Energy and climate

Photo of the District Energy Plant.
UVic's newly commissioned District Energy Plant.

As the cleanest jurisdiction in western North America, 98% of B.C.’s electricity is generated from clean or renewable sources. Ninety-five percent of the power to the province and 100% of the electricity to UVic is delivered by BC Hydro from its clean hydroelectric resources. BC Hydro is also working on becoming the first jurisdiction in western North America to develop a 100% clean standard for electricity.

UVic has been carbon neutral since 2010, and UVic tracks its greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) resulting from:

  • Buildings
    • Scope 1 emissions: natural gas, diesel and heating oil
    • Scope 2 emissions: electricity (hydro-electricity)
  • Fleet Vehicles
    • Scope 1 emissions: Mobile combustion of gasoline, propane, diesel
  • Paper supplies
    • Scope 3 emissions

In 2018, UVic's GHG emissions had decreased by 25% below the 2010 baseline. Our emissions reductions strategies, include the construction of the District Energy Plan, campus wide building re-commissioning, energy efficiency studies, and new green building standards. 

Our 2020-2021 Sustainability Action Plan goals include: 

  • Goal 1: Achieve a total institutional greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 30% by Dec. 31, 2021, relative to 2010 as the baseline year.
  • Goal 2: Reduce campus electrical intensity by 18% by Dec. 31, 2021, relative to 2010 as the baseline year.
  • Goal 3: Reduce campus natural gas consumption by 30% by Dec. 31, 2021, relative to 2010 as the baseline year.

Learn more about our energy and carbon strategies below. 

Climate Change Accountability Report

The BC Provincial Climate Change Accountability Act's Climate Change Accountability Report (CCAR) is an annual report submitted by all provincial public sector organizations. The CCAR reporting provides a record of each organizations' GHG emissions, offset purchases, and reduction plans and actions. In 2020, the CCAR name was changed from Carbon Neutral Action Report (CNAR).

Since 2010, UVic has reduced is required offset purchases by reducing our annual GHG emissions. 

Learn more about our CCAR/CNARs here.

Energy management

The Energy and Water Management team in Facilities Management is responsible for: 

  • Management of utilities on campus including electricity, natural gas, fuel, and water
  • Monitoring and data analysis of energy, water consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Identification, assessment, and implementation of opportunities to reduce energy and water consumption
  • Identification and assessment of cost-effective, low-carbon alternative energy opportunities that are compatible with campus energy infrastructure
  • Collaboration with the Office of Campus Planning & Sustainability to promote an energy and resource conservation culture in the university community
  • Research of new technologies to improve building and campus energy efficiency
  • Greenhouse gas reporting as per the Climate Change Accountability Act

Since 2011, UVic has participated in the BC Hydro Energy manager program, which collaborates with energy managers across BC to implement energy conservation and greenhouse gas reduction programs such as CleanBC. Through this group, energy managers are able to build consensus on technical and financial topics related to energy systems, and educate provincial and municipal governments how to develop effective policies and programs to that enable more efficient use of energy and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the commercial and industrial sectors.

Between 2010 and 2016, UVic Energy Manager engaged in BC Hydro Continuous Optimization program as the major strategy to drive energy efficiency at UVic. An engineering study is provided during the first stage of this program that offer many energy saving projects that an institution can choose from. Although implementation plans vary, energy efficiency is the primary goal.

UVic continues to work with BC Hydro to acquire incentives that help improve the business case for energy efficiency at UVic.

Energy Wise network

UVic is a member of the Energy Wise Network, a collaborative program run by BC Hydro and FortisBC. The program provides funding to run energy reduction campaigns. 

Learn more about the current Energy Wise Campaign here

Revolving Sustainability Loan Fund

The Revolving Sustainability Loan Fund (RSLF) provides $250,000 to fund Energy and Water conservation projects on campus that provide a return on investment. The loans are paid back with the savings from utility or operating costs. Through loan repayments, the fund is able to reinvest the capital to fund additional sustainability projects on campus.

Learn more about the fund here.


In 2011, UVic published the Integrated Energy Masterplan. The plan identifies key future opportunities to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2019, UVic began planning the Carbon Reduction Plan to establish long-term reduction targets for building GHG emissions and a technical pathway to achieve those targets.