Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Current Issue

Volume 6, Issue 2

Meet some of the ENERGY STAR® Firsts

Registry of ENERGY STAR® certified buildings in Canada is now live!

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) recognizes the most energy efficient commercial and institutional buildings in Canada with the ENERGY STAR certification.

If you would like your building to be featured in this registry, consider applying for ENERGY STAR certification for buildings and showcase your building's superior energy performance in Canada.

As ENERGY STAR certification for buildings now enters its second year, Heads Up Building Energy Efficiency takes a look at some of the first buildings in Canada to be ENERGY STAR certified.

Earth Rangers, Vaughan, Ontario

The Earth Rangers Centre for Sustainable Technology lives up to its name as one of the most state-of-the art buildings in Canada. Certified LEED Platinum in 2013, the Centre uses 90 percent less energy than a typical commercial building of its size (less than 9 kWh/sq. ft/year). It has a geothermal heating and cooling system and 30 percent of its electricity is produced by solar energy. The Centre—part of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority's Living Campus in Vaughan, Ontario—is an educational hub for school groups all around the region. It also serves as a demonstration site for best practices in building technologies and operations; for example, the building uses three different roofing types to test green, white, and eco shingle roofs.

Ordnance Building, Saint John, New Brunswick

For a building that has been part of Saint John's history since the 1840s, and survived the Great Fire of 1877 that destroyed much of the city, the Ordnance Building is not showing its age. A National Historic Site since 2009, the building was retrofitted to reduce energy consumption and turned into professional offices. Heritage buildings can often be more challenging to retrofit for energy efficiency, due to their age and the materials used, as well as the need to retain important historical elements.

"We're thrilled to have the Ordnance Building recognized as one of the most energy efficient in Canada," says Paul Moore, General Manager, Commercial Properties. "Environmental responsibility and sustainability have always been hugely important for our company, and we're pleased to have gained even more recognition of our efforts to improve the energy efficiency of our buildings."

"ENERGY STAR certification for the Civic Centre demonstrates our commitment to sustainability," said Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga. "I am excited and proud of our team and the energy efficiencies we have achieved. Every opportunity to save energy and cut down on consumption helps reduce the impact on our environment and saves money. It makes good environmental and business sense."

Mississauga Civic Centre, Mississauga, Ontario

The City of Mississauga is no stranger to energy efficiency accolades. It won the 2015 Town Hall Challenge and is one of Natural Resource's Circle of Champions. It has now become one of the first municipal city halls to earn ENERGY STAR certification for buildings. To become certified, applicants must achieve a score of at least 75 out of 100 and have their data verified by a licensed professional. The Civic Centre scored 89, and over the last six years, has reduced its energy use by 17 percent. 

Cadillac Fairview, Toronto and Montreal

Cadillac Fairview is one of the largest commercial real estate companies in Canada. Its 68 properties include landmark developments like the Toronto-Dominion Centre, CF Toronto Eaton Centre, CF Pacific Centre, CF Chinook Centre, and CF Carrefour Laval.  Building on its own Energy Smart Operations program—a multi-pronged energy reduction initiative—it can add ENERGY STAR certification to three of its buildings: the Yonge Corporate Centre, Simcoe Place in Toronto, and Tour Deloitte in Montreal.

For more information about ENERGY STAR certification for your building, please visit our website, or contact us at: nrcan.buildingscertification-certificationbatiments.rncan@canada.ca

After benchmarking: the next step in energy analysis

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and RETScreen Expert can help move projects from conception to completion.

Once a building has been benchmarked for energy consumption using tools such as ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, and monitoring systems and procedures are put in place, what comes next? Analysis. How do you use the data to figure out your next energy saving options?

That's what RETScreen Expert was designed to do. Developed in Canada by the energy experts at Natural Resources' CanmetENERGY, the software lets users upload different source files of data, such as Excel spreadsheets, then analyzes the data to assess the potential of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The software will help make data imports easier and faster, standardize the data format, and reduce data import errors.

It's available in Viewer mode free of charge.

When combined with an energy benchmarking system like ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®, it can be even more powerful as an analysis and simulation tool. Using your own benchmarked data, RETScreen will help you test different scenarios before you undertake any project. That can save time, money, and a lot of frustration in the long run.

Once the software is set up, it can import, update and add large amounts of data; whenever new data is available, it takes only a few clicks of the mouse to update RETScreen Expert and refresh your portfolio analysis.

Click here to download RETScreen Expert

RETScreen Expert lets users identify, assess, and optimize the technical and financial viability of potential renewable energy, energy efficiency, and cogeneration projects. It also measures and verifies actual performance and identifies energy saving or energy production opportunities.

For more information or to sign up to receive alerts on software updates or other RETScreen-related, email us at: nrcan.retscreen.rncan@canada.ca.

Funding opportunities

NRCan provides financial assistance to support energy labelling and disclosure projects for the commercial and institutional buildings sectors. NRCan's priority is to support provinces, territories, and municipalities implementing labelling and disclosure and other stakeholders within those jurisdictions.

Remarkable opportunities are now available for organizations looking to implement ISO 50001 in their commercial and institutional buildings, or industrial facilities. NRCan provides cost-shared financial assistance of up to 50% of eligible costs, to a maximum of $40,000 per building or facility. Moreover, this financial assistance can be combined with other funding sources where available.

Email nrcan.buildings-batiments.rncan@canada.ca with your questions or to request a project proposal template.

NRCan assesses project proposals prior to any funding approval. Project costs cannot be incurred prior to signing an agreement. The decision to approve any proposal is at the sole discretion of NRCan.

Let us know what you think

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency is published by Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency and distributed monthly to 16,000 subscribers. Our goal is to deliver meaningful news and information about programs, services and events related to energy efficiency in commercial and institutional buildings and, as well, to share the success stories of organizations that have benefited from positive change. Help us spread the word by sending this link to your colleagues. We encourage you to subscribe to our sister publication that focuses on energy efficiency in industrial facilities, Heads Up CIPEC.

We welcome reader feedback and are always interested in your story ideas.

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The ENERGY STAR and Portfolio Manager names and the ENERGY STAR symbol are trademarks registered in Canada by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and are administered and promoted by Natural Resources Canada.