Dec. 20, 2019

Government of Canada announces support for energy retrofits at University of Calgary

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson announces $8.5 million for energy retrofits at Foothills, main campuses
Joanne Perdue, AVP (sustainability), minister Jonathan Wilkinson, and Ed McCauley.
Joanne Perdue, AVP (sustainability), minister Jonathan Wilkinson, and Ed McCauley. Kyle Olson

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, on Dec. 19 announced support for an energy-savings project at the University of Calgary. The university will receive up to $8.5 million for retrofits at its Foothills campus and main campus, implementing digital controls, LED lighting, and heat recovery, which will reduce energy consumption in laboratories and medical buildings.

“Canadians across the country are coming up with innovative and affordable solutions to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions, saving people money and creating good jobs along the way. By investing in these projects, from coast to coast to coast, the Government of Canada is making sure we are positioned to succeed in the $26 trillion global market for clean solutions and to create good middle-class jobs today and for the future,” Wilkinson said.

  • Photo above: Joanne Perdue, AVP (sustainability); Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of environment and climate change; and Ed McCauley, president and vice-chancellor. Photo by Kyle Olsen

“This significant investment by the Government of Canada strengthens the University of Calgary’s commitment to building a low-carbon, clean-growth economy. Through this government support, we are expecting to reduce annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by close to 13,000 tonnes. With a total investment of $18 million, including up to $8.5 million of funding from the Government of Canada, UCalgary will improve the quality of our research and teaching facilities, as well as contribute to Canada’s national emission-reduction targets,” said Dr. Ed McCauley, president and vice-chancellor.

The funding comes from the Champions stream of the Government of Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Challenge, which invests in projects that reduce carbon pollution.

As a signatory to the 2015 Paris Agreement, Canada is committed to reducing national GHGs by 30 per cent by 2030 in an effort to help reduce global carbon emissions. UCalgary released its first Climate Action Plan (CAP) in 2010 and is now one the leading Canadian post-secondary institutions in reducing its carbon emissions having reached a 30 per cent reduction in GHG emissions from a 2008 baseline in 2018 a decade ahead of Canada’s national target. This represents approximately 69,000 tonnes of annual avoided GHG emissions, which is the equivalent of taking close to 15,000 passenger cars off the road each year, 

The university’s renewed 2019 Climate Action Plan defines a pathway to a 50 per cent reduction by 2030 and an aspirations for carbon neutrality by 2050. Existing building energy retrofits are a key priority in reaching these targets and the funding announced today will help the university to deliver on the 2019 CAP.

Learn more about UCalgary’s leadership in Climate and Energy.