SFU's Safe and Sustainable Labs campaign improves energy savings by 45 per cent

June 01, 2022

At Simon Fraser University (SFU) research and teaching intensive labs are some of the highest consumers of energy on campus. In addition to the usual heating, lighting and computers in a classroom, labs power specialized equipment such as fume hoods.

SFU Sustainability, as part of BC Hydro & Fortis BC’s Energy Wise Network, and the SFU Chemistry Department have come together to raise awareness about energy conservation in lab spaces, while keeping safety top of mind. Through behaviour change, the occupants in the Inorganic and Organic Chemistry Research Groups are competing to save the most energy in their labs.

 This two month long campaign (Jan-Feb 2022) is targeting the following behaviours:

  • Lowering the sash
  • Turning off lights
  • Powering down equipment and computers
  • Ensuring air temperature is appropriate

Campaign results:

  • 622.2 kg of CO2e avoided
  • 5 households of electricity avoided
  • Total electricity avoided 58,000 kWh (Approx. $4,100 in avoided electricity).

If this level of savings can be maintained, we could avoid about 350,000 kWh, or 3.5 per cent of the building’s total consumption. That is the equivalent of 3,800 kg of CO2 e avoided (3.8 tonnes of CO2 e) and enough electricity to power over 40 homes. The awareness campaign was able to improve energy savings in the lab by 45 per cent.