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Union Gas and McMaster University unveil new energy audit program

HAMILTON, ON — Union Gas and the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University today unveiled a new Energy Audit Program aimed at helping local schools and businesses reduce their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Union Gas will provide $500,000 in funding for the program and will donate the specialized equipment needed to conduct the audits.

Under the program, launched for the 2009-2010 academic year, civil and mechanical engineering students will visit local schools and businesses to conduct energy audits — detailed assessments of energy use — and recommend conservation strategies and productivity enhancements. The goal is to complete 40 energy audits over a two-year period.

The Energy Audit Program — which supports student skill development in the field of energy conservation — is part of Union Gas' broader EnerSmart program, which offers incentives to its larger commercial and industrial customers to implement projects that will use natural gas more efficiently and lower operating costs.

"Environmental stewardship is a core business value for Union Gas and we are committed to helping our business customers make smart investments in energy-efficient equipment and technologies," said Mel Ydreos, vice-president marketing and customer care, Union Gas. "These investments can not only boost the bottom line, they also help the environment."

"There are a lot of winners with this initiative," said Samir Chidiac, P.Eng., professor of civil engineering. "Students gain direct experience in energy conservation, researchers advance their knowledge of this field, schools and businesses reduce operating costs, and everyone benefits from a more sustainable environment."

Professors Samir Chidiac and Michael Tait from the Department of Civil Engineering, and Professors James Cotton and Mohamed Hamed from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, are overseeing the energy audit program at McMaster.

Last year, Union Gas efficiency programs helped customers avoid 139,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and reduce their consumption of natural gas by over 74 million cubic metres — the equivalent of taking more than 25,000 cars off the road. For information about the Union Gas EnerSmart program visit uniongas.com/esp.

Visit uniongas.com for more information.