Energy Use in the Student Union Building Kitchen
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i-Research Question and Objective: What is the current level of energy consumption in the Dalhousie Student Union Building (henceforth referred to as the SUB) kitchen, and to what extent can we lower consumption by either modifying behavioral patterns or implementing new equipment? ii-Summary of Research: This research used both qualitative and quantitative methods in order assess energy inputs into the SUB kitchen. Interviews were conducted with Sodexo employees who worked directly in the kitchen and who worked in management outside of the city. Energy audits were conducted in two ways: with a hand held energy meter for small appliances (see Appendix 1), and a large-scale meter that was wired into the SUB kitchen from Friday, April 1, 2011 at 9:15 am until Wednesday, April 6, 2011 at 11:50 am (see Appendices 2 and 3). E-mails requesting product information were sent out to companies with appliances in the kitchen. Additional research was done to find alternative baseline statistics on appliances and energy calculations were completed based on a combination of all of those sources. iii-Summary of Findings: We concluded that the energy savings would be substantial for a number of different appliances and recommend that Dalhousie invest in a kitchen retrofit for the sake of the environment. However, with the exception of the fryers, the time it would take to make back the investment made on new appliances may not be fast enough for Dalhousie to be economically interested. Additionally, Energy Star does not promote any walk in refrigerators or freezers so we were unable to give meaningful energy saving calculations for those. Employees were excited for the project, not for its implications for administrative energy usage or implications for climate change but for potential new efficient equipment that could simplify their jobs. iv-Conclusions and Recommendations: This document contains a series of recommended appliances that could suitably replace the outdated models that the SUB kitchen currently holds (see Appendix 4). However, these appliances would be mostly beneficial in reducing the carbon emissions and not the most cost effective choice for Dalhousie to make. The investments made in new technologies could not be made back in the short-term (under 5 years) but could be beneficial in cutting down emissions for the long-term. Although the employees expressed an interest in new appliances, the qualitative study proved that there were no major behavourial changes that could be made to improve the energy efficiency in the SUB kitchen.