Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.42
Liaison Mary-Lee Townsend
Submission Date Oct. 6, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Western University
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Stefanie De Adder
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Global Adjustment (GA) Days

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

In order to prevent electricity shortages in the province, a reserve of approximately 1,400 megawatts (MW) is always on stand-by. While the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) over-estimates Ontario’s need for power, they must make up for the added cost they are paying for the surplus electricity each day. The Global Adjustment (GA) tax was created by the IESO to recover those costs, applying extra fees to large energy users on days in which energy is in the greatest demand, also known as, peak days. This equates to more than $8 billion across Ontario.

At Western, of the $16 million energy costs, roughly $7 million of that total goes to the university's contribution to the GA tax. Typically, peak days are directly associated with outdoor air temperature. The warmer weather increases the demand for the chilled water needed to condition the air on main campus. This system is by far Western’s greatest consumer of electricity throughout the summer. By dialing back energy use during the peak days through intermittent reductions in the running of chiller water, Western can reduce its demand on the grid and lower its percentage of consumption compared to other provincial users. By reducing demand, the university not only pays less in energy during that time, but also has a smaller portion of the GA tax. The peak days where energy is strategically conserved at Western through reduced air conditioning and intermittent fan usage are called "Global Adjustment Days".

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

In 2012 and 2013, Western saved approximately two million dollars collectively by taking action during the days IESO identified as being peak. This year, Facilities Management’s solution for mitigating the impact of the GA will be much the same. The Division will reduce the air conditioning in as many buildings as possible during IESO peak hours.

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 5):
Yes or No
Curriculum No
Research No
Campus Engagement No
Public Engagement No
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings Yes
Dining Services No
Energy Yes
Grounds No
Purchasing No
Transportation No
Waste No
Water No
Coordination, Planning & Governance No
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work No
Investment No

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

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.