Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.58
Liaison James Gordon
Submission Date March 3, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Thompson Rivers University
IN-4: Innovation 4

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 James Gordon
Environmental Programs and Research Coordinator
TRU Office of Environment and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Wireless Energy Management Systems (WEMS)

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

The initial project started when WEMS, UK (manufacturer) and Climacare, BC (the local distributor; which has since shut down) worked together to install a wireless energy management system in two buildings on the TRU campus: the Library and The Culinary Arts Training Center. WEMS allows for quick and non-intrusive retrofits for lighting and HVAC controls. The sensors were installed much quicker compared to traditional HVAC systems due to the system's wireless capabilities. For example, the outside sensor at the Library (which monitors light levels and temperatures) was installed in half an hour and programmed directly into the system. An electrician estimated this would have taken 8-10 hours in a typical retrofit (wired into the mechanical room). The web-based software, which can be accessed from anywhere in the world, allows for easy and remote access to review and adjust sensors to accurately match occupancy and scheduling changes. The system also allows for easy access to system-related data; for example, with occupancy and temperature trends.
TRU partnered with one of its energy partners, BC Hydro, to install this system at TRU through its Innovative Technology Program.
The project at TRU was a first in Canada for WEMS, and came with considerable installation costs. Training and commissioning costs that were part of these costs will not be repeated on future systems. The expectation going forward is that future installations will have a return on investment of no greater than 30 months. The baseline for the project was calculated using Pulse Energy EMIS software over a 12 month period (based on 4 seasons of available data) for all of 2012. The building sites were shut down for different periods of time during the baseline period due to various retrofit projects taking place, and this impacted the expected savings. Once installed, monthly consumption was reviewed during the scope of the project during 2013. The benefit of using a full year's worth of data was to show periods of peak and low usage. Savings were determined by measuring energy use at a sub-facility level. A regression analysis was conducted to account for various independent variables like weather conditions. Once all the results were considered, the energy savings were determined by calculating the difference between the energy measured during the baseline and post-retrofit periods.
The outcome of the program was throughout the 12-month period from January to December 2013. The electrical consumption at the demonstration sites had decreased by 82,106 kWh (10.2 %) in comparison to baseline data (in 2012); with a payback period of approximately 9 years. The original reduction goal was 10% in electricity, which was achieved during the performance year.

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

There are many positive measurable outcomes associated with WEMS. The first one being savings in terms of labour. Since WEMS can be managed wirelessly, there will be less services calls made, along with less time for installation. This will also provide energy cost savings for the university. There will be improvements of the lighting system because of using more natural light compared to artificial lighting. During the summer, when there’s more natural light, there is not as much need for the system to turn on artificial lights, and this natural quality light is beneficial for building occupants (Natalie Yao, Energy Specialist, TRU). Finally, the installation of the WEMS system increased student engagement and conservation awareness among members of the TRU community.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of five):
Yes or No
Curriculum ---
Research ---
Campus Engagement Yes
Public Engagement ---
Air & Climate ---
Buildings Yes
Dining Services ---
Energy Yes
Grounds ---
Purchasing ---
Transportation ---
Waste ---
Water ---
Coordination, Planning & Governance Yes
Diversity & Affordability ---
Health, Wellbeing & Work ---
Investment ---

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:

The website URL where information about the innovation is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.