Energy measures save UBD $170k

National 2 minutes, 35 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A PILOT project on energy conservation involving 10 buildings at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) resulted in savings of over $170,000 for one year.

Dr Rohaniyati POKLWDSP Hj Mohd Salleh, the acting director of the Department of Mechanical and Electrical (DME) under the Public Works Department, whose department carried out the project, told The Brunei Times on the sidelines of a presentation meeting the savings represent a 27 per cent decrease in energy consumption.

“We started in August last year where we took the normal energy consumption of the month as our baseline for this project and began implementing the energy-saving measure to determine the true energy needs of these buildings,” she said.

A presentation yesterday on the outcome of the energy-saving measures by DME engineers showed that the energy bill in August 2015 for the 10 buildings amounted to $52,349,88 but had gone down by more than a quarter to $38,169.53 in July 2016 after the project’s implementation.

Among the measures taken were to maximise the use of natural light during the day, immediate switching of all lights, air-conditioning and other electrical equipment once classes have finished for the day, carrying out proper maintenance practices and gradually increasing the air-conditioning thermostat to 23 degrees Celsius.

“When we first turned up the air-conditioning from 20 to 23 degrees, there were a lot of people who complained about the discomfort but I assured the (UBD) Estate Office that it is a normal reaction and that people’s bodies will get used to it and adjust to the changes soon,” Dr Rohaniyati said.

“At the same time, UBD gave their best effort to explain the purpose of the changes in air-conditioning temperature,” she said.

She said most of the measures implemented for the pilot project relied on operational adjustments on the buildings’ existing infrastructure.

“The only expenses were mostly for the purchase of timer switches to automatically turn the lights and air-conditioning on or off at certain times of the day when the place is not in use,” Dr Rohaniyati said.

She said that the pilot project was borne out of a similar project that was carried out at the Ministry of Development’s building between 2011 and 2012, which resulted to a reduction in annual energy expense by a fourth.

“We approached them about the possibility of conducting this project and they were receptive. UBD is such a big institution and they consume quite a lot of energy,” she said.

“We only asked them for the initial data for us to analyse. We worked together with UBD’s Estate Office that manages the buildings to carry out the project after conducting studies,” she said.

Dr Rohaniyati said the energy-saving measures will be kept permanently for the 10 faculty buildings and will possibly be implemented to all other buildings of the university in the future.

“If these buildings can maintain at least 15 per cent in savings compared with the August 2015 baseline consistently for three years, that would make them eligible to receive a green building award,” she said.

The DME team presented their findings yesterday at the Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences building.

The Brunei Times