Saturday, 13 February 2010

Energy Conservation @ UoM – Every bit counts!

We all would love to justify our helplessness and laziness but pointing fingers at who is in authority or at the society in which we live in won’t help. So much is in fact said about our University. Sweeping statement such as, “they waste energy all the time! It’s right under their noses! Who is it that pays for their bills? What It is a Public institution so….”

And so the rambling goes. But is the University so out of touch with today's realities…. And on all matters?

Think again!

Following the ‘Call for Energy Auditing’ run by Greenhouse together with 9 other organisations and featured also on Insite. We had recovered from the Rector’s Delegate for Logistics a study which had just been running for a year. This study was the first phase of a project undertook in 2007 which analysed all the main forms of energy consumption at university and saw where the bulk of energy consumption took place. This involved metering every building and air conditioner separately and compiling data. It also helped work out a strategy to be implemented over time.

The second part took place in 2008 where wasteful practises where reduced, such as replacing fluorescent tubes to T5 bulbs with a payback period of 2 years and installing motion detectors together with the light circuit. There were also members of the staff selected to run the various projects in their respective buildings and who later would see through the implementation of future projects. In all 2008 saw a 5% reduction in energy consumption at University.

During last year 2009 an additional cut of 5% in energy consumption had been achieved. Through the expansion of the scope of the previous year’s energy saving measures which started in 2008. This reduction was achieved even though there was the expansion of University facilities and the investment in new electric equipment for various facilities.

Later during the opening of the new academic year in September 2009 a project proposal by the University was accepted under the European Regional Development Fund. The project “Implementing Green Activities at the University of Malta” seeks to invest € 4.4million over a number of years. Through the investment in Photovoltaic Systems expected to generate 20-25% of present energy needs to the installation of Power Factor Correction Equipment in each building of the University. Expectations are running high for this project which is expected to be primarily for research purposes.

Furthermore, a similar metering exercise on water consumption was run during the second half of 2008 where it identified water leakages of around 30% of the University recorded level of consumption. This leak has been bypassed and minimized until the necessary repairs will be undertaken by the Water Services Corporation during the summer period.

In conclusion energy consumption has dropped by 10% over the last 2 years and 20-25% of the remaining consumption is expected to be produces through renewable energy. This is definitely a first for a Maltese institution and now!! What are you and your friends doing about your energy consumption?

Ever bit counts in energy conservation.

For additional information visit the following site.

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