a more efficient variable-volume system featuring heat-recovery technology. Heat recovered from this building and several others will be used to pre-heat D'Iorio Hall, the school's chemistry building, during the winter.

The University's cooling plant will also be made more energy-efficient in the coming months, as chillers are placed in a more efficient series circuit, and cooling towers are automated with a variable flow.

The campus's most recent addition, Desmarais Hall was constructed using an "integrated design process", reducing the building's energy requirements by 48 percent compared to the national standard amount for a building of its size.

The university has also begun to implement "daylight harvesting," which involves turning off lights next to large windows when sunlight is available. Since January, the University of Ottawa has also been involved with the Ontario Power Authority's "Demand Reduction Level Three" program, which rewards businesses and facilities for being on standby to reduce their electricity requirements during in high-demand periods.

"The University of Ottawa's commitment to responsible energy management stretches back three decades, and we really believe in continuous improvement," says Pierre de Gagne, Assistant Director of Engineering and Sustainable Development at the university. "We believe colleges and universities can make a positive impact environmentally by modeling ways to reduce energy consumption, and through our leadership inspire our graduates to incorporate energy conservation and innovation into their future, regardless of the career path they choose."

'Companies for Conservation' is an initiative to celebrate the exciting and innovative conservation projects being undertaken by commercial electricity users in Ottawa. The program, which started in October 2007, recognizes one local company or organization for their conservation leadership every month. These companies are making a difference by embodying a true culture of conservation.

Electricity consumers both large and small can learn more about saving electricity, and the programs that can help them do so, by visiting either www.hydroottawa.com or www.powerWISE.ca.

About the University of Ottawa

Founded in 1848, the University of Ottawa is North America's largest bilingual university and is now one of Canada's top five research-intensive universities with over 36,000 students and 8,000 faculty and staff. Promoting academic excellence in both official languages, with strong research partnerships and a reputation as a centre of innovation, the University of Ottawa offers a truly unique educational experience in the heart of Canada's capital.

About Hydro Ottawa Limited

Hydro Ottawa Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc., is the second largest municipal electricity company in the province. Hydro Ottawa is responsible for the safe, reliable delivery of electricity to more than 285,000 residential and business customers in the city of Ottawa and the village of Casselman. Hydro Ottawa is proud to be a founding member of powerWISE®, a program developed in partnership with the Ontario Government and five other electricity distribution companies to promote energy conservation to consumers, reduce the overall demand for electricity and build a conservation culture meant to last for years to come.

Contact Information

  • Hydro Ottawa Limited
    R. Susan Barrett
    Manager, Communications & Public Affairs
    Media Pager: 613-221-0063