During August 2018, you may see some friendly faces in and around offices and common areas around campus taking note of light switches, thermostats and electrical equipment and devices. This team, led by the Sustainability Office, will be conducting an inventory of plug load devices at Red River College. Below you can find all the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How’s about this project (maybe not in that order):

What are we doing?

Staff ranked energy reduction #1 for campus sustainability priorities

RRC is undertaking initiatives to reduce our environmental and financial footprint through the reduction of plug load energy use (products powered by means of an ordinary AC plug).  Reducing energy costs from plug load and lighting by engaging users in behavior changing interventions can help the College achieve the strategic goal of Fostering Sustainable Growth while also being responsive to staff who have identified energy reduction as the top sustainability priority they would like to see the College address.

Throughout August, we will be conducting an inventory plug load devices in offices and staff common areas. Our small team will be entering these areas and tracking all plug load devices. No devices will be removed, unplugged, or turned off as part of this inventory. The team will not be looking in desks, cabinets, or any other area which may contain private information – only visible items will be inventoried. The scope of this work will include all main campuses – including Regional campuses.

Why are we doing this?

The age of our buildings means that there is no way to directly measure the electrical load from plug load devices or overhead lighting. This inventory of all plug load devices will give us a better understanding of our baseline and will help us identify priority areas for engagement where significant impacts can be made.

As building technologies evolve, our newer buildings are built with more and more efficient infrastructure (heating and cooling systems, lighting, etc.) making plug load a larger and larger piece of our overall energy consumption. In fact, it is estimated that plug load may account for up to 40% of electricity use at the new Innovation Centre. Having programs and supports in place to reduce plug load will be key to keeping our new buildings as efficient as possible.

How will this affect you?

Our team will work hard to create as little disruption as possible when we enter workspaces. We will always knock before entering a workspace, and if you are in the middle of something and cannot be disrupted, we can arrange to return at a different time. Please do not remove items that would normally be in your office, the more accurate the data the better informed we can be to develop impactful strategies. We are not looking to make you uncomfortable or to remove items you need – our goal is to make you comfortable and safe in an environmentally and financially sustainable work environment.

What will we do with the results?

Once an assessment of current practices and equipment is made, certain strategies will be assessed for energy-saving possibilities. These results will help inform our programming to engage users in reducing our plug load energy demands. With a better understanding of what is contributing to plug load energy use on campus, we can better design our outreach campaigns, educational materials, and programs to be impactful and relevant for our College community. The results of this inventory will also help inform future planning and policy development to help us reduce our environmental and financial footprints and to ensure a safe and comfortable work environment for us all. For more information on the kinds of programs this data will support, visit the Plug Load Reduction page.

Who will be doing it?

Kale Kostick

Kale Kostick, Resource Reduction Assistant, will be leading the inventory team

Our inventory team is led by the Sustainability Office and includes:

  • Kale Kostick (lead), Resource Reduction Assistant (Sustainability)
  • Melanie Gudmundson, Chief Human Resource Officer
  • Sara MacArthur, Director of Sustainability
  • Whitney Crooks, Resource Reduction Specialist (Sustainability)
  • Laura Hnatiuk, Sustainability Coordinator
  • Sean Puff, Xerox/RRC DocuCare Associate

When will this happen?

The inventory will be tested in some locations in late July. Once the process is finalized, the inventory will occur throughout August. Updates will be provided on this page, as well as in All Staff News.

If you have more questions or concerns, please contact Whitney Crooks, Resource Reduction Specialist, at wcrooks@rrc.ca or 632-2249.