Campus Heating Update

As you may know, on Oct. 9, 2018 an Enbridge-owned natural gas transmission pipeline ruptured near Prince George, BC. As Enbridge’s pipelines provide the majority of FortisBC’s natural gas, this has had an immediate impact on the university’s natural gas system. Thank you for your support and positive efforts to reduce the use of natural gas during this time.

This week, Enbridge reported that it has completed repairs on the pipeline, which is now being returned to service. However, Enbridge plans to operate their transmission system at a reduced capacity for the next number of months, with flows of natural gas expected to be between 55 and 80 per cent of normal capacity. While completion of the repairs is a positive step, the natural gas supply will still be limited. As we head into colder weather, we ask that you continue to focus on conservation measures to help ensure a sufficient supply of natural gas is available over the winter. 

How UVic is responding

Although FortisBC is doing everything possible to ensure natural gas is available for its customers, the total amount of natural gas available will remain limited over the next few months, until Enbridge’s transmission pipelines are operating at full capacity.

FortisBC is asking everyone to continue to conserve natural gas whenever possible this winter. This short video explains the situation and actions everyone can take to conserve gas.

To help do our part, we have lowered the thermostats in all buildings heated by natural gas to between 18 and 20° C and have changed the heating schedule to operate on reduced hours. Although it will be tempting to use small electric space heaters to compensate for the lower temperature, we strongly advise against this practice. The increased demand on the electrical system could overload the system and leave an entire work area without power.

A few tips on how to stay warm and conserve heat in your workspace:

  1. Bring warm, insulating clothing (e.g. wool, fleece).
  2. Check the weather forecast before leaving for work. Low temperatures, high humidity, rain, wind and snow will contribute to feeling colder.
  3. If your workspace or classroom has an adjustable thermostat, adjust the temperature to between 18 and 20 degrees C.
  4. If your workspace has a radiator, please ensure nothing is blocking it.
  5. Keep windows closed.
  6. Close the window blinds or shutters at the end of the day. The blinds act as an extra insulating layer for the building, reducing energy use.
  7. Try to minimize the amount of time exterior doors are left open. Use automatic door openers only when necessary. These systems keep the doors open for an extended period allowing heat to leave the building.
  8. If you notice a window that doesn’t close properly, or if you see an open window that is out of reach, please inform Facilities Management by making a service request:
    • Customer service requests: Mon-Fri, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m, 250-721-7616
    • FMIS self-serve: Online service available 24/7. Sign In to UVic to place a service request using FMIS

If you see any other opportunity to conserve heating energy within a building, please inform Facilities Management by making a service request.

We appreciate the ongoing efforts and support to use less natural gas while supply is limited. We’re all in this together, and every little bit counts.

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates as they become available.

Thank you

Facilities Management contact:  Gary Bridgens, Director, Maintenance and Operations

Email address:    

Phone:                 250-721-6553

View/Download the Facilities Management Notice - Campus Heating Update