Where Nature and Technology Meet

The Johnson GEO CENTRE teamed up with takeCHARGE to make energy efficiency upgrades that are saving them almost $2,000 a month in electricity costs.

The Johnson GEO CENTRE, a geological interpretation centre built into 550-million-year-old rock, is located on Signal Hill in St. John’s. Open since 2002, the GEO CENTRE houses exhibits related to our planet and provincial geology, oil and gas exploration, natural resources, space exploration, and the Titanic disaster. Their mission is to educate and inform the public on the importance of Newfoundland and Labrador’s geology, and to foster curiosity in science and the world around us. The Johnson GEO CENTRE teamed up with takeCHARGE, a joint initiative between Newfoundland Power and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, to upgrade their heating and cooling system.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, heating typically accounts for about 27% of a business’ electricity use. Looking to reduce energy consumption, while keeping consistent with their focus to care for our planet and its resources, the Johnson GEO CENTRE upgraded the controls for their geothermal heating system. During the winter, the geothermal system collects thermal energy from the earth and concentrates it inside the building to provide space heating. In the summer, the process is reversed and the system moves heat from the building and stores it back into the ground. The new advanced controls now provide central and computerized regulation of the building’s heating and cooling, making temperature and ventilation scheduling easy. GEO CENTRE staff can monitor the on-going status of the building’s health and make adjustments to operate at peak efficiency. With the help of takeCHARGE, the Johnson GEO CENTRE was able to create operational efficiencies, reduce the building’s energy consumption, and take charge of their bottom line!

“takeCHARGE was able to provide over $6,500 in rebates to help make this project a reality,” says Dennis Keough, Manager of Exhibits & Facilities at the Johnson GEO CENTRE. “Combine that with the money we’re saving on electricity costs and this project will quickly pay for itself!”

Like most energy efficiency upgrades, the benefits go beyond electricity savings. The advanced controls let GEO CENTRE staff monitor temperature and ventilation in real-time, allowing them to identify issues early and reduce maintenance costs.

“The takeCHARGE team was great,” reports Dennis. “They worked with us to identify where we were losing energy and helped us save money.”

Check it out for yourself! Visitors of the Johnson GEO CENTRE can get a behind the scenes look at their heating and cooling system and monitor the control system first-hand as part of an exhibit. The GEO CENTRE has made great strides in using this upgrade to provide valuable contributions to the science, engineering, and education communities.

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