CBU Benefiting From On-Site Energy Manager

Cape Breton University has joined forces with Efficiency Nova Scotia taking a progressive approach to energy savings with on-site energy manager, Mohsin Khan. Mohsin is a graduate of Dalhousie University’s Masters in Electrical Engineering program. He previously worked with the Office of Sustainability at Dalhousie University as an Energy Officer and as a Research Engineer at the Eco-Efficiency Center in Halifax.

Mohsin’s job is to reduce consumption, increase efficiency and make lasting savings on utility bills. His role as an on-site energy manager is one piece of a larger package that Efficiency Nova Scotia is offering CBU to help save energy and build upon the existing energy efficiency culture. Mohsin will complete his term in January 2015, after spending a year on campus.

Mohsin has been focused on three tasks at CBU. First, he is making a case for the installation of an energy management information system. This system would allow management to see and analyze energy consumption of every building in real time. Second, he is identifying where energy is being wasted on campus. Third, he is replacing inefficient equipment with the latest energy efficient models to reduce energy consumption and to save money.

In one year, Mohsin’s goal is to save 1.5 GWh of energy, which translates to roughly $180,000 per year. The first project to be completed on Mohsin’s recommendation will be the installation of LED lighting in the Sullivan Fieldhouse in September. The new lights will result in savings of more than $18,000 per year and will be virtually maintenance-free for the next 15 years. An intelligent occupancy-based system, better known as motion detectors, will also be installed so the lights will only turn on if someone is using the basketball court.

Mohsin is currently working on a proposal to upgrade air handling units by installing variable speed drives and better digital controls. Air handling, cooling and heating systems consume the most energy in buildings and upgrading these provides the best savings to investment ratio. The anticipated savings from these upgrades is more than $60,000 per year.

“Energy efficiency is not just upgrading equipment to more efficient models,” says Mohsin. “It is a collective effort. Just changing the way we use energy can reduce energy bills by 20%. When it comes to energy savings, small things matter. Turn down the heat if you are leaving the office or turn off the lights if there is enough daylight in a room. Remember, the cheapest, cleanest form of energy is efficiency."