We are committed to creating an efficient campus that reduces its impact on the environment.
Students walking through campus

Vision for energy management

Our vision is to create a campus that procures its energy from clean and renewable resources.

Energy saving tips

Remember that the smallest actions contribute to the greatest change.

Power down your computer
Activate your energy saving settings and turn off your computer and monitor at the end of the day.

Take the stairs
Whenever possible, use the stairs instead of the elevator.

Flick off
Turn off the lights when you leave a room.

Dress for the weather
Check the weather before you leave and make sure to dress in layers.

workspace with laptop turned off


The University has been making progress on reducing its energy intensity and is working to reduce total consumption in the face of growth.

In 2022, the energy density of the campus was 1.35 GJ/m2

Annual energy consumption in Gigajoules
2014 2105 2016 2019 2021 2022
717,789 GJ 746,160 GJ 682,596 GJ 831,671 GJ

704,717 GJ

727,300 GJ
uOttawa building with mechanical equipment inside

EcoProsperity Program

The EcoProsperity program is a series of energy retrofits on campus designed to reduce energy consumption, lower costs, and help the planet. All of the campus’ infrastructure systems (heating, cooling, electrical, air and water flow, etc.) are routinely monitored and evaluated, allowing us to identify areas where consumption could be reduced by modifying or replacing the existing systems. Projects that reduce a building’s energy consumption by 25% or more are known as “Deep Energy Retrofits” and play a pivotal role in uOttawa’s journey to reducing its GHG emissions.

Understanding Retrofits

Some of the units used to measure the University’s consumption can seem a little abstract if you’re not already familiar with them. Before looking over the different retrofits, here’s a quick introduction to what we measure and what that could represent in everyday life.

  • Gigajoules (GJ) are a measure of energy, thermal in this case, that represent how much natural gas we use to heat the campus. In Ontario, the average house uses about 87.5 GJ in heating every year.
  • Megawatt hours (MWh), or 1000 kilowatt hours (kWh), is used to express power consumption over time; most home electrical bills are calculated in KWh. Running a fridge year-round, 24 hours a day, consumes an average of 0.9 MWh.
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main greenhouse gas (GHG) produced by human activity. To make emissions simpler to quantify, all GHG are converted into the equivalent amount of CO2. Taking one car off the road for a year would eliminate an average of 4.7 tonnes of CO2.
A person looks up at some pipes in the tunnels under the campus

District heating and cooling

The University of Ottawa's campus utilizes a district heating and cooling loop. This means all the buildings are connected by tunnels under ground that allows energy to be shared between the power plant and buildings.

An employee uses a wrench in the uOttawa Power plant

Demand Management of Energy (DR3)

During the hottest days of the year, the University is called upon by the Province to reduce its energy consumption to preserve the electrical grid. On these days we implement energy reduction measures which include turning off non-essential lighting and rotating ventilation.

Solar panels at the University of Ottawa

Low Carbon Energy

The University of Ottawa uses a combination of various technologies to consume and generate low carbon energy. This includes heat pumps, which use electricity from Ontario's low carbon grid, and roof-top solar voltaic panels that generate electricity.

The latest solar installation is now active on top of the Health Science building at 200 Lees.

Do something for Earth Hour

Help us change the story when it comes to sustainability on campus.
Learn more about Earth Hour at uOttawa