UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into the replacement of personal heaters with electrically heated blankets Chen, Chun-Ju; Eccleston, Martin; To, Wilson


UBC’s Campus Sustainability is looking at alternatives to the personal heaters that staff members use during the cold winter months. This report investigates the possibility of an exchange program to replace high energy-consuming ceramic heaters with electrically heated blankets. The heated blankets are to be provided free of charge with the trade-in of a ceramic heater, with the goal of a two year payback period from the anticipated savings in energy costs. The viability of this project is assessed using the Triple Bottom Line method, considering the social, economic, and environmental implications. In terms of the social aspect, participants who tested out the heated blanket found it to be very comfortable and were very satisfied. However, many staff members rejected the idea of heated blankets, as per the survey results. Environmentally, the replacement of a single 1500W ceramic heater with the heated blanket will save roughly 834 kWh per year, depending on the amount of use. As a result, about $45 of energy costs will be saved each year, with the initial investment of a $60 heated blanket. The recommendation is to start a trade-in program for old ceramic heaters for heated blankets. Since many staff members oppose the heated blankets, the trade-in will be optional. However, each replacement will lead to great reductions in energy consumption and costs. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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