Royal Roads University is proud to offer learners with the opportunity to apply their learning to real world sustainability issues. These applied learning projects identify opportunities for improving the sustainability of university operations and inform university policy and decision making and program development.

Student Projects






Solar Colwood

Through a partnership with the City of Colwood, Royal Roads University’s Office of Sustainability was responsible for conducting the RRU Solar Colwood Monitoring Program. This leading-edge research measured energy use and greenhouse gas emissions saved by Solar Colwood participants at a household level over the course of the four-year federally funded Clean Energy Fund project (Natural Resources Canada).


The findings of our four year monitoring program demonstrate that homeowners who installed solar thermal hot water and/or ductless split heat pumps through the Solar Colwood incentive program reduced their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 26% and 37% respectively in the first year after installation. For the period after installation until December 2014 (including the first year) energy consumption was down 37% and GHG emissions 43% compared to pre-installation values. As expected, homeowners that installed both systems demonstrated greater reductions in energy consumption. Based on these findings, it is clear that the use of financial incentive programs by municipal or regional governments to inspire homeowners to install energy efficient technologies can translate into meaningful reductions in energy consumption and GHG emissions at the community level.