Energy & carbon emissions

UoN joins the Newcastle City Council's ClimateCam program

Newcastle City Council's ClimateCam initiative provides a speedometer of carbon emissions so the community can monitor its carbon footprint, helping us all to make more informed decisions around reducing our emissions.

The ClimateCam system consists of an online system where electricity data for the entire city is updated every fifteen minutes. In March 2011, our Vice-Chancellor announced that the University has joined the ClimateCam program, furthering our partnership with Council over environmental sustainability initiatives.

The University's involvement in ClimateCam is one of the commitments in its new 2011-2013 Environmental Sustainability Plan and will support the ongoing dedication to energy consumption monitoring and reporting.

To view the University's ClimateCam site visit
To read the media release click here.

About our energy consumption and management

In 1995, the University underwent energy audits which then led to a program of energy management initiatives through a funding program approved by the University Council and bolstered by funding from the Energy Savings Program . This has resulted in over 60 key energy savings project involving the installation of energy efficient measures encompassing lighting and air conditioning.

It is estimated that over 30% of the University's energy use expenditure is from heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).

Energy usage at the University

The University has an Air Conditioning Policy and Procedure aimed at providing energy savings through initiatives to reduce energy use from our HVAC and lighting systems.

The University participates in the annual Tertiary Education Facilities Management benchmark reporting by way of assessing and improving its performance in energy management. Across 2007 and 2008, the University has maintained its good record of performance with consumption coming in alongside of the sector average. Over 2008, CO2 emissions decreased from the previous year and were in the sector average for emissions per square metre of Gross Floor Area.

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How we rate

University of Newcastle: 144.1kgCo2/m2
Australian sector average 142.5 CO2kg/m2

Sustainable Energy Management Policy

In February 2009, the University released its Sustainable Energy Management Policy. which has the following key objectives:

  • Sustainable energy end-use through planned reduction in the University's consumption of energy
  • Progressive sourcing of the University's energy needs from sustainable energy sources
  • Progress towards carbon neutrality targets for the activities of the University directly under its control
  • Cultural change through strong leadership, the practice of sustainable energy management, and collaboration with community agencies
  • The enhancement of leading edge research into sustainable energy practices through appropriate support and resourcing
  • The preparation of graduates with knowledge and skill to advocate and practise sustainable energy use
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    Using renewable energy: GreenPower

    The University launched its commitment in 2008 to purchase 10% of its electricity consumption as GreenPower accredited renewable energy. This initiative arose from lobbying by students to utilise green power.

    GreenPower is electricity that can be sourced from environmentally friendly renewable resources such as sun, wind, landfills and biogas. It is a national accreditation program managed by the NSW Government and aims to drive investment in renewable energy in Australia and increasing the sustainability of our energy supply. When customers choose a government-accredited GreenPower product, the supplier commits to buying the requested amount of electricity from approved energy sources.

    Sourcing electricity from the renewable resources helps to reduce the amount of emissions releases into the atmosphere by electricity use. Under its GreenPower contract, the University avoided more than 3000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

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    6 Building Energy Savings Pilot

    The pilot aims to:

    • Raise awareness of our energy use and trial ways of presenting our energy use data to staff and students
    • Promote workplace energy saving tips to staff via a team of volunteer workplace advocates
    • Bring together the workplace advocates and Facilities Management to set workplace refurbishment or replacement options around energy efficient options
    • Develop a UoN Green Energy Toolbox of practical energy savings strategies

    The 6 Building Workplace Energy Saving Pilot will run in 2010 in the following buildings:

    At Callaghan & City Precinct:

    • David Maddison Building
    • University House
    • The Chancellery
    • Engineering Science
    • Chemistry

    At Ourimbah

    • Information Resources Centre

    View the Latest Data (PDF)

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