Letters from Santa

Letters from Santa

Take the Cool Campus Challenge

UBC is participating in the BC Cool Campus Challenge, a fun and friendly initiative between BC universities and colleges to save energy this winter season.

Across the province, post-secondary institutions are challenging each other to see who can gather the most pledges from students, staff, and faculty to help reduce our natural gas use and climate impact.

I’d like to invite you to join the Challenge. Take UBC’s Cool Campus Pledge now and commit to save energy by:

  • Turning down the heat by 1 to 3 degrees C (where feasible)
  • Layering up in warmer clothes
  • Taking shorter showers
  • Washing clothes in cold water

These simple actions add up and can significantly reduce energy use and carbon emissions.

So turn down the heat. Grab a sweater. Take the pledge.


What is the BC Cool Campus Challenge?
Post-secondary institutions across the Province are challenging each other to reduce natural gas use and encourage campus community members to take energy conservation actions by signing the Cool Campus Pledge. By reducing natural gas use, we can reduce our climate impact and demonstrate climate leadership.

Why are UBC and other post-secondary institutions leading this challenge?
Public institutions have taken this opportunity to be a leader in our community to respond to last year’s pipeline explosion and subsequent provincial natural gas shortage. Additionally, we aim to use this challenge to start a conversation on energy dependency and resiliency. How can we engage in energy saving practices in addition to seeking renewable energy resources? Let’s take this opportunity to discuss it.

How will the winner of the BC Cool Campus Challenge be decided? What is the provincial prize?
The winner of the BC Cool Campus Challenge will be the institution that collects the most online pledges from students, staff, and faculty to save energy at their respective institution.

The winning institution will get a branded sweater or warm clothing item from each of the participating institutions. The winning team will have the honour to donate all the sweater to a local charitable organization to keep more people warm this heating season.

Additionally, the winning institution wins bragging rights as the coolest campus in BC!

Why are these actions being encouraged?
Simple actions like turning down the heat, wearing warmer clothing, taking shorter showers, and washing clothes in cold water all help to reduce natural gas use.

Why is turning down the heat important?
The majority of the energy consumed in campus buildings is due to heating and cooling systems. By turning down the heat slightly we can save energy and reduce both costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

What is UBC doing to save natural gas?
UBC is working with building operators and facility managers across the campus to turn down the temperature slightly in buildings where feasible to conserve natural gas.

As the winter heating season approaches its peak demand, this will also help to reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

What can I do if my building is too hot or too cold?
To prepare for slightly lower temperatures in buildings, please dress appropriately and wear warm layers as needed.  

Can I plug in an electric space heater?
Space heaters consume significant amounts of additional energy and can also trip electrical breakers, resulting in operational issues that may affect other spaces in your building. Learn more. We encourage campus community members to wear layers and dress appropriately instead of plugging in space heaters.

How is UBC going to be more energy resilient in the future?
UBC has already invested in renewable energy with the Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility (BRDF), which has helped to significantly reduce our GHG emissions and provided some resiliency against natural gas shortage.

An expansion to the BRDF is currently planned as part of the UBC Climate Action Plan that will further increase resilience and decrease UBC’s GHG emissions.

Where can I learn more about UBC’s climate and energy conservation initiatives?
To learn more, visit UBC’s Climate Action Plan and Energy & Water Services websites.

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