Queen’s signs a $10.7 million energy performance contract with Honeywell

The contract is the next step in the University’s Energy Matters project to reduce carbon footprint

Supplied by Kee Seng Heng

On Dec. 16, Queen’s announced a new energy performance contract with Honeywell that promises more than 170 energy conservation measures to be implemented in 66 campus buildings.

Honeywell has guaranteed an annual utility savings of $946,000, which will pay back the $10.7 million cost of the project in 12 years.

The initiative is the next step in the University’s Energy Matters project, “which aims to reduce the university’s carbon footprint and generate annual savings in its utility bill,” according to a Dec. 16 news release by Queen’s Gazette.

According to Aaron Ball, sustainability manager at Queen’s, the campus as a whole spends roughly $20 million per year on utilities.

“It’s not a project where the University has to raise its own capital or invest its own capital. We essentially pay for the upgrades out of our own operating budget,” Ball said.

Changes outlined in the news release include the following: the installation of low-flow fixtures to reduce water usage, upgraded lighting and climate controls to reduce energy consumption and heat recovery systems.

Ball said it took around two years for Queen’s to select a partner.

“We put a public tender out, received bids from a number of different companies in the field that provide these types of services, and then through a competitive process … we ended up selecting Honeywell.”

Honeywell began with a high-level energy audit of the entire university campus to produce a general picture of the campus while also assessing individual buildings.

After an assessment of the data, the University compiled a list of buildings and projects for Honeywell to pursue.

“[Honeywell] then spent another, goodness, six to eight months doing a bit more detailed engineering and design work for those specifically identified buildings and project solutions,” said Ball.

The project is currently in its third phase: the construction and implementation phase.

Honeywell has been on campus, but Ball expects that another month or two will be needed for further planning.

Since the opening of the Sustainability Office in 2008 as part of Physical Plant Services, various projects and initiatives have been implemented to make campus more sustainable. 

“The big difference here is that we are taking a large crosscut of the campus and doing it in one go, one effort,” Ball said.

The most recent greenhouse gas inventory of Queen’s was around 47,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, according to Ball.

“This project is targeting a 2,800 annual carbon reduction,” Ball said.

When the project is completed, Queen’s expects a reduction in the university’s emissions by about 26 to 27 per cent.

Annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is expected to be 2,800 MTCO2e — the equivalent of taking 944 mid-sized cars off of Canadian roads — while the annual reduction in water usage is equivalent to 84 Queen’s Centre swimming pools.

Credit: Ashley Quan

Graphic by Ashley Quan

[The project] demonstrates that we [Queen’s University] are serious about making progress on climate change and controlling our costs as well,” Ball said.

The construction process is estimated to take about 18 months from start to finish, with an expected completion date in September 2017.

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