Layer up! It's about to get chilly indoors and out

December 04, 2018

Simon Fraser University is reducing all campus temperature settings to 20˚C, which is two degrees lower than usual.

The temperature drop responds to Fortis BC’s request for the public to help conserve natural gas in the wake of the Oct. 9 Enbridge natural gas pipeline rupture, which has diminished natural gas supplies.

"Reducing natural gas consumption across the institution is an excellent example of the university’s community leadership and its commitment to address climate change and promote sustainability initiatives,” says Kayla Blok, program coordinator at the SFU Sustainability Office. “This collaborative effort between departments furthers the conversation on climate-change mitigation and adaptation throughout the SFU community."

Bernard Chan, SFU's energy manager, is spearheading the new temperature roll-out. 

"As we enter the coldest months of the year, the need to conserve energy is more pressing," he says.  

 While 20˚C is the minimum intention institution-wide, Chan plans to work with specific departments to further reduce temperature settings in offices and workspaces.

All SFU Community members are encouraged to take further action to reduce energy consumption on and off campus by:

  • Turning down the thermostat in your home, work or community building to below 20°C
  • Not using electric heaters on campus as this could overload the electrical system
  • Layering up in warmer clothing
  • Taking shorter showers
  • Washing clothes in cold water

To learn more ways to reduce your natural gas use, click here.


-       FortisBC’s statement on the limited natural gas:


Why do rooms seem so cold?

Rooms across campus may feel colder because the temperatures have been setback by one degree to reduce natural gas consumption. Fortis BC has a limited supply of natural gas due to a pipeline rupture that took place October 9th, most spaces on campus are heated with natural gas and SFU is striving to conserve where possible.

The pipeline has since been repaired but is currently running in a limited capacity

Why are we reducing temperatures in December?

Due to a limited supply of natural gas (because of the pipeline rupture), SFU along with many other post-secondary and public institutions, is striving to conserve where possible. We realize this comes at a bad time but its imperative we do our part to help alleviate a serious province-wide situation.

What can I do if my room is too cold?

Your feedback is important to us. We are tracking room temperature issues and will address these issues on a case by case basis. If you feel your room condition is too cold, please contact Facilities Services help desk at 778-782-3582. In the meantime, staff are encouraged to bring extra layers of warm clothes to work.

Where can I get more information?

·         Fortis BC has regular updates on their website here;

·         Visit the Sustainability Office website and Facebook page for more info.