Being Prepared for Impacts of Limited Natural Gas this winter

BC's natural gas supply is limited this winter due to the rupture of a natural gas transmission pipeline on Oct. 9. Although the pipeline has been repaired, it is operating at limited capacity, and FortisBC has indicated that BC's natural gas system may be challenged during times of cold weather and peak demand.

View the FortisBC website:

We are taking precautions to protect university resources and minimize any impacts to students, faculty and staff. A UVic campus working group has been established to plan proactively to prepare for colder temperatures and possible failure of heating equipment.

In response to the request from FortisBC to conserve energy this winter, temperatures in all buildings heated by natural gas have been reduced to between 18 and 20°C. It is possible that circumstances across the province could lead to additional curtailment of the gas supply and loss of heat, loss of hot water or building closures at the university on short notice. Please take steps to prepare for this possibility in your areas.

Be prepared

  • During the holiday break from Dec. 24 - Jan. 2, building temperatures will be reduced to 16° C (with some exceptions as in past years). Please turn off lights, heat and equipment in your offices when you leave for the holidays.
  • Ensure your department or unit has plans in the event that the university is required to cancel classes, or reduce or cancel services (including during the holiday break). Consider procedures to notify students, faculty, librarians and staff.
  • Exam rooms may be cooler than usual and students are being asked to bundle up. Instructors are advised to plan for alternative assessment methods in the event that exams are disrupted.

Conserve energy

  • FortisBC is requesting that all natural gas customers conserve energy this winter. For tips on reducing your use of natural gas, visit the Fortis BC website
  • We strongly advise against the use of portable electric space heaters, which are potential safety hazards. The increased demand on the electrical system may overload the system and leave entire work areas without power.

More information

Thank you for your cooperation and efforts to conserve energy while the supply of natural gas in the province is limited.


Gayle Gorrill, Vice-President Finance and Operations

Valerie Kuehne, Vice-President Academic & Provost