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Curtin Malaysia moves to enhance environmental sustainability

Miri – 1 August 2017 – As a responsible educational institution and corporate citizen, and aiming to make a meaningful contribution to worldwide efforts at environmental sustainability, Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently initiated a new environmental programme to promote energy efficiency on its campus.

The programme, part of the University’s overarching Environmental Sustainability Programme, includes a comprehensive energy audit of the campus’ active and passive systems, which was carried out in April, and further initiatives to improve energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.

The energy audit was carried out under a Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA) Energy Audit Conditional Grant (EACG), which are administered by the Sustainable Energy Development Authority of Malaysia (SEDA).

“We were very pleased to have been given the grant, which is one of KeTTHA’s initiatives under the Eleventh Malaysia Plan to promote the importance of conducting energy audits to enhance energy efficiency and environmental conservation,” said Curtin Malaysia Chief Operating Officer Kingsley Francis Charles, who championed the energy audit at the University.

Kingsley added that Curtin Malaysia was the first recipient of the EACG in Sarawak and engaged Cofreth (M) Sdn. Bhd., a reputable Energy Services Company (ESCO), to conduct the energy audit and offer viable energy solutions for the University.

The audit involved continuous monitoring using of temperature and energy loggers and ultra-sonic flowmeters installed across the campus. This data logging process generated trends at intervals of between 5 to 10 minutes over a period of 14 days. Forensic investigations were then carried out to assess the energy efficiency and needs of the campus.

Among the recommendations for greater efficiency, according to Kingsley, are the adoption of technologies to improve energy efficiency like variable speed drives for air-conditioning systems, retrofitting of LED lighting, use of motion sensors and energy monitoring systems. This could result in savings in energy consumption of up to 20 percent, which can be translated into a reduction of roughly 720,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide from being released into the environment.

“The flipside of such initiatives would of course be the considerable investment, though it can be regarded as a worthwhile investment in long-term environmental sustainability. They can also be implemented in stages to allay costs,” commented Kingsley.

He said an option would be to have a mechanism where the initial investment costs are undertaken by an ESCO, who are repaid from the costs of electricity saved over a given period. This concept of energy performance contracting or EPC is widely promoted and practised by the government and Curtin Malaysia is exploring this option.

“We look forward to adopting more energy efficiency technology, which will not only increase energy efficiency on our campus but also provide research opportunities for our staff and students in our commitment to involve all areas of the University in improving sustainability, minimise any negative effects on the environment, and preserving the earth for future generations,” he added.

Adding to Kingsley’s comments, Curtin Malaysia Pro Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Professor Jim Mienczakowski said, “The protection of the environment is the greatest challenge of our generation. It is a challenge in which we, as an educational and business entity, and as individuals, have a part to play.

We must ensure that environmental management is part of our daily operation and the use of energy efficiency technology is a good environmentally-friendly business practice. It should lead to better environmental outcomes, and to a more systematic reduction of the campus’ environmental footprint.”

For more information on Curtin Malaysia, visit its website (, its Facebook page (CurtinMalaysia), Twitter profile (curtinmalaysia), Google+ page (Curtin Malaysia), Instagram (curtinmalaysia) or YouTube channel (Curtin Malaysia).

New environmental programme to enhance energy efficiency at the Curtin Malaysia campus.

Chief Operating Officer Kingsley Francis Charles.