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Consumption of Energy Survey for Universities, Colleges and Hospitals, 2003

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B. Colleges

The survey population of college campuses was defined using NAICS code 611210. Colleges, like universities, are analysed using the campus as the statistical unit. The survey considered only campuses with 20 or more employees. This threshold was applied in order to exclude associations and entities that may have this NAICS code but do not have the mandate or mission of a college (e.g. a Board of Directors).

The Consumption of Energy Survey (CES) covered 228 college campuses. Viewed regionally, the CES covered 38 campuses in the Atlantic region, 78 in Quebec, 43 in Ontario, 33 in the Prairies and 36 in British Columbia and the Territories. It should be noted that the colleges in Quebec, also known as c├ęgeps, have a more extensive mandate than those in the other regions. Cégeps offer both collegiate and pre-university programs, which is not the case in the other Canadian regions. This situation explains the large number of campuses in Quebec, which account for more than one third of the campuses surveyed.

Table 3 shows a breakdown of the college energy consumption data by region. In 2003, colleges consumed nearly 13 million GJ, an amount equal to the annual average consumption of approximately 113 000 Canadian households, or of all the private dwellings in a city the size of Windsor, Ontario.

Table 3: College energy consumption (GJ), 2003
Region Atlantic Quebec Ontario
Electricity 263 064A 1 492 404A 1 295 386A
Natural gas F 2 063 214A 1 647 780A
Heavy fuel oil x x x
Diesel F 6 033B 4 004C
Other middle distillates 319 237A 48 803A 20 305B
Propane 12 484C 27 424C 709C
Steam x 54 289C 21 485C
Wood x x x
Total 676 746A 3 692 166A 2 989 670A

Table 3: College energy consumption (GJ), 2003 (continued)
Region Prairies British
Columbia/
Territories
Total
Electricity 971 224A 768 267A 4 790 346A
Natural gas 2 482 016A 1 328 013A 7 554 273A
Heavy fuel oil x x x
Diesel 10 053B 45 844B 114 644B
Other middle distillates x x 388 345A
Propane 6 553D 5 499C 52 669B
Steam 1 060D 14 749C 91 582B
Wood x x x
Total 3 470 906A 2 162 372A 12 991 860A

The letter to the right of each estimate indicates its quality, as follows: A – excellent, B – good, C – acceptable, D – use with caution, F – too unreliable to be published, and x – not reported in compliance with the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act.

Natural gas represented 58 percent of the colleges' total energy use, followed by electricity at 37 percent and other middle distillates at 3 percent. Regionally, natural gas accounted for 72 percent of college energy use in the Prairies, compared with 61 percent in British Columbia and the Territories, and 55 percent in Ontario and in Quebec.

The use of other middle distillates was more common in the Atlantic region, where it accounted for nearly half of the total energy consumption, than elsewhere in Canada. These energy sources are used mainly for space heating.

Energy Intensity

Graph 4 shows, for each region, the energy intensity of colleges, expressed in gigajoules per square metre. The average energy intensity of colleges in Canada was 1.48 GJ/. Colleges were therefore less energy intensive than universities, whose average energy intensity was 2.04 GJ/. This gap between the gross ratios stems in part from the dissimilar vocation of the two types of institutions: colleges focus more on teaching, whereas universities often focus more on research. The facilities and equipment therefore differ significantly between these sectors.

Energy intensity (gigajoules per square metre), colleges, 2003.

Energy intensity (gigajoules per student), colleges, 2003.

The Atlantic region was the least energy intensive of all Canadian regions, with a ratio of 0.98 GJ/. Quebec and Ontario both had ratios of 1.35 GJ/, compared with 1.53 GJ/ for British Columbia and the Territories, and 1.98 GJ/ for the Prairies.

The comparative results change considerably, however, when another measure of energy intensity is used, namely energy consumption per full-time and part-time college student. Graph 5 shows, for each region, the energy intensity of colleges, expressed in gigajoules per student. The average energy intensity for all colleges in Canada was 29 GJ per student. While British Columbia and the Territories rank above the average for all colleges when energy intensity is expressed in gigajoules per square metre, the same region proved to be the least energy intensive from this perspective, with 18 GJ per student. Ontario and Quebec had ratios of 24 and 34 GJ per student, respectively. In gigajoules per square metre, the Atlantic region was the least energy intensive. Again, this ranking is reversed when energy intensity is viewed as a function of the number of students. The Atlantic region was well above the Canadian average, with a ratio of 39 GJ per student. Lastly, the Prairies were the most energy intensive, with energy consumption at 43 GJ per student.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The energy consumption data from the survey can be used to calculate the colleges' GHG emissions. Table 4 shows, for each region, the GHG emissions of colleges associated with their three main energy sources, namely natural gas, electricity and other middle distillates. In 2003, the energy consumption of colleges alone produced more than 700 000 tonnes of GHGs, which is equivalent to the average annual emissions of 207 000 compact cars or 136 000 sport utility vehicles. Quebec colleges generated 28 percent of the total GHG emissions of Canada's colleges. The Prairies followed at 26 percent of the total GHG emissions. Ontario produced 23 percent of the GHG emissions, compared with 16 percent for British Columbia and the Territories, and 6 percent for the Atlantic region.

Table 4: GHG emissions (thousands of tonnes) by energy source, colleges, 2003
Region Natural gas   Electricity Other middle distillates Total
(all energy sources)
Atlantic F 16A 23A 45A
Quebec 103A 91A 4A 200A
Ontario 82A 79A 1B 163A
Prairies 124A 59A x 184A
British Columbia / Territories 66A 47A x 117B
Total 377A 293A 28A 710A

Graph 6 shows the percentage of GHG emissions attributed to each of the energy sources for the college sector. The use of natural gas accounted for 53 percent of the GHG emissions, compared with 41 percent for electricity and 4 percent for other middle distillates. Regionally, the use of natural gas accounted for 67 percent of the GHG emissions in the Prairies, 57 percent in British Columbia and the Territories, 52 percent in Quebec and 50 percent in Ontario. The use of other middle distillates was the main source of emissions for the Atlantic region, as it accounted for 51 percent of this region's emissions.

Percentage of greenhouse gas emissions by energy source, colleges, 2003.

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