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February 27, 2017

Energy conservation is a top priority for London's Fanshawe College, as it works to maximize its triple bottom line - the social, environmental and economic impact of the college.

To ensure a bright future for its many stakeholders, Fanshawe is partnering with London Hydro through Ontario's Save on Energy conservation programs powered by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).

Save on Energy helps businesses and institutions across the province realize significant savings and benefits, from increased competitiveness to improved operations to a healthier bottom line. In particular, incentives are available to help launch an embedded energy manager position to act on specific energy-efficient goals, and achieve long-lasting returns on investment.

Photo of embedded energy program.
Nathan Gerber, Fanshawe College embedded energy coordinator (left), and Mike Isber, London Hydro manager of industrial conservation, believe energy savings boost the sustainability of organizations.

At Fanshawe, Nathan Gerber - the college's first-ever energy coordinator - is excited by the cumulative conservation results happening across the campus. "With 42 buildings, at 13 sites in four counties, we are constantly looking for new energy management opportunities (EMOs) to reduce energy use and limit our carbon footprint," says Gerber. "Our EMO projects range from simple, new processes that are regularly repeated, to low-cost, one-time actions done at a reasonable price, to large-scale, high-payback retrofit plans for buildings and equipment. And, they all reinforce our triple bottom line."

Since 2005, the college's investment in energy conservation has resulted in approximately $9.1M in energy cost avoidance, and reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 11,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. This is an equivalent amount to that generated by 2,000 vehicles a year.

Meantime, the collaboration between Fanshawe and London Hydro has expanded to include proactive training for energy-saving counterparts at the City, university and hospital campuses, and key manufacturers. Traditionally, London building operators responsible for large facilities with complex heating, mechanical and electrical systems must travel out-of-town to receive training - which can be both time-consuming and expensive.

Gerber notes Fanshawe saw the benefit of bringing the Building Operator Certification (BOC®) program onsite for its staff, and then opened up the training to other local organizations - with funding from IESO, Union Gas and London Hydro. "Rather than colleagues having to travel to Toronto or Windsor for an intense eight-module, nine-day training program, we at Fanshawe are hosting the BOC program over nine weeks, with counterparts gathering at the college once a week to learn together, share challenges and opportunities, and build lasting connections for our community."

Mike Isber, Manager of Industrial Conservation with London Hydro, commends Fanshawe for its leadership, "This localized training delivery model is new and innovative, and is quickly evolving into a sustainable community of practice."

Reinforcing Fanshawe's commitment to energy conservation, the college is also a proud signatory to the Pan Canadian Protocol for Sustainability, and achieved a Silver rating through the Sustainability, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) within the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

Isber encourages other colleges and institutions to follow Fanshawe's lead to reduce energy use. "Many do not yet have someone like Nathan on staff, because they are hesitant to spend money on an extra project. Yet, applying to the Save on Energy program is a win-win for all, as its incentive funding helps cover the cost of an embedded energy manager position, and the resulting savings enable the organization to sustain the role moving forward."

For more information about the embedded energy program, please contact Facilities Management and Community Safety.

For further information about Fanshawe College, please contact Corporate Communications.