Energy Management

UBC’s investment in energy management truly addresses the triple bottom line. Through several self-funding projects over the past decade, we have reduced our energy consumption and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, reduced deferred maintenance, enhanced the campus working environment, and achieved significant operational cost savings.

As a growing organization, our aim is to consume energy more efficiently and to decouple energy consumption from GHG emissions, reducing our climate impact.

As one of the 10 largest consumers of electrical energy in BC, we have a significant impact on energy consumption in the province—and a unique opportunity to encourage other organizations to learn from our energy management practices.


Since a Campus Sustainability  office was opened in 1998, UBC has achieved significant success in energy management:

  • Saved more than $7 million annually
  • Improved comfort for building occupants
  • Saved 36,000,000 kWh per year in electricity consumption from core academic buildings
  • Saved 150,000 GJ per year in thermal energy consumption from core academic buildings

These impressive savings were achieved during a period when UBC increased its core academic floor space by 14 per cent, and its student numbers by 29 per cent.

Central to UBC’s energy management activities is a strong partnership with BC Hydro and Fortis BC. Together, we are committed to strategic energy conservation. UBC benefits from their energy conservation incentive programs and funding to develop teaching, research and student engagement initiatives. And BC Hydro and Fortis BC benefit from reduced infrastructure costs.

Energy Management Plan

UBC’s Energy Management Plan is designed to maintain energy savings and identify further electricity and natural gas conservation opportunities and efficiencies.

Key plan components include:

  1. Monitoring steam, electricity and water usage of individual large buildings
  2. Benchmarking and data analysis
  3. Identifying overconsumption and establishing conservation targets
  4. Reporting results to the appropriate parties and periodically reviewing the management process
  5. Identifying further energy conservation and efficiency opportunities

Energy Policy

UBC has implemented an Energy Policy for Classrooms and Offices that outlines standards for heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, IT, and other equipment. The policy provides guidelines for reducing energy use, while maintaining the comfort of building occupants.

Energy Conservation Programs

UBC operates several ambitious energy management programs that reduce the consumption of resources across our campuses.

Building Tune-Up Program

In partnership with BC Hydro, UBC is implementing a Building Tune-Up (Continuous Optimization) program in core academic buildings, to optimize building performance. Buildings will maintain their optimized states through real-time performance monitoring and response, and performance analysis to identify further conservation opportunities. The goal for this program—combined with UBC’s behaviour change programs and initiatives—is to reduce energy use and GHG emissions by 10 per cent by 2015.

Energy Retrofits

UBC has had a building retrofit program in place since 1998. Highlights include:

  • The ECOTrek project, which took place from 2001 to 2008, and was the largest energy and water retrofit project in Canada at the time
  • The ELECTrek projects, completed in 2003, which reduced electricity consumption in existing core academic buildings through lighting re-design

Participate in Energy Management

Building Energy Dashboards

See energy consumption and conservation in action through the Pulse Dashboard of various campus buildings. The software tracks the exact amount of energy being consumed at any given moment, analyzes it, and displays it in real-time, along with feedback on how the building is performing.  

Kill-A-watt Meters at UBC Libraries

The Kill-A-Watt meter is a small, hand-held device that measures how much energy an appliance consumes, to help users reduce their energy consumption. If you have a valid UBC library card, you can sign out the Kill-A-Watt meter to use in your office or home.

Download the Kill-A-Watt Instruction Manual.