As part of the inaugural Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Challenge, Humber College has been awarded $1 million from the federal government to fund the institution’s sustainable infrastructure project, SWITCH.

The project will upgrade the heating and cooling systems, the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions at Humber’s North Campus. SWITCH will also reduce reliance on natural gas by switching from a steam-based system, constructed in 1972, to a modern hot water system generating heat mostly using electricity.

“By working with organizations across Canada, we are growing the economy, all while investing in clean, affordable, renewable energy,” said Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “Through the Low Carbon Economy Fund, we are partnering with climate leaders like Humber College by investing in a project that reduces the College’s reliance on natural gas and switching to a modern electric heating system. I applaud the leadership shown by Humber College for helping to keep our air clean and build resilient communities with the SWITCH project.”

The grant is part of Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Challenge meant to support programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate clean growth in support of Canada’s clean growth and climate action plans.

“Humber College is a community leader in decarbonization, and this project is an exceptional example of how the Low Carbon Economy Fund is reducing our reliance on natural gas and helping institutions like Humber College switch to a modern electric heating system,” added Kristy Duncan, MP for Etobicoke North. “I commend the leadership shown by Humber College in helping to keep our air clean and reduce emissions all while growing our local economy with the SWITCH project.”

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SWITCH will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing total natural gas use at the north campus by 70 per cent. SWITCH will allow Humber to save energy and operate more efficiently and cost-effectively, all while making the campus more comfortable for students and staff. The project’s design includes flexible piping which allows Humber to expand the system to other campus buildings in the future.

“This support from the federal government will bring us closer to achieving our ambitious vision with the SWITCH project,” said Ann Marie Vaughan president & CEO of Humber College. “As it becomes fully operational, it will set the stage for Humber’s future sustainability initiatives such as achieving net zero by 2050.”

This November, the first buildings at Humber’s North Campus will begin using heat from SWITCH. The project is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2024.

Featured image: (L to R) Tessa Soltendieck, Sustainability Manager; Aman Hehar, Associate Director, Energy & Climate Change; Spencer Wood, Director, Facilities Management; and Lindsay Walker, Director, Sustainability. (Humber College)


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