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Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Archives

Here you will find all past issues of Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency published since 2011. To receive future issues and to ensure we send other materials and important notices to your correct address, please fill out or update the subscribe form.

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2019

March - Volume 5, Issue 12

Volume 5, Issue 12

Energy Efficiency Trends in Canada 1990-2015

Energy Efficiency Trends in Canada 1990-2015 is now available in digital format online.

The “Trends” is an annual publication that provides detailed estimates for the measure of energy efficiency, final demand energy use and corresponding GHG emissions for the Canadian economy by sector.  It is a companion document to the National Energy Use Database.  Traditionally, this publication has been available in PDF format.  However, in support of the Department’s digital initiative, the publication is now available in digital format.  

Some key highlights over the 1990 to 2015 period:

  • Energy efficiency improved 26.5%, saving 1,766.1 PJ or $38.2 billion in energy and avoiding 94.8 Mt of GHG emissions.
  • Secondary energy use (final energy demand) in Canada increased 30%. It would have increased 55% without energy efficiency improvements.
  • Canada’s energy intensity per unit of GDP improved 27.5%

ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager Webinar – March 2019 Tool Updates

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is pleased to advise that there is a scheduled update of the Canadian adaptation of the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool planned for March 31, 2019. This update will include increased weather station coverage across Canada and the introduction of enhanced dashboard customization features. Also in this update, and forming a part of NRCan’s ongoing effort to ensure up-to-date energy performance data comparability for those building types that can generate the popular ENERGY STAR® Score metric, is the release of an updated ENERGY STAR® Score model for K-12 Schools in Canada and the release of a new ENERGY STAR Score model for Warehouses in Canada. The release of these scores will provide a better comparability of the energy performance of your K-12 School or Warehouse building to the current national building stock.

Watch the webinar for details of this Portfolio Manager update and what they mean for your buildings. Stream from the following links:

In English

In French

Introducing a new ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager 1-100 Score for Warehouses in Canada - March 31, 2019

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is excited to announce that, as a part of our ongoing effort to ensure the most up-to-date energy performance data comparability, we will be introducing a new ENERGY STAR® Score model for Warehouses in Canada in the March 31, 2019 update of the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool. The release of this new metric will provide meaningful comparability of the energy performance of your Warehouse building to similar, and current, national Warehouse building stock.

Join us for a timely webinar on the details about the upcoming release of the ENERGY STAR® Score for Warehouses and what it can mean for your buildings.

Stream from the following links:

In English

In French

Blueprint to a greener rink with the Arena Guide Canada

No other country in the world has more ice rinks than Canada. While we are lucky to enjoy many modern facilities all across the country, we also have to face the sad reality that the majority are still very inefficient in their energy consumption. Statistics Canada estimated that in 2014, arenas in Canada consumed 17.2 Million gigajoules (GJ) of energy, the equivalent of burning 2.9 million barrels of oil.

Ice arenas fully optimized with today’s available technologies could cut up to 60% of their current energy usage. Arena Guide’s Go Green framework for rinks assembles comprehensive information for arena operators on how to improve facility performance. They have developed a systematic approach and tool to provide a simple yet comprehensive roadmap to reduce emissions from the facility.

The Arena Guide’s Go Green framework consists of nine categories, featuring 55 ideas and suggestions to lower an arena’s footprint. Reducing the carbon footprint and operational costs of a facility with these measures helps keep hockey, figure skating, curling and other ice sports affordable.

While many best practices are operational and/or easy to incorporate such as controlling the arena lights by staff, other measures require novel solutions and significant capital investment such as upgrading to LED lighting. Arena Guide’s supplier directory and overview of available funding sources can help with capital costs of new solutions.

Arena Guide’s ambition is to build a community around the Go Green Framework and encourage arena operators to share their experience while greening their facility. The Arena Guide Canada and the Go Green Framework are initiatives by SWiCH Services Inc., but the guide is technology agnostic. Only the supplier directory highlights specific technologies.

SWiCH’s introduction of REALice technology to Canada enables ice arenas to use unheated water for resurfacing the ice. Not heating the water used for resurfacing saves a remarkable amount of energy. Likely, the most prominent arena in Canada using this technology is Rogers Arena in Vancouver, flooding their ice at much lower temperatures than before and getting fantastic ice quality rating by the officials.

Benchmark your facility’s energy use with ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager and earn ENERGY STAR certification for your rink’s superior efficiency.

BOMA Canada Launches 2019 Net Zero Challenge

The Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada (BOMA Canada) is excited to announce year 2 of the Net Zero Challenge, supported by Natural Resources Canada and sponsored by Bullfrog Power. The Net Zero Challenge continues to recognize buildings that have achieved outstanding energy performance, have drastically improved their performance, or have demonstrated leadership through the implementation of replicable and innovative strategies that support efficiency and clean energy production.

As existing buildings and the businesses within them currently use 40% of global energy, net zero buildings are one of the key solutions to a carbon neutral world. BOMA Canada is excited to build on last year’s success and continue to recognize and celebrate forward thinking individuals, organizations and buildings that are investing in initiatives that lead to exceptional energy and/or carbon performance, as well as those that can be wholly supplied by renewable energy.

“As we move towards a zero carbon economy,” says Benjamin Shinewald, President and CEO of BOMA Canada, “we continue to see new technology, innovative ideas and simple hard work driving our entire industry forward.  The Net Zero Challenge is a key element in reaching something that we can only imagine today, but that will be increasingly within reach tomorrow: a world where net zero buildings are commonplace.”

BOMA Canada already offers the BOMA BEST program, Canada’s largest environmental assessment and certification program for existing buildings, with nearly 3,000 buildings certified. BOMA BEST supports building owners in the sustainable operations of their assets, while the Net Zero Challenge is an evolution of the organization’s environmental commitment.

“Energy efficiency provides benefits for our buildings, homes, neighbourhoods, environment, and wallets,” says the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “Our government is supporting initiatives like BOMA Canada’s Net Zero Challenge to build a cleaner future for our kids, create jobs for Canadians and support our climate change goals.”

“Net zero energy buildings are the future of the industry and the future is right now,” says John Smiciklas, BOMA Canada’s Director, Energy and Environment. “The uptake of the Net Zero Challenge tells us we are headed in right direction.”

“We are excited to see continued innovation in renewable, efficient energy programs for buildings all across Canada,” says Sean Drygas, President, Bullfrog Power. “For this reason, Bullfrog Power is proud to support BOMA Canada's Net Zero Challenge.”

The deadline for new entries in BOMA Canada’s 2019 Net Zero Challenge is July 15, 2019 in all three award categories: Best in Class, Most Improved and Innovation. Winners will be announced on September 11, 2019 at the BOMA Canada National Awards Gala held during BOMEX 2019 in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, September 9-11, 2019. 

Go to http://bomacanada.ca/awards/netzerochallenge to learn more.

Funding opportunities

NRCan provides financial assistance to support energy efficiency projects in Canada’s buildings sector to meet commitments under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The following programs are currently accepting proposals.

NRCan provides financial assistance to support energy labelling and disclosure projects for the commercial and institutional buildings sector. 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.

Shippers!

Improve your operations and environmental performance with Smartway.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.


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.

April - Volume 6, Issue 1

Volume 6, Issue 1

ENERGY STAR Certification for Buildings Celebrates its First Year!

It's been a year since Natural Resources Canada launched ENERGY STAR® certification for buildings and what a year it has been!

Leading the way was the commercial sector. Commercial buildings such as Scotia Plaza (Canada's second largest office building) in Toronto, the mixed use World Exchange Plaza in Ottawa, and several SunLife buildings in Waterloo are now proudly displaying the ENERGY STAR® label for 2018.

In all, 119 buildings from all eligible building types were certified in the first year, including ice rinks, municipal and heritage buildings, town halls such as Mississauga's City Hall, medical facilities such as Saint John Regional Hospital, and schools.

Important Updates!

As part of NRCan’s ongoing efforts to ensure energy performance data comparability for building types, an updated ENERGY STAR® score model has now been released for K-12 schools and warehouses.

The updated score provides a better comparability of the energy performance of your K-12 School or Warehouse building to the current national building stock.

Castlebrooke Secondary School was one of the first schools to be ENERGY STAR® certified for 2018. As one of 200+ schools in the Peel District School Board, Castlebrooke is part of the Board's conservation and demand management program that sets out targets and strategies to reduce energy. Data for all of the Board's buildings have now been included in the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager benchmarking software, and will be used to help certify new schools in 2019 and beyond.

This year, Natural Resources Canada also teamed up with Arena Guide, the largest directory of ice rinks across Canada, to produce a searchable map of more than 3,000 rinks. People can search for their closest rink, see a weather forecast for the area, and find alternative transportation options to the arena, such as by bike, public transit, or on foot. Due to the high-energy demands of creating and maintaining the ice surfaces of these kinds of buildings, Arena Guide's Go Green initiative will also help rink operators reduce their carbon footprint.

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

Humber College: Integrated Planning for Breakthrough Energy Performance

Named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers three years in a row by the Canada's Top 100 Employers Project, Humber College has earned their title through their commitment to sustainability and the environment.

In support of Canada’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), Humber developed an Integrated Energy Master Plan (IEMP) in 2015 in order to considerably reduce the College’s use of energy, fossil fuels and water over the next two decades. This strategic plan has ambitious goals, which aim to reduce energy and water consumption by 50%, while reducing carbon emissions by at least 30%, all by 2034. Their carbon emissions goal is especially lofty as it is tracked against absolute emissions for a college that is planning significant growth. The environment feels the negative impact of every ton of added carbon; for this reason, Humber does not normalize this goal against square footage or students.

The IEMP represents a comprehensive energy plan that addresses traditional energy efficiency measures in existing buildings such as lighting, metering, controls, HVAC upgrades and a vigorous retrocommissioning program. However, to achieve true breakthrough performance that could accomplish the ambitious goals, Humber had to stretch further. As a result, the plan focuses on two large sources of energy use and GHG emissions: heating and building envelopes.

The main campus central steam system is currently being studied to see how it can be converted to a low temperature hot water system. Not only would a low temperature hot water network improve the efficiency of the system, it opens the door to introducing several low-carbon, energy efficient heating sources – for example, heat pumps.

Similarly, there is a major focus on improving the performance of existing building envelopes. It is widely recognized that much of the existing building stock in Canada has been designed with envelopes that have poor thermal performance which significantly affect energy use and GHG emissions. However, envelopes are often overlooked, as renovations to the envelope are generally considered too costly to undertake. To achieve the goals set out in the IEMP, it was clear the building envelopes could not be ignored. Building envelope improvements have several spinoff benefits for Humber such as reducing deferred maintenance, improving thermal comfort for occupants, and lowering loads and supply temperatures required from the future hot water district heating network.

Humber College, Centre for Technology Innovation

Humber College, Centre for Technology Innovation

Building N represents one example of how the plan is taking shape. This 100,000 ft², three-story building houses applied technology classrooms. A renewal project has fully replaced the building envelope with an ultra-high performance skin; including triple glazing, R30 effective walls, engineered transitions for superior air control, and many other enhancements. The ventilation system has been fitted with enthalpy energy recovery wheels, to recover heat and humidity from exhaust air – improving the HVAC system efficiency by pre-treating intake air with recovered energy. A revamped Building Automation System helps manage the building system for optimized performance and system integration. Occupancy sensors are installed in all spaces to manage lighting, based on actual occupancy while the ventilation system is operated by CO2 sensors, providing demand supply ventilation when spaces are occupied. All of this results in an expected 30% reduction in energy use and 43% reduction in GHG emissions.

Similar renewal work is under way for Building NX, which Humber hopes will be the first existing building retrofit in Canada to achieve the Canada Green Building Council’s Zero Carbon Building – Design Certification and places the project on track to be Canada’s first institutional Passive House retrofit certification. In addition, phase one of their 93,000 ft² net-zero energy Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation (BCTI) just opened its doors in April.

The N building project student team.

The N building project student team.

Humber College truly believes that incorporating the concepts of sustainability into learning can help shape the future – so much so that the IEMP specifically attempts to find linkages with Humber’s academic curriculum. Humber believes that it is critical for today’s students, the leaders of tomorrow, to understand how sustainability relates to their lives and future careers. For the N building project, a multi-disciplinary student team covering various programs was created and tasked with designing the project in parallel. Working towards creating various deliverables, the student team met regularly with the architecture and engineering professionals involved on the project to get feedback and garner insights. Having the students participate in this on-campus project provides them with an opportunity to interact with industry professionals. Their experiences in their multi-disciplinary team is not only invaluable, but will benefit them in their future careers.

That is one of the key messages from Humber’s Energy Efficiency Manager, Aman Hehar: “The key to any successful long-term energy plan is to figure out a way to have it enhance the organizations core business at the same time – in Humber’s case, that is education.”

Overall, this is an impressive start to Humber’s bold 2034 plan. Yet, they continue to look for ideas to demonstrate leadership in sustainability. While the Humber community continues to look for new ways to realize their goals, there is no doubt that many organizations will be looking to Humber College and their endeavours for inspiration on how to achieve great energy efficiency.

See where you building stands efficiency–wise by benchmarking your energy usage with ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager.

NRCan hosts the UN’s Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction Annual Assembly

GlobalABC members.

GlobalABC members gathered in Ottawa in February to map out strategies for a low-carbon buildings and construction sector.

The way we construct, use, and ultimately retire and replace our built environment—our homes, schools, offices, factories, and hospitals—contributes about 40 per cent of energy-related GHG emissions globally.

By 2050, global building floor area is expected to double. If we don't act now to reduce energy demand and make our buildings more efficient, carbon emissions and the global climate will continue to increase.

The United Nations' Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC) aims to change that. With 110 members from 84 non-state organizations and 26 countries (including Canada), GlobalABC works to scale up zero-emission, efficient, and resilient buildings. The GlobalABC also builds capacity and partnerships within the building and construction industries to make those transformative changes.

The Honourable Amerjeet Sohi, Minister NRCan, with Thomas Mueller, President and CEO of CaGBC.

The Honourable Amerjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, with Thomas Mueller, President and CEO of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC). Minister Sohi highlighted Canada's leadership and activities in the building sector at a joint event: the CaGBC’s Accelerating to Zero Summit, and the GlobalABC’s second annual General Assembly.

This past February in Ottawa, Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency proudly hosted about 50 building stakeholders from around the world for the GlobalABC's second annual General Assembly. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange information, review progress of activities, and set the work plan for 2019.

Katie Hicks, Senior Policy Analyst with the OEE explains that the GlobalABC was launched during the COP21 negotiations in Paris in late 2015, so is still a fairly new organization.

"The Assembly was about networking and getting the partners together face to face to make those organizational links," says Hicks. "We talked a lot about leveraging both the United Nations’ brand and our extensive membership."

Membership is diverse, with some further along the energy efficiency scale than others. To help take stock, the GlobalABC recently released its latest Global Status Report, which highlights progress in the buildings and construction sector around the world.

The GlobalABC's work closely aligns with Natural Resources Canada's energy efficiency efforts in the buildings sector and the government's focus on climate change action. Canada has long been a leader in energy efficiency for buildings—as demonstrated through Build Smart – Canada's Buildings Strategy—and brings that history and expertise to the table.

Funding opportunities

NRCan provides financial assistance to support energy efficiency projects in Canada’s buildings sector to meet commitments under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The following programs are currently accepting proposals.

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.

Shippers!
Improve your operations and environmental performance with Smartway

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.


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.

July - Volume 6, Issue 2

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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.


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.

2018

November - Volume 5, Issue 11

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 5, Issue 11

ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager – February 2019 Tool Updates Webinar

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is pleased to advise that there is a scheduled update of the Canadian adaptation of the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool planned for February 17, 2019. This update will include increased weather station coverage across Canada and the introduction of enhanced dashboard customization features. Also in this update, and forming a part of NRCan’s ongoing effort to ensure up-to-date energy performance data comparability for those building types that can generate the popular ENERGY STAR® Score metric, is the release of an updated ENERGY STAR® Score model for K-12 Schools in Canada. The release of this updated score will provide a better comparability of the energy performance of your K-12 School building to the current national K-12 School building stock.

Join us for a webinar on the details of this Portfolio Manager update and what they mean for your buildings. Register at the following links:

In French on December 13 at 11am EST
In English on December 13 at 1pm EST

Laying the foundation for Net-Zero Energy Ready building codes

The collaboration on the Net-Zero Energy Ready (NZER) project between the National Research Council’s Construction Research Centre (CRC) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) will help Canada meet its commitment under the Paris Accord promising to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

The NZER project will support significant updates to building codes to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, as outlined in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The project focuses on research to support solutions that may include superior insulation levels, high-efficiency mechanical systems, and/or very low levels of air leakage to reduce energy consumption, among other possibilities. It will also introduce significant economic, environmental and social benefits, and result in substantial energy use reductions for Canadians.

The work includes the development of best practices, new building standards and the development of energy-efficient technologies. In turn, research-based evidence will also assist the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC) in deciding which code changes will facilitate the adoption of NZER model codes.

NRCan and the NRC are providing free online access to the 2017 version of the National Energy Code for Buildings (2017 NECB). This three-year pilot project will provide Canada with the opportunity to evaluate the benefits of moving towards the NZER model.

As more stringent energy code requirements are developed through the CCBFC, provinces and territories will be encouraged to adopt NZER codes for new construction and also improve the energy efficiency of existing housing and buildings by 2030.

Training Sparks Energy Efficiency at Xeni Gwet’in Nation

Xeni Gwet’in Nation, west of 100 Mile House in central BC, has been taking action on energy efficiency. Training and a new data management system for organizing community data are allowing for more effective planning. The Nation, who are already leaders in managing community energy demand and building renewable energy systems, are taking their energy efficiency goals one step further with these initiatives.

Image

Community Power’s Todd McBride teaches Xeni Gwet’in Housing Manager Vera Quilt to use the eEthos data management system

Training is helping the community’s housing and administration staff to integrate energy efficiency into their everyday jobs, enabling them to be an active force in leading long-term energy savings in their community.

Staff were also trained in using eEthos, an online housing and energy management platform implemented by the community to automate, track, and prioritize operational tasks including housing maintenance, scheduling, and stock inventory. 

Community Power, who work alongside First Nation communities on energy and housing management, delivered the training and developed the eEthos platform, a software tool specifically designed for Indigenous communities. Natural Resources Canada funded both the training and the setup of the system in the community. 

Xeni Gwet’in’s Housing Manager Vera Quilt participated in the training. She’s looking forward to putting her learnings into practice and is excited about eEthos helping her to reduce her busy workload. “I use it mostly for house inspections and work orders so far. I gather info on the iPad and then sync it to my computer back at the office. If there’s a hole in the wall I can take a photo and upload it instead of taking so many notes.”

Looking ahead, Xeni Gwet’in and Community Power have a big vision for energy efficiency in the community. They are moving forward with plans to assess community-wide energy consumption then create a multi-year housing plan. They have also identified the immediate priorities for the Xeni Gwet’in community including addressing health and safety needs by fixing 11 homes with broken wood stoves and chimneys. Xeni Gwet’in and Community Power are currently working together to access funding to support these projects.

Image

Local Xeni Gwet’in film star Ed Lulua and Community Power’s Uli Chorny strike a pose during work in the community

Xeni Gwet’in is an off-grid community reliant on diesel energy through a pay-as-you-go system. The community put the system in place to champion energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint. The Nation is now on the path to installing a solar project to supply community energy needs. The community has a centralized diesel generator that feeds distribution lines to the homes. Homes hooked up to the main community grid pay approximately $0.07/kWh but most homes are connected to smaller hybrid solar-diesel units and pay closer to $1/kWh.In an effort to address high energy costs and lack of energy infrastructure, the community has pulled together to reduce energy demand.

“We treasure electricity because we’ve never had it,” Vera said when asked about the community attitude to energy efficiency. “We don’t take it for granted. We never leave the lights on.”

Community members pay for energy through a card-based system. Cards are loaded at the local gas station. Many homes also have solar panels on their rooftops or a back-up generator.Xeni Gwet’in plans to continue working collaboratively with Community Power on all aspects of housing and energy management, including retrofits, planning and securing resources to achieve energy community goals.

Inaugural BOMA Canada Net Zero Challenge Awards given out at BOMEX 2018!

BOMEX 2018, held in Calgary in early October, marked a very auspicious occasion for the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada (BOMA Canada), as the inaugural Net Zero Challenge Awards were presented.  The Net Zero Challenge, supported by Natural Resources Canada and sponsored by Bullfrog Power, recognizes the leadership of buildings demonstrating significant progress along the path toward net-zero energy usage and/or carbon emissions. Jay Khosla, NRCan’s Assistant Deputy Minister of Energy, was on hand to help present these awards to:

Best in Class: 980 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC; owned and managed by Manulife Real Estate (MFC-T) .

Most Improved: 4711 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON; owned by Marisa Construction Limited; managed by Menkes Property Management Services Ltd.

Innovation – Office Category:  Le 100 Alexis Nihon, Montreal, QC; owned and managed by Choice Properties REIT (CHP-UN-T).

Innovation – Universal Category: Earth Rangers Centre for Sustainable Technology, Woodbridge, ON; owned and managed by Earth Rangers Foundation.

NRCan offers hearty congratulations to all four winners, while acknowledging the commitment and effort of all who applied for these awards!

Black Diamond, an arena for energy efficiency

The Town of Black Diamond, Alberta is home to several green energy projects with more on the way. It’s setting an example for other municipalities to follow by showing that transitioning towards sustainability is well within reach.

The Oilfields Regional Arena is a remarkable part of Black Diamond’s success. For 2017, the solar panels at the Oilfields Regional Arena generated 21,172 kWh of power. 5,952 kWh of which was sold back to the grid. Yet that’s only one aspect of this energy efficient arena with an ENERGYSTAR score of 95!

An energy management system is used to control when systems operate, reducing utility consumption by the facility when not in use. Airflow, temperature, and lighting are all controlled to maximize efficiency.  A power meter connected to the system tracks the power consumed, demand and peak negative power sold to the grid. A low-emissivity ceiling allows for a higher ice temperature saving hundreds of hours of refrigeration. Low flow toilets and showerheads, new pipes, energy efficient pumps and better behaviour helped save roughly 300,000 gallons of water.  From insulation of exterior walls, a lighting retrofit to LED, thought and care has been put into every aspect of the arena.

The Scott Seaman Sports Rink has also benefited from green retrofits and boasts a solar system of its own.

“We have an outdoor refrigerated hockey rink and by using a weather station and having it shut off with the temperatures and at night it’s reduced the run-time by about 1,200 hours a year. That works out to about 30,000 kilowatts of power” – Les Quinton, Parks & Recreation Manager

It’s one of many projects in the community to help make Black Diamond a leader in sustainability. Such impressive achievements make many wonder how a municipality can afford such investments. Black Diamond uses a green reserve fund that is filled with the savings from energy efficiency and conservation initiatives and by their green energy projects. It’s a system that is helping Black Diamond achieve its sustainability goals.

Funding opportunities

NRCan provides financial assistance to support energy efficiency projects in Canada’s buildings sector to meet commitments under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The following programs are currently accepting proposals.

NRCan provides financial assistance to support energy labelling and disclosure projects for the commercial and institutional buildings sector. 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.

Shippers!
Improve your operations and environmental performance with Smartway

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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.

October - Volume 5, Issue 10

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 5, Issue 10

REMINDER:

The deadline for 2018 ENERGY STAR® certification applications for commercial/institutional buildings is November 15, 2018.  If your building receives a score of 75 or higher, it may be eligible for ENERGY STAR® certification. We look forward to receiving your application soon.

100 ENERGY STAR® certified buildings! Want to be next?

Energy Star

Building owners and managers across the country are receiving well-earned recognition for their commitment to energy efficiency through ENERGY STAR® certification for commercial and institutional buildings.

Commercial offices, K-12 schools, hospitals, medical offices, senior care communities and residential care facilities, supermarkets and food stores, and ice/curling rinks can apply now!

How do I certify?

  1. Register your building in ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®.
  2. Benchmark your facility with at least 12 consecutive months of energy data to receive your ENERGY STAR score.

    Portfolio Manager uses a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score: a score of 50 indicates average energy performance, while a score of 75 or higher indicates top performance. Currently, seven buildings types can receive a score.

  3. If your building earns an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher, complete the online application in Portfolio Manager.

    Certification is approved on an annual basis, so a building must maintain its high performance to be certified year to year. A Licensed Professional must verify the information submitted in the application.

Energy benchmarking, using ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®, helps plot your organization’s path forward to meeting your efficiency goals by identifying the key metrics for assessing the performance of your building or portfolio of buildings.

Consumers, clients, employees, and communities trust the ENERGY STAR label. They are looking for organizations that exemplify dedication to the environment. Engage with Canadian stakeholders by showcasing your commitment to a green future.

If you aren’t already benefitting from energy benchmarking, check out ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and take a step towards achieving ENERGY STAR certification for your building.

If you’re already reaping the rewards of Portfolio Manager, find out more about applying for ENERGY STAR certification. You can also contact us at nrcan.energystarcertificationbuildings.rncan@canada.ca.

Halifax

 

Halifax Regional Municipality saves big!

Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) partnered with Efficiency Nova Scotia to help reduce energy consumption, energy costs, and greenhouse gases associated with HRM’s portfolio of approximately 250 corporate buildings. Efficiency Nova Scotia’s Onsite Energy Manager program provides a full-time energy efficiency expert to the municipality to focus on reducing energy use in buildings and to build the business case for projects with attractive paybacks. The municipality pays half of the manager’s salary in dollars, while the other half is paid through the energy efficiency rebates obtained through the manager’s work.

It’s a partnership that is paying off. According to the municipality, Halifax is on track to save five gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity this year including $750,000 in cost savings and 3500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. That far exceeds the goal of one GWh of savings that was established as an objective for the one-year contract.

An important tool in this success story is ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager. This free online tool allows the municipality to benchmark usage of a large portfolio of buildings, compare usage to similar buildings, and track improvements over time.

“The sharing functionality of Portfolio Manager has been a great way to provide data access to key personnel. The Halifax Regional Municipality is now tracking energy usage in its largest 80 buildings with more being added every day. It has also provided value work experience to co-op students who are leading the effort to benchmark the buildings.”
David Brushett
On-Site Energy Manager, Efficiency Nova Scotia

The HRM is well positioned to gain continued savings in years to come. It is increasing the organization’s energy awareness and engagement, and helping make organizational changes to enable continuous energy improvement into the future.

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Energy benchmarking is a key step in achieving superior energy efficiency. Your municipality can mirror the momentum of Halifax and be on your way to realizing significant cost savings and greenhouse gas emission reductions. NRCan’s Office of Energy Efficiency is here to help. Visit us online to learn more or email us at nrcan.buildings-batiments.rncan@canada.ca

ENERGY STAR® for multifamily high-rise buildings launch

The newly-launched ENERGY STAR® Multifamily High-Rise Pilot Program will recognize buildings in Ontario that are designed 15% more energy efficient than those built to the provincial energy code and other program requirements.  Mid and high-rise builders will be able to certify that their buildings meet high energy efficiency standards with the trusted ENERGY STAR® label.

“With the increased construction of stacked townhouses and high-rises, I am proud to see the ENERGY STAR® certification being extended to multifamily high-rise buildings. This pilot program will not only contribute to the Government of Canada’s greenhouse gas emission targets, it will also reduce consumers’ energy costs, create good jobs and stimulate innovation in the housing sector.”
Amarjeet Sohi
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

NRCan has signed a licence agreement with EnerQuality to deliver this pilot program in Ontario, which will test the program’s effectiveness to lay the foundation for possible future expansion.

For builders and building owners, certification means lower operating costs and higher income due to increased rental value. For homeowners and tenants, it means superior energy performance leading to lower energy costs. For more information about the program, please contact: info@enerquality.ca.

New book explores Canada’s energy outlook

Written by Pierre Langlois, President of Econoler and Geneviève Gauthier, National Director of Consulting Services at Econoler, “Canadian Energy Efficiency Outlook: A National Effort for Tackling Climate Change” presents a detailed exploration of Canada’s energy sector. This collaborative effort brought together more than twenty Canadian experts and key stakeholders with a purpose of becoming a reference for how Canada has variably innovated and developed mechanisms to achieve the goal of making this country more energy efficient.

Although Canada is a vast country, one would think that with only 37 million inhabitants the energy context would be homogeneous from one ocean to another. However, across thirteen different jurisdictions, ten provinces, and three territories, there are great differences in availability of energy resources, energy costs and electricity generation carbon footprints. Add the fact that the energy sector is mostly a provincial jurisdiction and there are as many legal and regulatory frameworks as there are provinces and territories.  Within its pages, the book explores this great diversity and how it has shaped the energy efficiency sector.

For an economy the size of Canada, this wide variety of available energy resources and electricity generation carbon footprints represent a unique challenge in developing and launching coherent initiatives from one coast to another.

On the brighter side, the “Canadian Energy Efficiency Outlook: A National Effort for Tackling Climate Change” elaborates on specific themes and innovative initiatives that can serve as inspiration for Canadians wishing to contribute to the development of a pan-Canadian low-carbon economy. It may also elucidate how such a vast, sparsely populated and highly diversified country has been and is still doing much to improve energy productivity and reduce its carbon footprint. In that regard, Canada offers a lot to inspire energy efficiency stakeholders across the world.

To learn more about “Canadian Energy Efficiency Outlook: A National Effort for Tackling Climate Change”, visit their site.

Funding opportunities

NRCan provides financial assistance to support energy efficiency projects in Canada’s buildings sector to meet commitments under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The following programs are currently accepting proposals.

NRCan provides financial assistance to support energy labelling and disclosure projects for the commercial and institutional buildings sector. 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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.


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.

September - Volume 5, Issue 9

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 5, Issue 9

REMINDER:

The deadline for 2018 ENERGY STAR® certification applications for commercial/institutional buildings is November 15, 2018.  If your building receives a score of 75 or higher, it may be eligible for ENERGY STAR® certification. We look forward to receiving you application soon.

Celebrate ENERGY STAR day on October 23!

Happy ENERGY STAR DAY!

The purpose of ENERGY STAR Day is to raise awareness of the important role that energy efficiency plays in helping Canadians combat climate change; and to celebrate the great strides our participants, stakeholders and citizens have made together in saving energy. If there’s one day to sing the praises of the role that ENERGY STAR plays in Canada’s energy efficiency efforts, it’s this one.

Join in the conversation on Twitter - @ENERGYSTAR_CAN or Facebook - @ENERGYSTARCanada using the hashtag #ENERGYSTARCanada.

Ambioner certifies with ENERGY STAR®

Ambioner is an engineering firm specializing in electromechanical design in the building sector, as well as in energy efficiency. Since its founding in 2009, Ambioner has focused on sustainable development. It offers innovative and reliable approaches to reduce the ecological footprint of buildings, mainly by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For example, Ambioner has carried out numerous projects involving geothermal energy, heat recovery, thermal storage, biomass, cogeneration, and many other green technologies. It’s no surprise that Ambioner’s headquarters reflects its commitment to energy efficiency. We congratulate Ambioner on receiving 2018 ENERGY STAR® certification with an impressive ENERGY STAR® score of 93!

Ambioner’s award-winning headquarters in Quebec boasts other impressive numbers. By their measurements, the new 11,000 sq. ft. building (built in 2014) has achieved:

  • Savings based on simulations of $ 7,424 annually
  • Simulated energy performance index (PEI) of 0.63 GJ / m2. PEI measured in 2015 of 0.58 GJ / m2 which represents the same occupancy rate as in the simulation
  • 50% reduction in water consumption. Annually, this represents an annual saving of nearly 410,000 liters of water.
  • 21% recycled materials

To achieve these results, Ambioner implemented many strategies to achieve a high level of energy performance: solar wall, heat pump, natural ventilation offered by windows, LED lighting that varies automatically according to the natural light level, rainwater recovery system, and retention ponds. Ambioner has also put in place a policy that aims to limit the use of paper as much as possible. For what needs to be printed, the company only uses 100% recycled paper. Lastly, Ambioner set up an internal sustainable development committee in 2017 to ensure the sustainability of its global approach.

As Canada continues to transition into a low-carbon economy, we look forward to sharing more success stories like Ambioner’s.  Apply for ENERGY STAR® certification today and tell us how your organization has committed to energy efficiency.

Financial assistance to help implement ISO 50001

"ISO 50001 is an internationally recognized voluntary standard that gives organizations a structured framework to manage energy and develop an Energy Management System (EnMS). The rigour of the standard ensures that it will produce positive results through a process of continuous improvement.

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.

Why implement ISO 50001? Canadian companies that have implemented ISO 50001 have improved their energy performance on average nearly 10% within 2 years1, resulting in annual savings of $2 million for a large company2. Research shows that energy management systems can ultimately save up to 30% of total energy use in industry and up to 40% in commercial buildings (According to the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) Energy Management Working Group).

To be eligible for NRCan’s financial assistance for ISO 50001 implementation projects, commercial and institutional buildings must be using ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®, and the proposal must accepted by NRCan before any work begins.

Visit our website to learn more about the ISO 50001 financial assistance program. Email nrcan.buildings-batiments.rncan@canada.ca with your questions or to request a project proposal template today.

1: Data source, energy use and production: CIPEC database, 2016.
2: ISO 50001 Case Study: Chrysler Brampton, Natural Resources Canada, 2015.

Funding for Labelling and Disclosure projects

Energy benchmarking, labelling and disclosure are key components of Canada’s Buildings Strategy, which outlines how Canada’s building sector will meet our commitment to the  Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. NRCan is pleased to provide this support to aid Canada’s transition to a greener low-carbon economy.

NRCan is now providing financial assistance to support energy labelling and disclosure initiatives for the commercial and institutional buildings sector.  Provinces, territories, municipalities and key stakeholders have the opportunity to benefit.

What is labelling and disclosure? An energy label is a rating that indicates a building’s energy performance benchmarked against similar buildings. Disclosure involves the reporting of the energy performance to jurisdictions or to the public.

In order to be eligible for funding, your project must:

  • Increase awareness of and capacity to adopt energy efficient practices and/or policies leading to labelling and disclosure and improved energy performance in the sector
  • Accelerate the adoption of energy management practices, specifically benchmarking with the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, and labelling and disclosure programs

NRCan’s priority is to support provinces, territories, and municipalities implementing labelling and disclosure and other stakeholders within those jurisdictions.

Funding is limited and only available until 2021, so take advantage of this opportunity quickly. Assemble your project proposal today. For more information, please contact nrcan.buildings-batiments.rncan@canada.ca.

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

Energy and GHG Management E-Learning

NRCan’s Greening Government Services (NRCan-GGS) recently published its first Energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) Management e-training modules on NRCan YouTube! In an effort to assist federal clients achieve the ambitious targets set under the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and the Greening Government Strategy. These e-learning modules will help you better understand and manage the energy and greenhouse gas emissions of your buildings.

Implementing Deep Retrofits – A Whole Building Approach (60 min)
This module fosters competency in developing retrofit solutions that demonstrate integrated, holistic, and synergistic approaches to energy-efficient retrofits. The goal is to yield higher performance results than are achieved with standard, individual, and routine energy conservation measures.

Energy Efficiency Expert Evaluations (E4s) (40 min)
This module will describe a step-by-step method to conduct an "energy efficiency expert evaluation"—a customized process to meet site-specific energy goals. This approach combines the most effective features of an energy audit and retro-commissioning, while avoiding the limitations of each.

Operations, Maintenance and Commissioning (45 min)
This module provides an overview of operations and maintenance best practices with a focus on corrective, preventive, and predictive infrastructure requirements and commissioning for existing buildings.

Reducing Your Utility Bill: Demand Response and Site-Based Load Management (25 min)
This module will provide information and best practices about cost saving opportunities from demand response and site-based load management. These cost-saving strategies are largely underutilized by the federal government and can often save 10% or more on a site’s electricity bill.

We want to acknowledge the generous collaboration from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), who offered its e-learning modules to NRCan, and allowed us to customize the content for a Canadian audience.

For more information and training opportunities, please visit our website or contact us at: nrcan.greeninggovernment-gouvernementvert.rncan@canada.ca.

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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.


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.

August - Volume 5, Issue 8

How does an office building evolv1?

Evolv1 is a unique 100,000 sq. ft. three-storey office building in Waterloo, Ontario and the first project to receive a Zero Carbon Building – Design certification from Canada Green Building Council. Certification requires a zero carbon balance modelled for future operations and a highly efficient energy and ventilation system to meet a threshold for thermal energy intensity.

"Our original vision was to design and build a building that was net positive energy at similar costs to conventional construction – and we were determined to prove it was possible," said Adrian Conrad, Chief Operating Officer of the Cora Group.

With this goal in mind, evolv1's project team – including Stantec, which designed the building, and construction firm Melloul-Blamey – employed a highly integrated design process that incorporates both active and passive systems to optimize value against construction cost. The building's design includes elements aimed not only at maximizing its energy efficiency, but at producing more energy than it consumes.

The building envelope was optimized with cladding and glazing as well as exterior sun shading to reduce solar gain while maximizing daylight to reduce lighting needs. The cladding is a high performance aluminum composite panel system.

Evolve1's mechanical system is a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) tied to a geothermal system. A dedicated outdoor air system manages ventilation, utilizing energy recovery from exhaust air preconditioning the air coming into the building. CO2 monitoring helps moderate the amount of outdoor air required. The south end of the building is used as a solar wall. Instead of the insulated panels, an air space is left behind the first layer of metal cladding allowing heat to build up, preheating incoming ventilation air during cold weather seasons.

In the collaborative atrium space, a three-storey green wall adds comfort and esthetic appeal while providing a host of benefits. Air moves up and through the green wall, lowering the burden on the active humidification systems.

Meanwhile on the roof, you'll find 700kW photovoltaic panels (PVs) with additional PVs installed as canopies over a portion of the parkade. Evolv1 projects the net electricity generated will exceed what the building requires.

Success stories like Evolv1 inspire future innovation in the buildings sector as Canada continues its journey towards a low carbon energy efficient tomorrow.

Make the MURB energy consumption survey a success!

A new national survey of energy use for Multi Unit Residential Buildings (MURBs) begins in September 2018.

The survey will be collecting detailed information on the energy consumption patterns of MURBs in Canada. Gathering this data is vital to the development programs and policies for improving the energy efficiency of MURBs, including the development of new ENERGY STAR scores.

ICF Consulting Canada Inc. (ICF) will conduct the survey on behalf of NRCan in eight cities: Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa/Gatineau, Toronto, Halifax, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver. We're asking associations and organizations that include MURB owners and managers to encourage their members to participate if selected.

And of course, if you own or manage a MURB, please participate so you can benefit from up-to-date data on similar buildings to compare your own energy performance.

Each respondent will receive an invitation letter and a brochure that will provide answers to frequently asked questions. You can complete the survey questions through the web or over the phone with an interviewing agent. This approach aims to capture the richest information possible in an efficient, statistically sound and cost-effective manner.

If you would like to learn more about this national survey, please email NRCan's Office of Energy Efficiency at nrcan.buildings-batiments.rncan@canada.ca.

Oxford County, Ontario educates by example

The new Oxford County Waste Management & Education Centre is a cutting edge facility generating its own energy. It includes a solar photovoltaic system that is expected to generate as much electricity as the building consumes on a yearly basis. The building is designed to meet the requirements of the New Building Institute's Zero Net Energy criteria, but it is also anticipated that the entire County landfill site will be net zero with the electrical requirements of all site operations, including the new building, offset by the solar photovoltaic system.

The Waste Management & Education Centre includes numerous energy efficient features, including twenty-two inch thick rammed earth walls containing eight inches of insulation, triple-pane windows and Energy Recovery Ventilators that recover heat energy from the building's exhaust air to heat the incoming air supply.

Yet it's their eye on the future that impresses the most. Interactive displays educate on environmental sustainability, renewable energy and zero waste, informing visitors on the importance of energy efficiency.

Oxford County CAO Peter Crockett says it is an incredible facility that will serve the community well for years to come, "It is a major step moving forward for us as an organization and as a community as we continue on the road to sustainability including 100% renewable energy and zero waste."

In addition to being an administration building for waste management facility staff, the Waste Management & Education Centre offers school tours. Not in school but interested in touring the building? Contact Oxford County's Public Works Department to request a tour at 1-800-755-0394.

Policy Update for ENERGY STAR® Certification for buildings

Certain commercial and institutional buildings can now earn NRCan's ENERGY STAR® certification. ENERGY STAR® certified buildings use less energy, and cause fewer greenhouse gas emissions than their peers, which is great for your organization's budget, profile, and the environment. As more and more buildings are turning to benchmarking with ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® to earn certification, NRCan continues to develop and expand the program to better serve the Canadian buildings sector.

Here is the latest policy update on certification regarding conducting a site visit to verify data and assess the indoor environmental quality.

When certifying a building, a site visit of the building is required. The site visit may take place anytime within the 12-month application period, or within the 120 days following the year ending date. The Licensed Professional is responsible for verifying that the information on the application is an accurate representation of the building's performance for the application period. A site visit can be used to verify two consecutive application years, as long as the date of the site visit meets the requirements for both certification years (meaning the site visit occurs within the 120 days after the first certification year, and within the 12-month application period for the second certification).

For the application period, the Licensed Professional must assess the indoor environmental conditions with appropriate measurements and determine whether the building has acceptable outdoor air ventilation, thermal environmental conditions, and illumination. Measurements should be kept on file for two years. The recorded measurements will be required as supporting documentation if the application is selected for an audit.

REMINDER: If your building receives a score of 75 or higher, it may be eligible for ENERGY STAR® certification. The deadline for 2018 ENERGY STAR® certification applications is November 15, 2018. We look forward to receiving your application soon.

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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.


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.

July - Volume 5, Issue 7

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 5, Issue 7

Impressive renovation for the Ecology Action Centre

In 2016, the Ecology Action Centre (EAC) in Halifax renovated its office, a 1915 Saltbox-style home, with impressive results. The renovation increased office space by 50% while reducing energy consumption by 65%. Designed and constructed through a three-year community engagement process, this 5,200-square foot building is a showcase for environmentally sensitive architecture and renovation in a tight urban setting. It is a reinvented building, ready for its second century of life.

"There's a lot that can be learned from what we did with this renovation. Once our solar panels are up, we will have reduced our energy consumption by 89%, and will be using just 3% of what an average office building uses. Those numbers seem impossible until you see it done." - Emma Norton, Energy Conservation Coordinator at the EAC

Located in Halifax's thriving North End neighbourhood, the building stands as a beacon for the group's values and goals. This accessible space features world-class energy efficiency and a creative use of salvaged, recycled, and natural materials. It is a welcoming and inspiring space for community members, volunteers, and staff to connect, learn, and work together.

 "Much of the building's success stems from the incredible commitment of the organization to practice what they preach. The environmental and community values of the EAC are evident throughout this building, and I feel that is what is being recognized." -Jordan Willett of Solterre Design, the architecture firm that designed the transformation of the EAC offices

From conception through to operation, this project has shown a deep commitment to building greater public and industry buy-in for sustainable design and renovation. Through the dedicated educational efforts of the owners and extensive community involvement, including during construction, this building is an active showcase for what is possible in a deep energy retrofit on a tight budget. 

Lowering the western half of the main floor 42 inches to sidewalk level created a new accessible 300-square foot community gallery and meeting space that boasts 12-foot ceilings and a more welcoming, dramatic and accessible street presence. Large street-level windows open the interior activities to passers-by.

Responsible urban density was also a key focus of the project. The building provides over 50% more space than the previous structure without increasing its footprint. This minimized site disturbance on and off-site, through the preservation of greenspace and the reuse of existing infrastructure, including water supply lines, perimeter drainage, sewage lines, etc.

The renovation took advantage of the building's orientation and elongated form to maximize daylight, views and natural ventilation strategies. All common and work spaces are within 7 metres of at least one operable window, providing day-lit spaces that maximize natural ventilation and visually connect occupants to the outdoor environment. Low-emitting materials were used wherever possible for paints, adhesives, flooring, ceilings, composite wood and laminates.

The entire building was wrapped in a new airtight weather barrier and an exterior insulation package that improved the walls to R-32. A minimum of 2 feet of cellulose insulation was added to the roof (R-75). Insulated steel door cut-outs were diverted from the waste stream, and the polyurethane foam component was used as sub-slab insulation (R-16). The resulting reduced energy consumption meant that the size of the air-to-water heat pump was minimized.  A smaller, appropriately sized unit was cost effective and reduced required refrigerants.

The post-construction results are dramatic. Whole-building air tightness was measured at 1.4 ACH50, surpassing the R-2000 certification target of 1.5 ACH50. Total building energy use was calculated to be 31.7 kWh/m2/year. The installation of a 7.9-kW photovoltaic array will translate into an estimated whole-building Energy Use Index of 9.9 kWh/m2/year — an incredible result for a 103-year-old building!   For perspective, the typical upper limit for heating demand in a Passive House is 15 kWh/m2/year.

But the energy savings don't end there. Solterre Design estimates keeping the existing walls, floors and roof saved an additional 40 tonnes of wood, 3 tonnes of metal, 20 tonnes of "mixed waste," and 7 tonnes of drywall/plaster; and the foundation reuse saved approximately 90 tonnes of concrete. According to their calculations, this amounts to an estimated 527,208 MJ of embodied energy saved by reusing the foundation and building, representing over 9.5 years of operating energy.

The EAC carefully documented the renovation process and has published a Green Building Encyclopedia. It also offers guided building tours to a variety of groups and organizations. Visitors can also take a self-guided tour or visit virtually online. This project is remarkably educational and we hope inspirational to others hoping to retrofit their offices across the country.

SaskPower's Walk-Through program makes energy assessment simple for businesses

SaskPower's commercial efficiency experts helps businesses find ways to be more efficient and save money on their power bills with a Walk-Through Energy Assessment.  
Once participants sign up for the program, a qualified energy advisor will assess their property and identify a variety of ways to save power and money. The advisor leverages the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® online tool to benchmark and analyze a building's energy data, which program participants can continue to use to track their energy consumption for the future.
Participants receive a presentation and detailed report on their business's power consumption and recommendations on how to be more efficient and save money. The report includes the estimated cost of each recommendation, its associated power savings per year and payback calculations. The report will also direct participants to applicable SaskPower incentive programs to help them save even more money. The Walk-Through Energy Assessment Program provides businesses with the information, justification and framework to plan their path to greater energy efficiency.

The best part is that SaskPower will pay 90% of the assessment cost! The total cost varies according to the size of the building. As an example, a 15,000-square foot building would cost just $287. This program is a great resource to help schools, companies and other organizations become more energy efficient and reduce their operating costs.

Lyle Stecyk, Superintendent of Project Management at Prairie Valley School Division, shared his experience with the SaskPower Walk-Through Energy Assessment Program.  

  • Would you recommend this program to others?
    "Absolutely, it is extremely valuable! The report received was high quality and included the data and analytics needed for planning and budgeting purposes. In addition to higher cost solutions, the report also included short-term, inexpensive suggestions for quick wins that could be implemented right away. As a result of the program, we will be installing occupancy sensors in all of our 40 buildings."
  • What was the business impact of participating in the program?
    "Although not implemented yet, according to the report, upgrading our lighting to LEDs would have a payback period of less than two years, so it was easy to see that it would make financial sense to do it as soon as possible."
  • Is there anything else you would like to share?
    "The final report was not overly technical and was provided in a format that could be easily shared for planning purposes. SaskPower staff walked us through the report and answered all of our questions. I suggest that all organizations take advantage of this program. For us, the savings realized through energy efficiency can be reallocated to more valuable resources that will have a direct impact on student achievement."

Programs like this one show how Canadian utilities are working with commercial and institutional customers to help Canada move toward a greener future and a brighter economy.
To learn more or to book an appointment, please visit SaskPower's website.

New educational resource: Fundamentals of Energy Efficiency! Make your data count!

As organizations and professionals seek to turn their energy efficiency goals into meaningful action, there is a need for a greater understanding of the fundamentals.

Thankfully, there are resources available to help. One such resource is Fundamentals of Energy Efficiency: Policy, Programs and Best Practices, which is now available online and free of charge. The textbook was written by Peter Love, an Adjunct Professor at York University's Faculty of Environmental Studies. The work is a solid resource for professors and students at colleges/universities, as well as professionals whose jobs require a better understanding of energy efficiency. 

The book combines energy efficiency theory, policies and programs with related case studies, and includes chapters on four provinces: Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. In addition, there are templates for typical policy support documents, such as cabinet submissions, briefing notes and building assessments. Visit the Fundamentals of Energy Efficiency website for further information and to download your free copy.

Look into Canada's energy future with the Generation Energy Council Report

In 2017, the Government of Canada launched Generation Energy – an open and inclusive nation-wide dialogue with stakeholders, experts and individual Canadians to envision what a low-carbon energy future would look like for Canada over the course of a generation. Building on the results of that dialogue, the Minister of Natural Resources formed the Generation Energy Council to prepare this report in order to answer four crucial questions:

  • What should Canada's energy future look like over the long term?
  • What generational goals should we strive to achieve?
  • What principles should guide us?
  • What are the potential pathways and milestones along the way?

The Generation Energy Council brought together a diverse range of perspectives and expertise to write a report about Canada's energy transition that all Canadians can understand and relate to. The Generation Energy Council Report (PDF – 13.9 MB) shows us a vision of where Canada could be, if we act on the opportunities of the path before us.

In answering these questions, the report takes a generational view. The focus is on our shared future – the broad and deep shifts occurring in the world's climate and energy systems, and the imperative that Canada must act now to navigate the energy transition successfully.

This outline of an inclusive vision of Canada's energy future includes four transitional pathways toward a low-carbon economy. The report will help inform how governments can lead this energy transition and seeks to empower Canadians to play a central role in this process. Take a glance at the future today.

Portfolio Manager: A new benchmark in benchmarking!

The ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool is expanding again with enhanced features to help our growing user community. These updates represent NRCan's commitment to ongoing improvement of the tool. New to energy benchmarking? You can start benefitting today.
Here's a "heads up" on some of the exciting updates slated for release in February 2019.

  • NRCan will introduce a new 1–100 ENERGY STAR score for Warehouses, providing meaningful, statistically valid national comparison and potential eligibility for ENERGY STAR certification. join the seven existing building types eligible for ENERGY STAR scores and ENERGY STAR certification. 
  • The ENERGY STAR score for K-12 schools is also going through an update, incorporating the latest data available. The update ensures that users get the most accurate information on how efficient their schools are compared to others across the country. 
  • Portfolio Manager will now use data from 474 weather stations, an increase from 142 stations, providing more robust and accurate climate data to our users, particularly those in the North.

REMINDER: If your building receives an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher, it may be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification. The deadline for 2018 ENERGY STAR certification applications is November 15, 2018. We look forward to receiving your application soon.

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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.

June - Volume 5, Issue 6

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 5, Issue 6

There are now 82 buildings ENERGY STAR certified in Canada!

In March, we launched ENERGY STAR® certification for commercial and institutional buildings in Canada. Since then, building owners and managers across the country have answered NRCan’s call: “Who will be the firsts?”

Now we know. Announced at the ENERGY STAR Awards by the Honourable Jim Carr, Canada’s Natural Resources Minister, the first buildings have been certified! NRCan would like to congratulate and recognize all the recipients for their accomplishment and leadership. Eighty-two buildings from Vancouver to Saint John make up the complete list of the firsts. They will be added to the Registry of ENERGY STAR certified buildings in Canada.

This first step shows a growing trend of dedication to energy efficiency excellence. While the challenge of the firsts is over, ENERGY STAR certification continues and stands as a declaration to clients, colleagues and the community at large that your organization is helping Canada move toward a low carbon economy and a better environment for all Canadians. 

If you’re not already benefitting from using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® to benchmark your energy, water and waste usage, there’s no better time to join the thousands of commercial and institutional buildings doing their part to improve energy efficiency and our environment.

If your organization has already invested in achieving energy efficiency excellence, then ensure that you receive well-deserved acknowledgement through ENERGY STAR certification. The ENERGY STAR brand enjoys high name recognition across Canada and provides official confirmation of your ongoing success. Visit us today to learn how your building(s) can earn ENERGY STAR certification.

ISO 50001 expands to commercial and institutional buildings

We’re pleased to announce that NRCan is expanding its ISO 50001 energy management program for industry to include commercial and institutional buildings. 

ISO 50001 is an internationally recognized standard that provides the framework for an organization to develop its Energy Management System. The rigour of the standard ensures that it will produce positive results and continuous improvement. Those results speak for themselves.

The expanded program means that we will be working with building owners and managers to fund projects that accelerate uptake of ISO 50001. The program provides a remarkable opportunity for organizations that have been pursuing energy efficiency projects in their operations.

More than 160 Canadian industrial and commercial facilities are already certified to ISO 50001. Canadian companies that have implemented ISO 50001 have improved their energy performance on average nearly 10% within 2 years, resulting in annual savings of $2 million for a large company. Research shows that energy management systems can ultimately save up to 30% of total energy use in industry and up to 40% in commercial buildings.

“BOMA Canada welcomes the expansion of Natural Resources Canada’s ISO 50001 program to buildings across Canada. The ISO 50001 program offers building owners a pathway to realize continuous energy and cost savings, driven by a robust international standard. With a focus on energy efficiency, the ISO 50001 program will complement our own BOMA BEST Sustainable Buildings certification program to help building owners maximize their environmental performance.”

-          Benjamin Shinewald, President and CEO, BOMA Canada

The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change highlighted ISO 50001 as a key program to help businesses track, analyze and improve their energy efficiency. So expect to hear more about this exciting expansion, and start preparing your organization to take advantage of what ISO 50001 can offer.

Participate: New survey of MURB energy consumption commences! Make your data count!

A new national survey of energy use for Multi Unit Residential Buildings (MURBs) will begin in July 2018.

The survey will collect detailed information on the energy consumption patterns of Canadian MURBs. ICF Consulting Canada Inc. (ICF) will conduct the survey on behalf of NRCan.

Gathering, analyzing and comparing energy performance is a smart practice – both from the perspective of individual enterprises as well as that of stakeholder associations such as sector organizations, utilities and government bodies. The data obtained from this survey will provide essential information on energy use and building performance. Better knowledge of energy use in the sector supports responsible use of resources, more effective program design, and improved economic and environmental security.

The results of this work will be used to develop programs and policies for improving the energy efficiency of MURBs, including the development of new ENERGY STAR scores. If you own or manage a MURB, you will benefit from up-to-date data on similar buildings to compare your own energy performance.

In July 2018, ICF will begin contacting MURB owners and managers in eight cities: Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa/Gatineau, Toronto, Halifax, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver. Data collection will follow. Each respondent will receive an invitation letter and a brochure that will provide answers to frequently asked questions. You can complete the survey questions through the web or over the phone with an interviewing agent. This approach aims to capture the richest information possible in an efficient, statistically sound and cost-effective manner.

As an owner/manager, your answers are integral to the quality, accuracy and reliability of the results. So if you receive a survey package, please review it carefully so that you can respond as fully as possible to all questions. If you would like to learn more about this national survey, please email NRCan’s Office of Energy Efficiency at nrcan.buildings-batiments.rncan@canada.ca.

Results of the Survey of Commercial and Institutional Energy Use 2014

We are pleased to announce the release of data from the Survey of Commercial and Institutional Energy Use (SCIEU) for 2014. These data estimates help establish baseline energy consumption figures that allow NRCan to develop energy efficiency policies and programs in support of Canada’s transition to a low carbon economy.

For instance, SCIEU data forms the basis of the 1-100 ENERGY STAR scores used in NRCan’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, which in turn support ENERGY STAR certification of commercial and institutional buildings. ENERGY STAR scores enable building owners and managers to better understand where their individual buildings rate in overall energy efficiency. The ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool plays an important role in helping to meet our national commitment to the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

Work on SCIEU 2019 is now underway, and data collection is expected to start in spring 2020. We look forward to expanding this important evidence base, and to continuing to provide the commercial and institutional sector with timely and relevant data. In the meantime, we hope the 2014 report will be helpful for those looking to learn more about the energy consumption patterns of this important sector of the Canadian economy.

Edmonton’s big buildings: Leading the transition to a low carbon future

Edmonton’s Community Energy Transition Strategy provides a road map for the city to a low carbon future. The Building Energy Benchmarking Program plays an integral part of the strategy. It lays the foundation to significantly increase the energy efficiency of Edmonton’s big buildings - a critical part of reducing Edmonton’s carbon footprint. The voluntary program compiles and compares annual whole-building energy consumption across Edmonton’s large building stock to benchmark building energy performance, facilitate energy efficiency improvements and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The three-year program also helps building owners and operators transition to the building energy reporting announced by the federal government in the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

To achieve its goals, Edmonton uses NRCan’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager as its energy benchmarking tool. The tool allows you to track and assess energy and water consumption across your entire portfolio of buildings in a secure online environment. 

In addition to offering technical support to help buildings accurately benchmark their performance, the City of Edmonton encourages participation in its program by:

“Year 1 of Edmonton’s Building Energy Benchmarking Program was a great success with participation from 83 buildings, representing over 22,000,000 sq. ft. of gross floor area. We are currently recruiting new members to participate in Year 2 of the pilot program, and we encourage interested participants to visit edmonton.ca/energybenchmarking to learn more and register by September 30, 2018.”

- Lisa Dockman, Senior Environmental Project Manager for the Energy Transition Unit, City of Edmonton

The City of Edmonton is committed to walking the talk. A target of 120 city-owned and operated facilities will undergo energy benchmarking over the three-year pilot period. This demonstrates the City’s commitment to long-term energy and greenhouse gas reductions, and generates valuable experience to share with program participants.

Programs like Edmonton’s energy benchmarking plan are making a significant contribution toward Canada’s shift into a low carbon economy, lowering the impact of our buildings and contributing to a healthier environment for all Canadians. If you own or operate a building within Edmonton, join the movement. If you’re elsewhere, what’s your community’s plan?

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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.

May - Volume 5, Issue 5

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency Certification Edition!- Volume 5, Issue 5

Celebrating Canada’s energy efficiency superstars

On May 28, 2018, the Government of Canada will recognize and celebrate leaders in energy efficiency from across Canada at the 15th annual ENERGY STAR® Awards.

The Honourable Jim Carr, Canada’s Natural Resources Minister, will recognize organizations through the ENERGY STAR Canada Participant Awards for advancing energy efficiency. The Awards recognize organizations in the ENERGY STAR for Products and ENERGY STAR for New Homes programs that have demonstrated excellence in promoting the most energy-efficient products and new homes available on the market in Canada. This year’s winners represent utilities, manufacturers, retailers, associations and homebuilders that are helping Canadian consumers and businesses save money while also addressing climate change.

New this year, owners of Canada’s first ENERGY STAR certified buildings will also be celebrated. In March 2018, ENERGY STAR Canada was expanded to include a new certification program for seven types of commercial and institutional buildings. The program encourages and recognizes top energy performance in commercial offices, K-12 schools, hospitals, medical offices, senior care communities and residential care facilities, supermarkets and food stores, and ice/curling rinks. Building owners who successfully answered the “Who will be the first?” challenge will be recognized during the award ceremony.

Stay tuned on May 28 as we recognize the dedication and commitment of Canada’s energy efficiency leaders. Visit our website for the full list of Canada’s first ENERGY STAR certified buildings.

To learn more about how to certify your commercial or institutional building, .

Vancouver Fire Hall building to a Zero Emissions Standard

Fire Hall #17

Vancouver’s new Fire Hall #17 will be twice the size of its aging predecessor, and include provisions for a training hall with four drive-through apparatus bays, full size hose/training tower, and a training yard and accommodation for a two-crew operation. It will be built to a post-disaster standard and serve as an emergency hub and a secure location for city IT services. At the same time, the new site showcases significant achievements in energy efficiency.

The new fire hall is being designed to a Passive House Standard to reduce heat loss from the building by over 70%. The fire hall uses a geo-exchange system to minimize remaining heating and cooling energy, eliminate the use of fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and generate sufficient on-site renewable energy using solar photovoltaics to offset 100% of remaining GHG emissions, based on the new Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) Zero Emission Building standard. Along with a small group of projects spread across the country, the new fire hall is part of the CaGBC Zero Emission Building standard pilot, which uses innovative new green building performance standards to drive down GHG emissions from commercial buildings in Canada.

The project received a grant and loan from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund to go beyond a zero emissions standard and increase on-site renewable generation to achieve a net zero energy standard.

The project is one of the first City of Vancouver-owned buildings being designed to demonstrate leadership as part of the City’s Zero Emission Building Plan adopted by council in July 2016. The City’s Zero Emissions Buildings Plan contains thermal and whole building energy intensity limits that take a building envelope first approach, similar to those in the voluntary BC Energy Step Code. The Zero Emission Building Plan also includes GHG limits that step down over time, so that Vancouver’s Building Bylaw will require all buildings to be constructed to a zero emission standard by 2030. The Fire Hall #17 project and other new City of Vancouver-owned buildings are being designed to achieve zero emissions now to foster design and construction innovation, drive supply chain evolution for high performance building elements, lower the costs of achieving zero emissions buildings, and ultimately facilitate the adoption of regulations requiring new buildings across Vancouver to have very low emissions.

BOMA Québec Building Energy Challenge

BOMA Québec is launching its new Building Energy Challenge, a friendly and stimulating competition that will take place over four years. It aims to reduce the energy consumption and GHG emissions of Quebec's commercial, institutional and multi-residential buildings through collaboration, knowledge sharing, education and innovation.

The Building Energy Challenge is aimed at building owners, managers and tenants who are committed to putting in place responsible management practices to improve their energy performance in a sustainable manner. It is free and open to all eligible properties in the province, whether or not they are members of BOMA Québec.

The kick-off of this initiative took place on May 23 at the Maison du développement durable with representatives of the City of Montréal (founding partner), Transition Énergétique Québec (TEQ), Hydro-Québec and Énergir (principal partners), and Natural Resources Canada (collaborating partner).

The Building Energy Challenge is already generating enthusiasm among BOMA Québec members, and several properties have already confirmed their intention to participate. In addition, the Challenge offers a platform for exchanging current best practices in energy efficiency in buildings. It is a unique opportunity for collaboration between government, municipalities, owners and managers, their tenants, and their users to reduce the environmental impact of buildings in the province.

The data analyzed for the Challenge will be collected via the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® benchmarking tool. Full details will be available online as of May 23.

Registration will begin at www.buildingenergychallenge.ca (http://www.defienergie.ca). You can also subscribe to their newsletter today so you do not miss anything in the weeks to come.

Upcoming events

ENERGY SUMMIT 2018 
May 30-31, 2018 | Vaughan, Ontario

Canada’s unparalleled conference on energy efficiency is fast approaching. Targeting Canadian buildings and industry sectors, ENERGY SUMMIT 2018Maximize Profitability through Energy Performance, will drive adoption of energy management systems to help you:

  • Meet profitability goals
  • Increase competitiveness
  • Become more sustainable through smart energy management 

NRCan is co-hosting this event with the Canadian Industry Partnership for Energy Conservation (CIPEC) and a private sector partner, Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium. Bring your energy and register today!

Building Lasting Change 2018: Driving Global Action toward a Low Carbon Economy
June 5-7, 2018 – Beanfield Centre Toronto, ON

Join the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) and REALPAC for the largest green building industry event of the year. This event examines what is happening in Canada and around the world to meet aggressive international carbon emissions targets. Participants will have access to the latest knowledge and insights from Canadian and global experts in green building design and retrofits, government policy, real estate finance, market transformation, and technology innovation.

The Road to Net Zero Carbon & Energy: 
Definitions, Tools, Strategies & Case Studies for Existing & New Buildings
June 13, 2018 - The Well, Bayview Yards Innovation Centre,

Continuing Education certificates for 3 hours of study will be issued for members of the OAA, PEO, OAQ, OIQ

Climate change has delivered more extreme weather, temperature fluctuations, flooding, and greater storm intensity. Protection of capital assets and the threat of liability are real issues facing building professionals. According to the City of Ottawa’s 2014 Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan, the energy used to heat, cool and ventilate buildings accounted for 49% of GHG emissions in Ottawa in 2012. As government policy and building codes commit to reducing carbon, the industry needs to understand and deliver zero carbon buildings.

Sustainable Buildings Canada is pleased to offer building professionals a half day of presentations addressing carbon and energy use reduction in new and existing buildings. The presenters are energy and design professionals who understand the challenge of defining net zero and who have delivered low carbon solutions. The sessions will cover topics including the Ottawa carbon neutral district, design and energy modelling for future weather, near net zero for existing commercial buildings, Passive House design, and net zero retrofits. It will give building owners, managers and designers practical methods, tools and strategies to approach, and eventually reach, net zero energy and carbon buildings. Register here.

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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.

April - Volume 5, Issue 4

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 5, Issue 4

Time is running out! Who Will Be the First?

Who Will Be the First?:  Who Will Be the First?

ENERGY STAR certification for commercial and institutional buildings is here to stay, but there are only a few days left to take part in the launch challenge for the chance to become one of the Firsts in Canada to earn the ENERGY STAR!

How do I certify?

  1. Register your building in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.
  2. Benchmark your facility with at least 12 consecutive months of energy data to receive your ENRGY STAR score. Portfolio Manager uses a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score: a score of 50 indicates average energy performance, while a score of 75 or higher indicates top performance.
  3. If your building earns a score of 75 or higher, submit your application through Portfolio Manager.

Certification is approved on an annual basis, so a building must maintain its high performance to be certified year to year. The information submitted in the application must be verified by a licensed professional. Applications must also meet certain program requirements.

Owners and managers of K-12 schoolscommercial officeshospitalssupermarkets and food storesmedical officessenior care communities and residential care facilities, and ice/curling rinks are taking advantage of this unique opportunity. The benefits of ENERGY STAR certification are numerous, but the added recognition and prestige of being one of the firsts in Canada make now the best time to apply. Those who apply by April 30 and are approved will receive customized promotional material to highlight their commitment to energy efficiency. NRCan will also showcase the successes of the Firsts in publications like this one.

Apply for certification before April 30, 2018, 11:59 p.m. PDT and show Canadians that your organization is one of the firsts to put Canada’s environment first!

For more information, please visit our website at www.nrcan.gc.ca/energystarportfoliomanager

UPDATE: The Who Will Be the First? Challenge is now over. However, you can still apply for ENERGY STAR certification. Thanks to all who applied and to all those who will be applying soon.

FEATURE: Blueprints for benchmarking benefits!
Success stories from the south - Part II

With ENERGY STAR certification now available in Canada, many are wondering about the impact certification has had in the U.S. From sector to sector, we find success story after success story.

In supermarkets and food stores:

The Kroger Company is the largest traditional grocery retailer in the U.S., with more than 2,640 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Kroger has enjoyed recognition for its long-time commitment to investing in energy reduction initiatives.

Supermarket

Kroger Co. boasts 500 stores with ENERGY STAR certification, a feat that has brought with it a bounty of benefits. Those stores reduced energy use by 33 million kilowatt hours (kWh), or $3 million, in 2014. Companywide, Kroger has reduced its energy use by over 35% since 2000. That’s equivalent to 1.6 billion kWh. Implementing energy efficiency upgrades such as refrigerated service case LED lighting retrofits, multi-deck case LED lighting retrofits, and decommissioning of produce island cases in its stores has made a world of difference.

Moreover, its energy benchmarking initiative helped create an environment of friendly competition among Division Energy Engineers by periodically issuing reports that tell the progress each division is making toward certifying stores. These reports include the numbers of certified stores in each division and the average 1–100 ENERGY STAR score.

"Energy management remains a vital part of our sustainability work, and we are proud to partner with ENERGY STAR to improve today to protect tomorrow." -Keith Oliver, Kroger's VP of facility engineering

Environmentally conscious consumers are taking note of these efforts. Kroger has placed itself ahead of regulation and has proven itself conscientious in the eyes of its customers, all while saving on energy costs.

In long-term residential care homes:

Brookdale Senior Living operates independent living, assisted living, dementia-care communities and continuing care retirement centres in 46 states. Its portfolio includes more than 1,000 senior living communities, representing more than 90 million square feet of floor space. All of its facilities have been benchmarked for energy use using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, and of those facilities, 25 are ENERGY STAR certified, with more to come.

Most of Brookdale's certified facilities were built around 2000, with an average ENERGY STAR score of 86; eleven of the 25 facilities score over 90. NRCan spoke with Marla Thalheimer, Brookdale's Director of Sustainability, to get her perspectives on using Portfolio Manager, and the benefits of ENERGY STAR certification.

How long have you been using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager?

Brookdale has been using it for about two and a half years. My previous job was in the commercial sector and I'd had a very positive experience with it, so when I joined Brookdale, I brought it to their attention. In a company of our size, it's a challenge to get energy awareness down to the masses because energy efficiency isn't our number one priority; the residents are. Over time, however, it's caught on, and executives are starting to see the real value of it.

Why choose it over other benchmarking programs?

ENERGY STAR is a widely recognized and trusted brand and is a real estate standard. Portfolio Manager is the perfect tool to start with, and you don't need to be an engineer to use it. In my experience, it's a really good guide to help you better manage efficiency, and it's free! It's made a big difference to us, and the EPA is a great partner to have.

There really is no downside, but the key is in the data. Garbage in, garbage out, as they say, but if you input the right data, you'll get the right score and the information you need. We use a third-party company for our utility bill payments and the company sends the utility data directly to Portfolio Manager, which is extremely helpful, especially with a large portfolio.

What measures have you taken to reduce energy and what have been the results?

Most of our energy efficiency work so far has been on low- or no-cost measures. In 2017, we installed more than 48,000 occupancy sensors and high-efficiency water fixtures. We’ve also completed lighting retrofits in 139 communities, and commissioned HVAC systems in 214 communities. Across our entire portfolio, energy use has decreased by 2.42%, saving the company approximately USD 7.5 million in electricity costs. Our target is to reduce energy consumption by 15% by 2019.

Last year, we also created a sustainability dashboard for energy and water, and one of the key performance indicators is the ENERGY STAR score. Every community now has that score at its fingertips. That's another benefit of Portfolio Manager: it spurs competition. If someone sees that their building has an ENERGY STAR score of 65 but another peer building is 75, they want to know what that facility manager is doing that they're not. That really helps motivate people, and when they see their ENERGY STAR score move up, it's exciting!

How do you maintain and improve energy performance?

You don't benchmark once, you don't get your building certified once; it's an ongoing process, and we're continuously trying to create awareness, drive behavioural change, and embed best practices into existing processes. For example, we have worked with our procurement department to provide our field teams guidance on purchasing the most efficient equipment, the right light bulbs, etc. We want to make it easy for them to make the right choice.

What advice do you have for others in your sector?

Use the right data and use Portfolio Manager! If you have no idea how efficient you are compared to your peers, you don't know the opportunities for savings. If you manage a large portfolio, like we do, Portfolio Manager is so helpful in prioritizing your resources and what measures should be performed where.

We also do "night walks." Even though we're a 24-7 operation, there are times in the evening when everyone's settled and our associates can walk through the building to make sure things are powered down or off. When it's quiet, you can often hear fans that shouldn't be running or water trickling that shouldn't be, so it's a great time to open your eyes and ears to what could be energy saving opportunities.

What does ENERGY STAR certification mean to Brookdale?

ENERGY STAR is such a recognized and trusted brand that if you have that ENERGY STAR label nicely displayed where residents and families and associates can see, it's impressive because the brand denotes efficiency. It's something that our associates who run our facilities are very proud of, and our residents see it as a good thing for them to live in an energy-efficient facility.

It's also a marketing advantage. When new families are coming in to see what a facility is like, the ENERGY STAR label isn't what makes their final decision, but it does put a check mark in the box as a positive. There's a lot of people who care about the environment and efficiency and want us to be good stewards. Having the ENERGY STAR label shows that.

Read more about what Brookdale is doing in its 2016 Sustainability Report.

With the launch of ENERGY STAR certification in Canada, there is a clear pathway for businesses looking to expand the progress they’ve made in energy efficiency or to begin their journey with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

The Challenge continues with Net Zero and BOMA Canada

The Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada (BOMA Canada) announces the Net Zero Challenge, supported by NRCan. The Net Zero Challenge recognizes buildings that have achieved outstanding energy performance, have drastically improved their performance, or have demonstrated leadership through the implementation of replicable and innovative strategies that support efficiency and clean energy production. 

The need for greater environmental stewardship is growing across the nation and across the world. Building management continues to play an instrumental part of guiding us to a better future. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), buildings consume 40% of global energy, with greenhouse gas emissions the most material environmental impact within the industry.  Programs like the Net Zero Challenge recognize buildings that have made the commitment and investment to superior energy performance. In turn, these leaders will help Canada achieve the energy and carbon objectives set out in the Pan‐Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

“The Net Zero Challenge is about celebrating action, thought leadership and innovation within Canada. It recognizes the very highest performers – both people and organizations – that are propelling a low-carbon, wholly sustainable commercial real estate industry.”
- Benjamin Shinewald, President and CEO, BOMA Canada.

The Net Zero Challenge complements BOMA Canada’s highly regarded BOMA BEST Program, which currently offers Canada’s largest environmental assessment and certification program for existing buildings, with more than 7,000 buildings obtaining a certification or recertification to date. The Net Zero Challenge represents an evolution of this organization’s environmental commitment.

“Energy efficiency is one of our most important and accessible tools in the fight against climate change. Canada is proud to recognize BOMA Canada’s role in showcasing leadership and innovation in net-zero energy construction and building management as we continue the transition to a low-carbon economy.”
- The Honorable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources

Canada’s building landscape is changing as we move toward a low-carbon economy that fulfils our commitment to the environment in which we live. Take your level of participation to the next level as you take your building to Net Zero.

The Province of Ontario is asking Ontario building owners: How does your building stack up?

Ontario

Energy and water reporting for large buildings

In Ontario, if you own a building that is 250,000 square feet or larger, you may need to report its energy and water use once a year. The first deadline to submit your report, using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, is July 1, 2018.

Reporting how much energy and water your building uses can help you identify ways to reduce costs and greenhouse gases. You can also use the benchmarking information about your building’s energy and water use to see how your building stacks up against similar buildings.

In the coming years, this requirement will be phased in to include more buildings, eventually reaching those 50,000 square feet and larger.

Visit ontario.ca/energyreporting or call 1-844-274-0689 to find resources and information to help, including how and when to report.

Upcoming events:

Energy Summit 2018
Is your Canadian commercial or institutional building working to become more energy efficient?
ENERGY SUMMIT 2018 will give you the power to save.
May 30-31, 2018 | Vaughan, Ontario

Canada’s unparalleled conference on energy efficiency is fast approaching. Targeting Canadian buildings and industry sectors, ENERGY SUMMIT 2018, Maximize Profitability through Energy Performance, will drive adoption of energy management systems to help you:

  • Meet profitability goals
  • Increase competitiveness
  • Become more sustainable through smart energy management 

NRCan is co-hosting this event with the Canadian Industry Partnership for Energy Conservation (CIPEC) and a private sector partner, Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium.

Key benefits include:

  • Leading industry champions – keynote speakers Andrew Bowerbank, Monica Curtis and
    Malini Giridhar will share realistic solutions to help your organization thrive in today’s competitive environment
  • 4 streams with 16 innovative sessions, learning workshops and 2 plant tours – take home the tools, business cases and best practices to advance your energy initiatives
  • More than 50 subject matter experts and an Exhibitor Showcase – invaluable networking opportunities with resources and future partners
  • CIPEC Leadership Awards Gala – recognize industry’s top performers and future leaders
  • 5 conference meals
  • Continuing education units are available

Bring your energy and register today!

The 28th Énergia Awards, hosted by AQME
May 31, 2018 - Le Mont-Blanc, Laval, Quebec

The Énergia competition recognizes the excellence of Quebec's achievements and celebrates the Canadian energy-efficiency genius in categories related to buildings, technological innovations, industrial or manufacturing processes, transportation, integrated management, and improved energy efficiency. The Énergia Awards will be presented at a cocktail party celebrating the efforts of the contest participants and highlighting the projects that have distinguished themselves. AQME is very pleased to promote the projects presented at the Énergia Competition and their authors, in order to highlight Quebec's innovative achievements and stimulate the industry.

Building Lasting Change 2018: Driving Global Action toward a Low Carbon Economy
June 5-7, 2018 – Beanfield Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Join the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) and REALPac for the largest green building industry event of the year. This event examines what is happening in Canada and around the world to meet aggressive international carbon emissions targets. Participants will have access to the latest knowledge and insights from Canadian and global experts in green building design and retrofits, government policy, real estate finance, market transformation and technology innovation.

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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.

March - Volume 5, Issue 3

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 5, Issue 3

ENERGY STAR® certification launches now!

ENERGY STAR CERTIFICATION IS HERE!:  ENERGY STAR CERTIFICATION IS HERE!

Thousands of buildings across the country have benefited from energy benchmarking with the Canadian adaptation of ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®. Now commercial and institutional buildings can receive official recognition for their commitment to energy efficiency and a cleaner, greener environment.

As of March 26, 2018, NRCan is pleased to offer yearly ENERGY STAR certification for commercial and institutional buildings. Commercial offices, K-12 schools, hospitals, medical offices, senior care communities and long-term residential care facilities, food retail, and ice/curling rinks can apply to receive the recognition they deserve. More building types will be added as the program continues to grow.

How do I certify?

  1. Register your building in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.
  2. Benchmark your facility with at least 12 consecutive months of energy data to receive your ENRGY STAR score. Portfolio Manager uses a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score: a score of 50 indicates average energy performance, while a score of 75 or higher indicates top performance.
  3. If your building earns a score of 75 or higher, submit your application through Portfolio Manager.

Certification is approved on an annual basis, so a building must maintain its high performance to be certified year to year. A licensed professional must verify the information submitted in the application.

No matter where you see it, the ENERGY STAR label means the same thing — an energy-efficient top performer that saves money without sacrificing performance. Consumers, clients, employees, and communities trust in the ENERGY STAR label. They are looking for organizations that exemplify dedication to the environment. Engage with Canadian stakeholders by showcasing your commitment to a green future.

ENERGY STAR certification of buildings has been successful in the U.S. for many years (see below), so it’s easy to see consistent benefits to organizations with the vision and commitment to apply.

Lowered costs, increased savings! Energy cost savings and reductions in operating maintenance costs are reason enough for most companies to work toward certification. 

Increased awareness! The data and perspective provided by energy benchmarking identifies opportunities and risks that might otherwise go undetected. Make confident business decisions knowing you have a solid understanding of building energy use.

Higher income and increased value! ENERGY STAR certified buildings often command higher prices than the rest.

Increased productivity! Time and time again, visitors and workers have found certified buildings to be more welcoming and comfortable.

Growing engagement! Responding to the growing demand from customers to connect with green organizations, certified buildings have seen their value and profile grow in their respective industries.

Reduced greenhouse gas emissions! Ensure alignment with Canada’s commitment to a low-carbon economy. Certification ensures that your organization is doing its part for the future.

If you aren’t already benefitting from energy benchmarking, check out ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and take a step towards the renown and prestige of ENERGY STAR certification.

If you’re already reaping the rewards of Portfolio Manager, find out more about applying for ENERGY STAR certification. You can also contact us at nrcan.energystarcertificationbuildings.rncan@canada.ca.

The Race is on! Who Will Be The First?

The launch of ENERGY STAR certification for Canadian buildings has brought with it an amazing opportunity. To celebrate and honour visionaries and leaders in building energy efficiency, NRCan has issued a challenge to building owners and managers across the nation: Who Will Be the First?

Currently, there are many buildings across the country with ENERGY STAR scores of 75 or higher that will be applying for ENERGY STAR certification. That recognition can make a huge difference to your business or organization. However, NRCan is providing this extra honour for those ready to act early on the opportunity of the ENERGY STAR certification launch. 

Those who apply for certification between March 26 and April 30, 2018, 11:59 p.m. PDT and are approved will receive the added distinction of being one of the Firsts in Canada to earn ENERGY STAR certification.

The Firsts will receive promotional material, customized for the firsts, to highlight their leadership in their community and sector. Their success will also be profiled by NRCan with a spotlight in future publications.

Who Will Be the First?:  Who Will Be the First?

Certification is here to stay and is certain to become a new gold standard across all sectors, but the chance to establish yourself as the FIRST to lead the way is only available once.

Join the Challenge!

Apply for certification before April 30, 2018, 11:59 p.m. PDT and show Canadians that your organization is one of the first to put Canada’s environment first!

For more information, please visit our website at www.nrcan.gc.ca/energystarportfoliomanager

FEATURE: Blueprints for benchmarking benefits!
Success stories from the south - Part I

With ENERGY STAR certification now available in Canada, many are wondering about the impact certification has had in the U.S. From sector to sector, we find success story after success story.

In hospitals:

Memorial Hermann Health System

The largest not-for-profit health care system in Southeast Texas.

19 major campus locations, including medical offices & outpatient health care facilities, totalling 11 million square feet (just over 1 million m2)

2017 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year—Sustained Excellence

What's good for patients is good for the bottom line at Memorial Hermann Health System in Southeast Texas.

"It's a well known fact that our industry uses 250% more energy than the commercial building sector," said Michael Hatton, Vice President of Facilities Engineering at Memorial Hermann Health System.

"In our better performing hospitals, we drove energy use down by 20%—that's not one facility, that's all of them—just by fixing what we had."

Regular recommissioning helps Memorial Hermann lead the pack in results. Along with lighting and HVAC upgrades, Memorial Hermann has saved an average of $10 million USD in energy costs, every year, for the last decade.

When they first began using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to track and benchmark building energy use, their first few buildings scored very low on the 1-100 ENERGY STAR score.

"We were the worst of the worst at the time, but if you're honest with what you input, and you start to trust the data, it's a great tool. It shows you where you need to look."

Today, nine of Memorial Hermann's hospitals score better than 75, the score needed to receive ENERGY STAR certification, and five have scores in the 90s. But at the end of the day, saving energy in hospitals isn't about money or bragging rights, it's about doing what's right for patients, from improving the indoor environment to investing energy savings into other patient areas.

In commercial offices:

Endeavor Real Estate Group has received certification for two years in a row. Endeavor is commited to a reputation as an organization with depth and integrity. Its long-term perspective extends to pursuing sustainability through ENERGY STAR certification. It’s a perspective that has helped grow its business and its image to become one of the largest full-service commercial real estate companies in Central and South Texas.

TIER REIT, a Dallas-based real estate investment trust, is focused on owning quality, well-managed commercial office properties in dynamic markets throughout the U.S. ENERGY STAR certification is a part of its vision is to be the premier owner and operator of best-in-class office properties. 

TIER REIT believes that high-performing, sustainably operated buildings are not just good for the environment, but they also create economic value for their tenants, stockholders and employees. Its portfolio of high-quality and environmentally designed and operated properties commands recognition in a highly competitive market, and demonstrates its core values to current and future clients.

“We are proud of the accomplishments we have made and our commitment to healthy, sustainable and environmental best practices throughout our business operations.”

In schools:

Fairfax County Public Schools

10th largest school district in the U.S.

200 facilities, 27.5 million square feet (about 2.5 million m2)

151 ENERGY STAR certified schools, the most of any school division

Average ENERGY STAR score: 84.5

2017 energy use per square foot was $1.21, down 5% from $1.27 in 2016. The 2017 energy cost per student was $177, a decrease of 4.5% compared to 2016. The national average is roughly $200/per student. (All $ in USD)

There is no mistaking the passion and pride in Jeffrey Platenberg's voice as he talks about all of the energy savings initiatives at Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). "Educating kids is our bottom line," he said.  "When we save money on energy, all the savings go back into the classroom."

Platenberg is the Assistant Superintendent of Facilities and Transportation Services, the department responsible for energy management. And he has every right to brag. FCPS boasts the most ENERGY STAR certified schools of any school division in the United States. Of the some 200 properties in its portfolio, 151 are ENERGY STAR certified.

FCPS has been working with ENERGY STAR for almost a decade and was named an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year in 2016.

Portfolio Manager makes it easy to track progress and share information with others, such as for the third-party analysis required to qualify a school as ENERGY STAR certified.

"ENERGY STAR is our foundation. It shows tangible results and is the greatest evidence of our efforts to conserve energy and when you see other organizations involved with it, not just schools, it's infectious. People are starting to realize that, from a corporate standpoint, being sustainable is the only way to meet their bottom line."

Recommissioning—identifying and fixing problems with existing equipment and systems—has been the district's biggest bang for the buck. Energy audits, walk-throughs, regular maintenance and inspection, and data collection and analysis all take time, said Platenberg, but are necessary to reduce consumption.

By incorporating ENERGY STAR messages, tools and resources into its Get 2 Green energy conservation program, FCPS has achieved some truly impressive results.

Over a two-year period, the district saved $10.5 million on a total energy budget of about $42 million; it trained more than 100 educators to incorporate energy efficiency and conservation principles into the curriculum; and, since 2014, greenhouse gas emissions have been cut by 15%.

"The best results are achieved when teachers and students are involved. Students challenge me about why more isn't being done. When I present things to them they say, 'Yeah, but have you thought of this?' The power of all of us is incredible!"

Jeffrey Platenberg

In some cases, however, a school needed more than just a few tweaks. In 2013, George C. Marshall High School was upgraded to include low-emitting windows, passive solar, a green roof, a high efficiency HVAC system, lighting upgrades, ENERGY STAR certified kitchen equipment, and a host of water efficiency measures. Electricity and natural gas usage has decreased by 7 and 17%, respectively, following the renovations.

“It doesn't matter the reasons why people adopt ENERGY STAR; the program delivers dividends on so many fronts.”

"Yes it's about the environment, but ENERGY STAR is also about fundamental business principles," he said. "And when you get students involved, they kick it up a notch. And when you see businesses, the community, churches, all of these organizations working on the same cause—and the students are thriving—that’s the real dividend in public education."

No matter whether your building deals with parents, students, patients or clients, ENERGY STAR certification represents the way forward for your organization — socially, financially, environmentally,  and morally.

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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.

February - Volume 5, Issue 2

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 5, Issue 2

Join the Challenge!

In less than a month, NRCan will launch ENERGY STAR® certification for Canadian buildings. In fact, currently there are thousands of buildings across the country that have an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher, or who have already received certification for superior environmental performance.  Buildings that have been certified as BOMA BEST, or under the CaGBC’s LEED® Canada EB:O&M program are prime candidates.

The benefits to owning or managing an ENERGY STAR certified building are undeniable.  The question is, can you really afford to let this opportunity for recognition pass?

Being certified will means that your building or facility will stand out among other buildings in Canada in terms of superior energy performance. You will be able to connect with your customers, lower your operating costs, increase occupancy rates, reduce green house gas emissions and so much more.

What do you need to do to participate?
1. Register your facility in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.
2. Benchmark your facility with at least 12 consecutive months of energy data.
3. Submit your application for ENERGY STAR certification between March 26 and April 30, 2018, 11:59 p.m. PDT

If you submit an application for ENERGY STAR certification before April 30, 2018, and if approved, your building will earn the distinction of being among the first ENERGY STAR certified buildings in Canada!

It’s that simple. For more information, please visit our website at www.nrcan.gc.ca/energystarportfoliomanager or contact us at nrcan.energystarcertificationbuildings.rncan@canada.ca

ENERGY STAR certification tips for licensed professionals and building owners

Licensed Professionals (LPs) are a key part of the ENERGY STAR certification process. Once a property has achieved an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher, a building owner can pursue ENERGY STAR certification. That is where LPs come in. Professional Engineers and Registered Architects are the only individuals who can review a building owner’s application to ready it for submission to NRCan for consideration for ENERGY STAR certification. Their role is to verify the completeness and correctness of the application to ensure that the certification process runs smoothly.

Specifically, LPs confirm that building energy use is accurate, that the building’s characteristics are correctly reported and that indoor air quality has been optimized in conjunction with any energy reductions that have been implemented. Ultimately, the LP’s verification ensures the integrity of the ENERGY STAR certification.
ENERGY STAR applications must be verified before submission, but for smaller organizations on a tight budget, it is not always affordable. Luckily, there are some Tips for low-cost verifications for building owners seeking ENERGY STAR certification, including the following:

  • Use in-house staff. Your application can be validated by a P.Eng. or RA on your staff, even if they aren’t at that specific property.
  • Use utility incentives and resources. Contact your local utility to see if it has LPs on staff who can offer their services either free of charge or at a reasonable cost — especially if you are one of the utility’s customers.
  • Look for government sponsored programs. Search for municipal, provincial or federal incentive programs that could offset the costs of verification.

From the perspective of LPs who are looking to help building owners with their ENERGY STAR certification process, there are some key steps for success. NRCan has created an important resource: the Licensed Professional’s Guide: Understanding the Roles and Requirements for Verifying Commercial Buildings. This guide will assist new LPs and should be consulted as it provides details on the ENERGY STAR program expectations and offers guidance to help with verifications. 

Some key tips to help LPs carry out successful verifications:

  • Obtain and review a copy of the ENERGY STAR application before the site visit. As an LP, you have to review your client’s building’s physical and operating characteristics, its energy consumption, and its indoor environmental conditions.
  • Obtain and review all energy consumption documentation. Be sure to confirm that all forms of energy used in the building have been reported in the correct units, and that no simulated or model values have been used.
  • Plan for a whole day site visit. You will need sufficient time to ensure a thorough verification.
  • Bring air quality measurement tools to the site visit. Necessary tools include a carbon dioxide meter, an anemometer to confirm minimum outside ventilation rates, and a light meter to ensure the minimum recommended illumination levels are met.

Visit NRCan’s website about ENERGY STAR Certification in Canada for more in-depth information on ENERGY STAR certification, or contact us via email at nrcan.energystarcertificationbuildings.rncan@canada.ca.

Mandatory energy and water use reporting being adopted across North America

Studies have shown that energy benchmarking can improve building energy efficiency by providing baseline energy consumption data and allowing owners and managers to identify energy saving opportunities. To take advantage of these benefits, jurisdictions across North America are implementing mandatory energy and water use reporting in the building sector to increase awareness of resource consumption and help building owners and managers save energy and water.

The City of Chicago has an energy benchmarking ordinance that collects energy use data from properties to inform its energy conservation strategies. The City has also adopted an energy rating system that is based on the ENERGY STAR score. Another example is the City of Atlanta, which approved its Commercial Energy Efficiency Ordinance in 2015. The ordinance focuses on overcoming information barriers to energy efficiency and rewarding energy efficiency performance.

The City of Boston implemented a Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance that requires the city’s large and medium-sized buildings to report their annual energy and water use. In Portland, an Energy Reporting Policy for Commercial Buildings helps building owners to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions.

Canadian energy benchmarking is on the rise

Canadian jurisdictions are also moving ahead on energy reporting. In Edmonton, the Building Energy Benchmarking Program is a voluntary initiative launched in June 2017 that helps building owners and operators to reduce energy use with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. The program has been successful, and City officials reported that in its first phase, the program exceeded its original participation goals. Participants of this program are also eligible for the City’s Energy Audit Rebate Program, which will encourage even greater energy-saving investments.
The Province of Ontario is the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement mandatory legislation requiring benchmarking and disclosure. Its Reporting of Energy Consumption and Water Use regulation is designed to help building owners benchmark property energy and water use, identify ways to reduce energy and water use, compare their properties’ performance with similar ones, and measure improvements over time.

Phase 1 of the regulation was launched in January 2018. The first phase requires commercial, industrial and multi-unit residential buildings 250,000 square feet and larger to report their water and energy use annually, along with other details such as gross floor area, number of occupants, etc. Over the next three years, the initiative will be expanded to cover more buildings, and when it is fully phased in in 2020, it will capture approximately 18,000 commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet. This could represent the largest regulation of its kind in North America.

Reporting in Ontario will be facilitated through Canada’s national energy benchmarking tool, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager — the tool of choice for building energy benchmarking across North America. Information about building energy and water use will be published in the Government of Ontario’s data catalogue starting in a property’s second year of reporting, and data generated from these reports will help in planning future conservation efforts and greenhouse gas reduction targets.

With this regulation, the Province joins many jurisdictions and other non-government organizations that promote energy and water conservation in the building sector in this way. These initiatives will help building owners and managers to transition to a harmonized approach to the building energy disclosure and labelling announced in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

The Province of Ontario is asking Ontario Building Owners: How does your building stack up?

Energy and water reporting for large buildings

In Ontario, if you own a building that is 250,000 square feet or larger, you may need to report its energy and water use once a year. The first deadline to submit your report, using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, is July 1, 2018.

Reporting how much energy and water your building uses can help you identify ways to reduce costs and greenhouse gases. You can also use the benchmarking information about your building’s energy and water use to see how your building stacks up against similar buildings.

In the coming years, this requirement will be phased in to include more buildings, eventually reaching those 50,000 square feet and larger.

Visit ontario.ca/energyreporting or call 1-844-274-0689 to find resources and information to help, including how and when to report.

ENERGY SUMMIT 2018

ENERGY SUMMIT 2018

Don’t delay!

Early Bird registration extended to March 16, 2018.

Register now at www.energy2018.ca and save $200!

Nomination deadline for the 2018 CIPEC Leadership Awards extended to March 16, 2018.

Nomination form

The ENERGY SUMMIT 2018 conference brings together Canada’s energy efficiency experts to grow momentum for your business. Energy management is crucial to maximize profitability and combat climate change. This conference offers customer connections that will give you the power to save. Learn about best practices like energy benchmarking, and realistic, turnkey solutions to help your organization thrive in today’s competitive environment.

Along with the Canadian Industry Partnership for Energy Conservation (CIPEC), Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) present Canada’s leading forum on energy efficiency. Through this industry-government partnership, we have developed an engaging program featuring:

  • Inspiring keynote speakers;
  • Solutions-based technical sessions;
  • Facility tours to showcase leading edge technologies;
  • Professional development workshops; and
  • CIPEC Leadership Awards to recognize Canada’s industry leaders in energy management.

For more information, please visit the conference website.

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 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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.

January - Volume 5, Issue 1

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 5, Issue 1

Coming to Canada: ENERGY STAR® Certification for commercial and institutional buildings!

Demonstrate leadership by example!

Join NRCan’s “Who will be the first?” challenge and be recognized as one of the firsts in Canada to earn ENERGY STAR Certification. Show Canada your commitment to environmental stewardship. For more details, please visit our website, or contact us at: nrcan.energystarcertificationbuildings.
rncan@canada.ca

We are less than two months away from the launch of this highly anticipated program. By now, as an owner or manager of a building, you have hopefully been preparing to participate in this coveted recognition program. Being certified means that your building or facility will stand out among other buildings in Canada in terms of superior energy performance. Not only is saving money good for your bottom line, but it is also good for the environment and building occupants too. Many ENERGY STAR recipients send out media releases celebrating their achievements, and so can you. Still not convinced? Take a look at other examples of how your peers south of the border are engaging their building occupants, cutting operating costs and saving energy.

Benefits of ENERGY STAR Certification

ENERGY STAR Logo

Tens of thousands of commercial and institutional buildings have already been ENERGY STAR certified in the United States, and thousands of Canadian organizations use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® every day to benchmark and track building energy performance. The reasons why are as varied as the players involved.

Connect with customers JC Penney used its ENERGY STAR certification to show its customers its commitment to corporate sustainability goals. It was the first company in North America to receive an ENERGY STAR building certification label for the retail sector, and today more than 600 of its U.S. stores are ENERGY STAR certified.

Increase tenant satisfaction. Bentall Kennedy's Forever Green program shows tenants that management takes energy management seriously, and gives them the tools and support to make their buildings the best they can be.

Lower costs and use the savings elsewhere. By lowering its energy costs, the Nissan manufacturing plant in Canton, Mississippi, was able to pass the savings on to its customers and to the local community.

Save vital health care dollars. Kingston General Hospital uses its energy savings for front-line clinical care.

Generate higher income and increased value. Beacon Capital owns of one of the most iconic properties in Washington, DC: Terrell Place. By seeking both LEED and ENERGY STAR certification, Terrell Place has lowered its operating costs, and, when it comes time for tenants to sell, the units command higher selling prices than non-certified buildings.

Improve lease and rental rates. According to research by the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability, ENERGY STAR certification can increase lease and rental prices by about 3% per square foot, and resale price by as much as 13%.

Reduce GHG emissions. The Staples distribution centre in Maryland reduced its carbon footprint by more than 36%, even while business more than doubled.

Cut emissions, cut costs. New Brunswick's Horizon Health Network, which operates more than 100 medical facilities, clinics and offices, as well as 12 hospitals, cut GHG emissions by 15,000 tonnes and avoided $4.45 million energy costs in only three years.

Do the right thing. Wise energy use is important to the next generation, and students and staff at Des Moines Public School wanted to do their part. The money they've saved through lower energy costs helps support education and student activities and, as the kids say, "It's the right thing to do!"

And the benefits keep on coming: "Together, we’ve been able to make smart decisions that impact our people, our clients and the environment for the better. We respond to every tenant call and work hard to find the problem and how we can prevent it in the future. We love being in this business!"  – Patricia Poyntz, General Manager, Yonge Corporate Centre

Whatever your building energy performance goals are—whether you want to save energy and costs; lower your carbon footprint; or improve the health, safety and comfort of your employees—ENERGY STAR can help you meet your objectives! Learn more about ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and how your buildings can become ENERGY STAR certified.

2016 ENERGY STAR Annual Report

ENERGY STAR Canada marked its 15th anniversary of energy savings in 2016. In celebration, Natural Resources Canada released the ENERGY STAR® in Canada Annual Report, which highlighted the yearly achievements. The program, a voluntary industry-government partnership with more than 1,500 participating organizations, promotes energy efficiency to help Canadians reduce energy waste and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The report includes the ongoing success story of leading Canadians to energy efficiency at home, at work and on the road.

Some of the highlights include:

  • The launch of ENERGY STAR Canada Twitter and Facebook accounts, and the creation of the first ENERGY STAR Day in Canada (the fourth Tuesday of October).
  • ENERGY STAR prevented 532,900 tonnes of GHG emissions, the same as taking 190,321 cars off the road for a year.
  • 47 million ENERGY STAR-certified products were sold in 70 product categories.  
  • 16,400 Canadian buildings are having their energy usage benchmarked through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, including 185 million square metres of floor space, representing more than one in five buildings.
  • ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager added a sixth building type eligible for an ENERGY STAR score in Canada: senior care communities and residential care communities.
  • More than 7,500 ENERGY STAR-certified new homes were constructed.
  • Energy efficiency improved 25% between 1990 and 2014, and helped Canadians save $38.5 billion.

Read the ENERGY STAR in Canada Annual Report 2016 [PDF - 1.89 MB].

Real Property Institute of Canada

RPIC announces 2017 award winner

At the November 2017 Real Property Institute of Canada (RPIC) National Workshop, NRCan was recognized for its collaboration in an RPIC Award-winning project with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Chilliwack, BC.

RPIC supports the development of high professional standards in the Canadian federal real property community through networking and professional development opportunities and the provision of research and development capacity. Every year RPIC presents several awards to honour innovation and leadership in different aspects of property management, including environmental sustainability and energy efficiency.

Buildings represent over 80% of federal emissions and the RPIC Excellence Award for Energy Efficiency of Federal Buildings recognizes the best energy efficiency projects in three categories:

  • Category 1: the greatest reduction of energy consumption in one or several facilities within the federal government
  • Category 2: the office build­ing demonstrating the lowest energy intensity
  • Category 3: the facility, or grouping of facilities from same site, with the best carbon performance (tonnes CO2/square meter (m2) and tonnes CO2 / Gigajoule (GJ)).

The Excellence Award for Energy Efficiency of Federal Buildings (Category 1) was awarded to the RCMP’s Pacific Regional Training Centre Energy (PRTC) Performance Management Service Project, which realized carbon emission reductions of 293.7 tonnes/year and energy savings of $156,000/year through 11 major initiatives. The PRTC is a campus of 26 buildings, some of which were built in the 1980s but many are more than 50 years-old. As a campus, it presented several energy efficiency challenges, but as one of the RCMP’s biggest energy users it also represented a significant opportunity to reduce emissions and save money.

Through collaboration with NRCan’s Greening Government Services (GGS), the RCMP established an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) with Siemens Canada, a contract whereby the company proposes, finances, guarantees and undertakes energy retrofits, subsequently repaid through energy savings. NRCan’s GGS provides guidance, expertise and other support such as GGS’s model documents (e.g. EPC and Request for Proposal), including the procurement of an expert technical consultant to act in the interests of the RCMP.

For the full description of all RPIC’s awards, visit www.rpic-ibic.ca/en/awards/real-property-rp-awards/rp-award-categories and for a description of other award-winning projects, see www.rpic-ibic.ca/en/awards/real-property-rp-awards/rp-award-winners

NRCan’s Greening Government Services (GSS) has the knowledge and expertise to assist federal government organizations in achieving their carbon reduction goals for buildings and fleets, and the GGS should be contacted as early in the planning process as possible. This summer, RPIC will be accepting nominations for the annual awards, so watch for your opportunity to submit a nomination

ENERGY SUMMIT 2018

ENERGY SUMMIT 2018

The ENERGY SUMMIT 2018 conference brings together Canada’s energy efficiency experts to grow momentum for your business. Energy management is crucial to maximize profitability and combat climate change. This conference offers customer connections that will give you the power to save. Learn about best practices like energy benchmarking, and realistic, turnkey solutions to help your organization thrive in today’s competitive environment.

Along with the Canadian Industry Partnership for Energy Conservation (CIPEC), Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) present Canada’s leading forum on energy efficiency. Through this industry-government partnership, we have developed an engaging program featuring:

  • Inspiring keynote speakers;
  • Solutions-based technical sessions;
  • Facility tours to showcase leading edge technologies;
  • Professional development workshops; and
  • CIPEC Leadership Awards to recognize Canada’s industry leaders in energy management.

For more information, please visit the conference website.

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 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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.

2017

December - Volume 4, Issue 12

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 4, Issue 12

 A year in review!

2017: A year in review!

It has been a year abounding with energy efficiency activities at NRCan’s Buildings and Industry Division. We released a new ENERGY STAR score and worked hard to support a host of new benchmarking and energy efficiency initiatives launched by some of our key stakeholders. Here are some of the highlights:

New 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for ice/curling rinks

Last fall, ice/curling rinks became the seventh building type to be eligible for a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score in Canada. Ice/curling rinks operate for many hours a day, seven days a week, and can have a variety of different uses. Creating and maintaining high calibre ice/curling rink surfaces is particularly important for facility owners and managers, who are always looking for ways to reduce their utility costs. The new score allows facilities to better understand their relative energy performance and encourages them to improve upon it.

For more information on the new score, visit Energy benchmarking for ice/curling rinks.

Energy Benchmarking Data Snapshots

Have you ever wondered how many buildings are benchmarking with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager? Now you can find out by reading our series of Energy Benchmarking Data Snapshots! Launched this fall, the series provides you with data about the commercial and institutional buildings sector entered into Portfolio Manager. These snapshots are a valuable source of information for policy development, reference, research and planning, and more.

For more information, visit Energy Benchmarking Data Snapshots.

Second annual ENERGY STAR Day

On October 24, 2017, NRCan celebrated the second annual ENERGY STAR Day, the purpose of which is to raise awareness of the important role that energy efficiency plays in helping Canadians combat climate change and to celebrate the great strides our participants have made.

This year, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, wished everyone a happy ENERGY STAR Day in celebration of Canada’s most popular energy efficiency program.

To view Minister Carr’s video, please visit: Happy ENERGY STAR Day 2017 Canada!

National High-Performance Building Challenge

Natural Resources Canada is pleased that the National High-Performance Building Challenge initiative is being implemented by BOMA Canada as a new award program. BOMA Canada will be accepting its first applicants in early 2018. This new addition to BOMA Canada’s suite of annual building awards will recognize the leadership of owners, developers, designers and/or managers of buildings that demonstrate significant progress along the path toward net‐zero energy.  Awards will be presented in three categories: Best In Class/Net Zero Award, Most Improved Buildings and an Innovation Award.

NRCan is proud to financially support this important initiative and encourages interested organizations to contact BOMA Canada directly via their website for more information, including application details.

FortisBC

FortisBC becomes the third Canadian utility to offer Portfolio Manager Web Services

Energy benchmarking with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is already user friendly. But now, FortisBC’s web services, which connect directly to Portfolio Manager web services, are making it even easier for eligible customers to access their energy consumption data. These services enable FortisBC to automatically upload customers’ natural gas data every month, making benchmarking effortless for building owners and managers in BC. FortisBC is the third Canadian utility to offer web services, following Manitoba Hydro and BC Hydro.

Would you like to benefit from automatic uploads via web services? Ask your utility to consider offering Portfolio Manager web services.

Once customers have set up their Portfolio Manager accounts and have entered their property and meter information, they can connect with FortisBC’s web services and access their data seamlessly. Once connected, users select which properties and meters they want to share for data exchange, and their natural gas data will be available within one to two business days. In addition to regular monthly uploads, FortisBC will also add up to three years of an organization’s past natural gas use data.

Other utilities and energy management service providers that would like to implement web services can visit our website or contact info.services@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca for more information.

For more information about Portfolio Manager web services, visit: 

Energy consumption survey for multi-unit residential buildings

NRCan has contracted with a consulting firm to conduct an energy consumption survey for multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) to close a data gap that currently exists. The survey results will be used to develop an additional building type to add to the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool.  

The survey will be conducted in the following eight cities:  Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa/Gatineau, Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver and the survey will collect factual data on building characteristics and energy consumption for the calendar year 2017. The survey will be out for collection from May to August 2018.

Your participation is important! If you receive a request to participate in the survey, please share your building’s data and help us improve knowledge related to energy efficiency in the MURBs sector.

For further information on the survey, please contact Kathy Jackson Fong, Survey Manager, at kathy-ann.jacksonfong@canada.ca or at 343-292-6331.

Calendar of events and other important dates

Portfolio Manager Webinars

ENERGY STAR Certification – Licensed Professional Training
January 24, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. EST

ENERGY STAR Certification – Policy Launch & How-to
January 30, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. EST

Events

ENERGY SUMMIT 2018
May 30-31, 2018 / Universal Eventspace, Vaughan, ON

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 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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.

November - Volume 4, Issue 11

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 4, Issue 11

Volume 4, Issue 11

Coming soon! ENERGY STAR certification

You asked for it; we are bringing it! Be one of the 1st ENERGY STAR’s certified in your sector!

Updated scoring model for commercial office buildings

A number of other significant updates to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager are planned for spring 2018. These include new source energy factors and an updated scoring model for commercial office buildings.

BOMA Canada officially launches Net Zero Awards

BOMA Canada used the occasion of its recent (September 27-28) annual BOMEX conference to officially launch its Net Zero Awards program. This new addition to its suite of annual building awards will recognize leadership of owners, developers, designers and managers of buildings that demonstrate significant progress along the path toward net‐zero energy. Awards will be presented in three categories: Best In Class/Net Zero Award, Most Improved Buildings and an Innovation Award.

BOMA Canada Net Zero Awards

NRCan has been pleased to support the development and delivery of this exciting new award, which is expected to help the buildings industry move toward a net‐zero energy future.

BOMA Canada will begin accepting applications in February 2018, with the intention to recognize the first award recipients in September 2018. Interested applicants are invited to visit BOMA Canada’s website or email netzero@bomacanada.ca for more information, including application details.

Green Schools Nova Scotia engages students in long-term sustainability thinking

Green Schools Nova Scotia

Engaging students in energy and other resource-saving projects is a great approach for schools wishing to go green. Green Schools Nova Scotia, an initiative from Efficiency Nova Scotia, helps schools do just that. The program, offered at no cost to elementary and secondary schools in the province, supports students, teachers and the larger school community in their efforts to become more resource efficient.

The program aims to raise awareness among students and promote behavioural changes that will lead to positive action about the sustainable use of resources. Participating schools are supported by engagement officers who work with students, teachers and school communities to reduce energy and water use, minimize waste, use green transportation, and support local food production.

Green Schools Nova Scotia, through various in-school and community activities, equips the next generation of students with the tools and knowledge they need to live and act sustainably in the future.  Schools generally pick one of the program themes to focus on per school year in order to create an in-depth experience for students and teachers.

As an example, West Northfield Elementary participated in the program with rave reviews from students and teachers. The school established a Green Team that worked with the program’s engagement officers. They learned many easy-to-implement measures that save energy and water and reduce waste in the school. Green Team members then shared their learnings with the rest of the student body. Simple behaviours such as turning off lights and computers have now become ingrained in students. Moreover, many students implement their learnings at home as well.  

Like West Northfield Elementary, schools can start on energy improvements at any time, and energy benchmarking is an ideal way to begin the journey. NRCan offers many resources on energy benchmarking for K-12 schools and supports the use of the free, online ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager as an accessible, user-friendly energy benchmarking tool. 

Organizations that have successfully integrated energy benchmarking into their overall energy management strategies are highlighted on NRCan’s Canadian Circle of Champions page. Schools can do the same and become energy champions.

For more information about Green Schools Nova Scotia, visit: www.greenschoolsns.ca, and for a video about the energy efficiency efforts of West Northfield Elementary, go to www.greenschoolsns.ca/news/what-green-schools-nova-scotia-all-about-watch-new-video.

York Catholic District School Board leads the way in energy efficiency improvements

York Catholic District School Board

The York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) has saved a total of $34.2 million in energy costs since 2000 and diverted more than 850 tonnes of GHG emissions annually. Even with the construction of new schools, the board’s energy intensity has decreased by 45 percent over the past 16 years. This achievement earned it the 2015 title of the best energy-performing school board in Ontario.

The YCDSB is composed of 90 elementary and 15 secondary schools that occupy just under 700,000 square metres in the Greater Toronto Area. The board’s energy expenditures, like most other Canadian school boards, are its second largest operating expense. Energy efficiency improvement, therefore, can lead to significant savings as well as healthier learning environments.

The YCDSB has been tracking energy use since 1999 and had yearly energy plans until 2013, when it prepared a five-year plan in accordance with Ontario’s Green Energy Act. For some time, the board has been using the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Utility Consumption Database (EDU), which automatically receives utility data, allowing the YCDSB to track, monitor and verify school energy consumption. In addition, the YCDSB has a real-time energy management system that raises staff and student awareness on energy conservation.

Energy data has led to many improvements at YCDSB schools, such as the installation of a building automation system, which has been particularly instrumental in identifying poorly performing systems and energy saving opportunities.

Energy efficiency upgrades include retrofitting inefficient equipment, and installing LED lighting and variable frequency drives at many of the YCDSB’s schools. The board is currently investigating adding to its solar photovoltaic systems and using conservation voltage reduction. 

To date, the board has invested an average of $1.2 million per year in energy management and has earmarked $8 million for the current year. In addition, the YCDSB has used government and utility incentive programs, such as the IESO’s Save on Energy program, to finance parts of its energy management program.

YCDSB has been at the forefront with tracking its energy consumption when limited technology was available to do so. Now, with such accessible tools as ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, energy benchmarking and tracking for schools is easy. NRCan has developed resources specifically for energy benchmarking for K-12 schools.

Schools starting out with energy benchmarking can look to leaders such as the YCDSB for inspiration as well as members of the Canadian Circle of Champions for best practices and ideas for energy efficiency improvement.

Staff engagement leads to energy savings for Horizon Health Network

Horizon Health Network

In just three years, Horizon Health Network cut its energy costs by $4.45 million and diverted 15,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually as a result of staff commitment and engagement, low-cost measures, and a facility-wide energy management system. The organization’s achievements also garnered it the 2016 Wayne McLellan Award of Excellence in Healthcare Facilities Management.

Horizon Health Network, based in New Brunswick and employing 12,400 people, operates 12 hospitals and more than 100 medical facilities, clinics and offices totalling 380,902 square metres and consuming 215 million ekWh. The Moncton Hospital and the Saint John Regional Hospital are the largest facilities in the organization’s portfolio.

Horizon attributes its success in large part to engaging its staff and identifying energy champions in its facilities. “We've found that effective communication and sharing success stories is the most efficient, cost-effective way to do it. We've succeeded, and success is contagious,” says Blaine Lynch, Regional Director of Facilities, Engineering and Property Management, Horizon Health Network.

Horizon’s energy data was integrated into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager three years ago, which allowed the organization to determine an energy consumption baseline. This has enabled the company to compare performance with peer hospitals within New Brunswick and across Canada.

The company’s energy management information system (EMIS) is installed in most of its facilities and includes natural gas and electricity meters, and steam and electrical consumption sub-metering. Energy dashboards and reports generated by the EMIS are a powerful way for facility staff to visualize energy use.

The organization has also established a network of engineers, energy managers and physical resources directors who meet several times a year to identify and share energy reduction ideas.

Because of energy-saving ideas from the network and employees, the Miramichi Regional Hospital improved its ENERGY STAR score from 19 to 52 in less than three years. This leap in ENERGY STAR scores was largely a result of wood boiler and steam production system retrofits that have reduced steam production by 10 million pounds. The hospital also installed LED lights and dimmers, and now has a building automation system that is linked to its EMIS.

Other facility-wide projects include ongoing LED retrofits, the installation of occupancy sensors, and the optimization and recommissioning of equipment and systems. Ongoing funding from the Province of New Brunswick’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure has also allowed the organization to look at projects with longer payback periods.

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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.

October - Volume 4, Issue 10

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 4, Issue 10

Volume 4, Issue 10

Coming soon! ENERGY STAR certification

You asked for it; we are bringing it! NRCan is hard at work adapting the ENERGY STAR certification process for use in Canada.

Updated scoring model for commercial office buildings

A number of other significant updates to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager are planned for spring 2018. These include new source energy factors and an updated scoring model for commercial office buildings.

Build your knowledge with our new series of Energy Benchmarking Data Snapshots!

Have you ever wondered how many buildings are benchmarking with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager? You can now find out by reading our new series of Energy Benchmarking Data Snapshots.The series is intended to provide you with data about the commercial and institutional buildings sector entered into Portfolio Manager.

The Energy Benchmarking Data Snapshots provide insight on the following areas:

Buildings
  • Buildings registered in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager
  • Benchmarking by province and territory
  • Benchmarking by city
  • Energy use distribution
  • Distribution of buildings
  • Energy use profiles

These snapshots will be a valuable source of information for policy development, reference, research and planning, and more.

This document will provide insight on Canadian building energy data entered into the tool. Download your copy of Energy Benchmarking Data Snapshots for Canadian Buildings [PDF – 884 KB] today to find out more!

Minister Carr helps us celebrate Canada’s second annual ENERGY STAR Day!

ENERGY STAR in Canada celebrated the second annual ENERGY STAR Day on October 24, 2017. The purpose of ENERGY STAR Day is to raise awareness of the important role that energy efficiency plays in helping Canadians combat climate change and to celebrate the great strides our participants have made.

We have much to be proud of looking back on 2017, including recognizing some of you with ENERGY STAR Awards, and launching the ENERGY STAR for Industry certification program and the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry. Our program expansion demonstrates the willingness of Canadian businesses and organizations across the country to drive the transition to a low-carbon, clean-growth economy. We look forward to continued successes for ENERGY STAR in Canada in 2018.

Minister Carr

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, wishes everyone a happy ENERGY STAR Day, in celebration of Canada’s most popular energy efficiency program

To view the full video, please visit: Happy ENERGY STAR Day 2017 Canada!

 

Through hard work, collaborative spirit, and dedication to energy efficiency, the ENERGY STAR program continues to grow and expand in Canada. Learn about more about some of the most recent accomplishments, including:

  • ENERGY STAR for Industry certification, launched in August 2017, will improve energy efficiency in Canada's industrial sector by helping facilities track, analyze and reduce their energy consumption. Top performers will be ENERGY STAR certified. Building on this, the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry was announced earlier this month, and will recognize facilities that reduce their energy intensity by 10 percent or more within five years.
  • ENERGY STAR Benchmarking for Commercial and Institutional Buildings has 16,400 Canadian buildings benchmarking their energy usage through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, including 185 million square metres of floor space, representing more than one in five buildings. This will provide great momentum as the team prepares for an exciting announcement in early 2018.
  • In 2016, more than 7,500 ENERGY STAR Certified New Homes were constructed, providing Canadian families with an easy, whole-home solution to energy efficiency.  
  • Six new products joined the ENERGY STAR for Products family: commercial boilers, commercial coffee makers, electric vehicle chargers, laboratory-grade fridges and freezers, large network equipment, and smart thermostats. A remarkable 47 million ENERGY STAR-certified products were sold across 70 product types last year.  
  • Our ENERGY STAR social media feeds continue to gather steam, with a combined followership of 20,000 in English and 1,500 in French. If you’re not following us yet, check us out on Twitter and Facebook.

Don’t forget to celebrate with us next year!

Don’t miss the Real Property Institute of Canada National Workshop 2017!

The Real Property Institute of Canada (RPIC) will hold its National Workshop November 14–16, 2017, at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa under the theme “Canada’s Real Property – Beyond 150.” RPIC supports the development of high professional standards in the Canadian federal real property community through networking and professional development opportunities and the provision of research and development capacity. The workshop will be an excellent opportunity to learn about the latest on government policy, industry trends, innovation and technology of interest to the real property community. Session streams include:

  • Horizontal Collaboration/Clustering
  • Greening Government Operations/Clean Technology
  • Infrastructure Update
  • Security/Emergency Preparedness
  • Social Obligations

You won’t want to miss the keynote speaker Jeremy Rifkin, well known American economic and social theorist, writer, public speaker, political advisor, and activist.

On November 14, a professional development day will consist of several informative sessions on timely subjects, including:

Natural Resources Canada’s Buildings and Industry Division organized a session titled “Industry Leadership: Driving Towards Net Zero.” The session will feature presentations by five private sector experts in the field of net zero buildings, including EllisDon Global Director Andrew Bowerbank (“The Carbon Impact Initiative”) and BASF President Marcelo Lu (“Material and Technologies Supporting Net Zero”).

More information is available on the RPIC website.

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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.

September - Volume 4, Issue 9

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 4, Issue 9

Shoot to score! New 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for ice/curling rinks is here!

Shoot to score! New 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for ice/curling rinks is here!

Natural Resources Canada is pleased to announce that we have launched ice/curling rinks as our seventh building type eligible to receive a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score. Benchmarking with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager can help you set priorities for your ice/curling rinks. By measuring how your facility compares with other similar facilities across Canada, you will be able to identify poorly performing facilities, spot opportunities and build a sound business case for targeted investments that will reduce energy costs.

To learn more about benchmarking and energy efficiency for ice/curling rinks, see our Technical Reference Guide for ice/curling rinks [PDF – 778 KB].

Energy benchmarking and the City of Mississauga’s ice plant optimization pilot

City of Mississauga community centres and arenas make up 24 percent of the municipality’s annual energy consumption, making them ideal candidates for energy efficiency initiatives.

Through a successful energy reduction pilot, The City realized annual savings of more than $39,000, (more than doubling original estimates) without compromising ice quality.

The city plans to continue its energy- saving initiatives, including benchmarking with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

Among municipal facilities, community centres, ice rinks, pools and arenas are some of the highest energy consumers.  In the City of Mississauga, community centres and arenas make up 24 percent of its annual energy consumption, making these municipal facilities ideal candidates for energy efficiency initiatives.  This municipality has made a pledge of sustainability and are leading by example by continually seeking opportunities to save energy and reduce the impact on the environment.

In November 2016, Mississauga's energy management team conducted a pilot project at “Iceland Arena” to determine how refrigeration equipment optimization could reduce consumption and costs. By researching government and industry documents for guidelines on how best to conduct the pilot project and to determine best practices, the team estimated that they could reduce electricity use by about 5 to 10 percent by optimizing equipment and schedules.  At first, ice rink supervisors were reluctant to make changes because if something had gone wrong and ice quality had been compromised, the rink staff would have been on the front line of complaints.

The pilot project was a success.  Between November 2016 and July 2017, Iceland's refrigeration plant electricity consumption decreased by 22 percent in the winter weeks, more than double what had been expected, with annual savings of more than $39,000, all without compromising ice quality.  The team built upon the success of the pilot project by implementing another similar project at the municipality’s Hershey Centre where refrigeration plant optimization provided a reduction in peak demand by almost 100 kW and about a 10% drop in compressor run-hours.

Once the pilot project results were collated, the team asked their project champion - Michael Blazenko, Supervisor of Operations, Iceland Arena to make a presentation to other municipality arena supervisors. Blazenko’s presentation made a greater impression, because arena managers viewed the information as coming from one of their peers. In fact, once the results were shared, everyone wanted it for their rink.

Monitoring, tracking and benchmarking assisted the City of Mississauga to identify no cost and low cost saving opportunities. The city plans to use NRCan’s energy benchmarking tool – ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to support its energy reduction goals.

Selected highlights of the City of Mississauga’s energy reduction efforts:

Co-winner of the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority's Town Hall Challenge and winner of the Living City Energy Efficiency Award, 2015.

Recognized as one of the top performing participants as part of the Save on Energy program.

The city has targeted a 5% energy intensity reduction by 2019, and has already taken important steps to move in a more sustainable direction with the ultimate goal of making Mississauga a net zero carbon city.

The full case study will be posted on our Case Studies: Canadian Circle of Champions page shortly! Stay tuned.

SaskPower's Municipal Ice Rink Program

Many utilities offer audit and incentive programs to reduce energy, but SaskPower's Municipal Ice Rink Program (MIRP) is one of the few utility programs in Canada that specifically targets energy efficiency for hockey arenas and curling rinks.

Saskatchewan has among the highest, if not the highest, per capita rates of ice and curling rinks in Canada, and with community centres across the province facing ever-increasing energy costs, SaskPower saw a need in the market.

MIRP offers financial incentives for energy-efficient equipment and installations, customized incentives, walk-through audits to assess equipment and operating practices, and information about other energy saving opportunities, including Operating Efficient Rinks, a best practices guide for arena operators.

Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club before retrofits.

Marty Lelliot, program consultant with SaskPower, said that "Communities had been coming to us because they're cash-constrained and were wondering if we could provide relief, so in terms of customer relations, MIRP is rather unique," he said. To date, about 100 MIRP audits have been done, and communities have access to the MIRP incentives as well as SaskPower's other initiatives, such as the Commercial Lighting Incentive (CLI) program.

Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club

Lighting was already on the Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club's radar. "Curling Canada told us we had the darkest curling rink in Canada!" said John Toner, director of the club. When they saw a promotion for MIRP, they jumped on it.

Two SaskPower energy consultants conducted a walk-through of the club. "They gave us recommendations and also told us how we compared to other facilities in Saskatchewan. We were actually pretty good,” said Toner. The auditors' main recommendation was a lighting retrofit, a relatively low-cost project with a quick payback. The retrofit was financed through a combination of CLI rebates, Curling Canada's grant program, the club's capital improvement fund and fundraising activities, and in-kind donations of volunteer labour to remove the old lighting and install the new fixtures.

Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club after retrofits.

"We replaced 360 T8s and eight halide lights with 42 high-bay LED light fixtures," said Toner, adding that the light intensity above the curling surface increased from 16 foot candles to 36 foot candles. "It was a huge change for users. When we turned them on everyone noticed the difference!"

Annual maintenance costs of $4,000 to replace tubes and ballasts have been eliminated. "When we first replaced the lighting, I compared the bills after the first few months, and at that time we were saving about $600 on monthly electricity costs of $5,000," he said. His most recent estimates, which haven't yet been normalized for weather, show a reduction in power consumption and demand of between 2 and 12 percent during the curling season, on monthly costs of $7,000.

Torquay Arena

The Torquay Arena also had a MIRP audit done. Once again, lighting was found to be the biggest energy saving opportunity. The arena's metal halide lights, which could take fifteen minutes or more to come to full brightness, were switched for LEDs.

Davin Emmel, part owner of Dart Services, the company that installed the new lighting, said that lighting costs are a big part of the budget for smaller rinks. "The local rink is always struggling to keep the doors open, so we wanted to investigate the program."

Users benefit from better lighting quality and no more waiting for the lights to come up to full.  "Unlike in large cities, the lights were turned on and off several times a day," explained Emmel. "The new LEDs come on right away. "

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for ice/curling rinks

Ice/curling rink owners and operators can now join the benchmarking movement to measure their energy use and identify areas to improve. This fall, ice/curling rinks have become the seventh building type to be eligible for a Canadian ENERGY STAR score. Because of the high energy demands of creating and maintaining ice surfaces, energy management is particularly important for these facilities. The new score will give ice/curling rink managers a powerful tool to help them understand their energy performance, which is the first step to improving it. For more information, please visit What’s new with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

People matter: How social marketing can increase energy efficiency gains in ice rinks!

If you're involved with energy efficiency in any capacity, chances are you've heard some variation of this: "You can throw all the money and equipment you want at a problem, but if your staff isn't behind you, you're not going to see the savings."

Burlington, Ontario, used CBSM to engage operations staff to reduce energy at the city's ice rinks.

Through observations and informal surveys, energy management staff found that operators feared that changes in procedures would mean more work for them, or that complaints about rink conditions would increase. It also wasn't clear to operations staff how their behaviour affected energy consumption.

These barriers were addressed by creating standard operating procedures for all rinks, providing customized energy management training workshops to all operations staff, and holding a "road show" to promote the program and its benefits to other city staff.

Cumulatively, the eight rinks cut energy use by 9 percent, with two rinks achieving energy savings greater than 15 percent. Not only did comfort levels for users improve, but equipment was better maintained, which

In a nutshell: people matter. Their attitudes and behaviours can make the difference between a successful and a not-so-successful energy project. But how do you convince people to change their ways?

Community-based social marketing (CBSM) is a simple five-step process for fostering changes in people's behaviours, and was developed by Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr, an environmental psychologist, in the 1990s. CBSM aims to change people's behaviours by understanding their motivations, emphasizing direct contact and removing barriers. It also provides a set of "tools," which have been tested and found to be effective at changing behaviours. Some of these include prompts (cues to remind people to do an action), obtaining a commitment (asking for a pledge to do the behaviour) and incentives (financial or other rewards for taking action).

Jay Kassirer, a founding director of the International Social Marketing Association and the Social Marketing Association of North America, has more than 23 years' experience with CBSM programs and practices, and has contributed to many health and energy outreach programs, such as those offered by Green Communities, BC Hydro, and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. He is also the founder of Tools of Change, one of the largest publicly accessible collections of detailed behavioural energy efficiency case studies worldwide. The collection's Landmark case studies are peer reviewed by a panel of energy experts.

"One of the biggest contributions of CBSM is the focus on community and peer-to-peer support," said Kassirer. "Connections don't necessarily need to be face to face—that's a great approach, but it can be expensive—you can also phone people, send personalized emails, use social media. There are many different ways that community members can reach out to each other."

Kassirer shared his tips on how to use CBSM effectively.

"The most important point is to select the behaviour or behaviours you want to change," he said. Although this may seem like an obvious first step, Kassirer said that it's often not done in a systematic manner, despite the fact that this choice can greatly influence what the program achieves. Some program organizers may also promote too many behaviour changes, which can overwhelm people.

"Once you've decided on the behaviour or behaviours you want to change, you need to determine related barriers and benefits and understand and address the audience's motivation," Kassirer said. If you want people to turn off lights and equipment at the office, you need to know why they aren't doing it already. Perhaps they think that the office cleaners will do it, maybe they've never thought about it, maybe they think that such a small action isn't worth the effort.

CBSM offers a set of synergistic tools that can help develop the strategy, but Kassirer cautioned that it's worth paying attention to a couple of associated pitfalls.

"Program organizers may hear that prompts or asking for a commitment are good tools to use, but haven't checked if people actually want to do the behaviour," said Kassirer. "You have to keep the audience's motivation in mind. If they haven't decided to do the behaviour yet, when you get to delivering the program, those tools won't work."

Similarly, financial incentives can sometimes hamper efforts.  Although they can be effective in one-time programs—such as rebates for electric vehicles—they aren't well-suited to actions that are ongoing, like energy efficiency. "You have to be careful that incentives don’t undermine intrinsic motivation," said Kassirer. "The most successful incentives are tied to specific objectives." 

The last steps involve piloting, implementing, and evaluating the program, and just like many energy efficiency projects, CBSM is an ongoing process—you don't just do it once. The most successful strategies begin with a pilot program to test concepts and methods; the lessons learned from the pilot stage are then incorporated into the full program implementation.

"The best CBSM programs are ones that are continually coming up with and testing refinements," said Kassirer. "They're always trying out different methods to reach and better engage with different audiences, and testing out new tactics, even once the program is up and running."

Community-based social marketing is a simple but highly effective way to increase energy efficiency returns. By focusing on your people and what motivates them, identifying the barriers to the desired behaviour, and designing programs to overcome those hurdles, any organization can encourage more energy-efficient behaviours over the long term.

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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.

August - Volume 4, Issue 8

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 4, Issue 8

Volume 4, Issue 8

Save energy, reduce cost to improve environmental performance of your facility with the new 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for ice/curling rinks coming this fall.

Make energy efficiency in arenas your first goal!

Save energy, reduce costs and to improve the environmental performance of your facility with the new 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for ice/curling rinks coming this fall!

Replacing old compressors brings new life to Tweed Arena

Tweed Building

As in so many rural communities, the Tweed-Hungerford Community Centre (the "Tweed Arena") is the hub of community activity, attracting both locals and those from outside the municipality. From September to April, the Tweed Arena is filled with the swooshing sounds of minor hockey league players and figure skaters as they glide across the ice; in summer, the arena hosts a variety of events like ball hockey, circuses, tradeshows, concerts and receptions.

Many local arenas are finding it increasingly hard to make ends meet, however. Rachelle Hardesty, Manager of Community Development, Parks and Recreation, said that many community centres in Canada are suffering from rising costs and a lack of funding.

"Tweed is a hockey town," said Hardesty, "And we need to make changes to keep it that way. Some community centres may have to close down, but in the meantime, the cost to taxpayers to keep them open is incredible." Tweed increased its user fees by $2/hour—the first increase in five years—but Hardesty said it's not enough. "We have one of the lowest user fee rates, we are at capacity for all our bookings, but we're still struggling with energy costs."

In 2014, the Tweed Arena's annual electricity costs were $27,000; in 2015, they more than doubled to $60,000. Part of the increase, Hardesty explained, was due to an ammonia leak, which meant that fans had to run continuously for about three weeks, but the other major factor was weather.

"When we did our rink start up in September 2015, we were making ice when it was 32 ° Celsius outside. We delayed the rink opening by two weeks, which helped a bit with hydro costs, but we knew that something had to change."

Tweed received a $118,250 Canada 150 grant that will pay for half of an energy retrofit at the Tweed Arena. The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program is investing $300 million to retrofit and improve existing community infrastructure assets and facilities.

"Without the grant, we wouldn't have been able to go forward," said Hardesty. The work includes a lighting retrofit and replacing old ice compressors. "Our compressors are at least 30 years old. We don't really know how old they are because they were hand-me-downs," Hardesty explained.

By the end of July 2017, all of the Tweed Arena's 430 lights had been replaced with LEDs. Preliminary data suggests that the retrofit will pay for itself in less than two years. Replacing the compressors will begin later this year.

The work will involve installing a new CIMCO Seasonal Plus controller with floating head pressure and an infrared camera for the ice slab, and three soft starters, which will be supplied and installed in the existing control panel. "Instead of reading the temperature below the ice, this system reads the surface temperature and makes it easier to control ice quality," Hardesty explained.

On top of the Canada 150 grant, Tweed Council also recently approved the purchase of two new gas water heaters to replace the electric ones, at a cost of $13,000.

"Our worst fear is that we won't be able to afford the arena," said Hardesty. "We can now, but our main goal is to keep that community hub going. It's a challenge for everyone, but we're trying to be proactive and are always looking for ways to save money."

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for community centres and ice/curling rinks

Ice and curling rink owners and operators can now join the benchmarking movement to measure their energy use and identify areas to improve. This fall, ice/curling rinks will become the seventh building type to be eligible for a Canadian ENERGY STAR score. Because of the high energy demands of creating and maintaining ice surfaces, energy management is particularly important for these facilities. The new score will give ice/curling rink managers a powerful tool to help them understand their energy performance, which is the first step to improving it. For more information, please visit What’s new with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager

ENERGY STAR leader Bentall Kennedy synchronizes its data with Portfolio Manager

Tweed Building

Quick Facts

Bentall Kennedy is one of the largest global real estate investment advisors and one of North America’s foremost providers of real estate services.

Portfolio:

700+ properties

90 million sq. ft. / 8,361,274 m2

Since 2011, normalized energy intensity has decreased by 12.6 percent in Bentall Kennedy’s Canadian office portfolio.

At Bentall Kennedy, sustainability isn’t only about protecting our environment – vital as that is. It is a catalyst for strengthening tenant relationships and continuous innovation. It also enhances long-term value by increasing property occupancy and income, reducing the risk of obsolescence, and strengthening tenant loyalty, all while reducing emissions to protect our environment.

– Giselle Gagnon, Senior Vice President, Strategic Resources Group, Bentall Kennedy

When ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager was launched in Canada in 2013, Bentall Kennedy was ready for it. Already an ENERGY STAR Partner in the U.S., the company had expanded its energy benchmarking program to its entire North American portfolio. Today, the average ENERGY STAR score of Bentall Kennedy’s 170 Canadian properties benchmarked in Portfolio Manager is a remarkable 81, making the company overall a top quartile performer.

Bentall Kennedy has tracked energy consumption since 2003 with a customized system developed in partnership with an advanced energy engineering and software services firm.

"At the time, energy management tools didn't have the capabilities we were looking for, so our system was born out of necessity," explained Anna Murray, Vice President, Sustainability.

Bentall Kennedy's information system, Eco Tracker, tracks, manages, benchmarks, and reports energy, water, waste, emissions and other sustainability data. It also includes an automated data exchange service that synchronizes utility and building data directly with Portfolio Manager.

Image of buildings

"Access to historical and interval data is fundamental to our efforts," said Murray. "It gives property managers the information they need to make the best operational decisions."

Bentall Kennedy's energy consultants work directly with property managers and other building staff to analyze the data and identify improvement opportunities. On average, they see ENERGY STAR scores improving two to three times faster at properties that have access to interval and real-time data than at properties that don't.

“A data-driven approach to ongoing retro-commissioning, ‘Operational Analytics,’ has been successfully employed across a number of our properties, and we've achieved an average energy reduction of 21 percent," said Murray.

For example, engaging in Operational Analytics at 150 King Street West, a twenty eight-storey office and retail building in Toronto, gave operators the information they needed to adjust under-performing mechanical and electrical systems, and identify where additional measures or upgrades were needed. Within five years, the building's ENERGY STAR score increased from 63 to 80.

It also assists with green building certifications, which require accurate and complete data to assess building performance. Bentall Kennedy has 427 certified BOMA BEST buildings and 45 buildings certified under LEED Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance. The company has 36 ENERGY STAR-certified buildings in the U.S., and management is excited that certification will soon be available in Canada.

Phantom of the Outlet Poster

Bentall Kennedy's green program, ForeverGreen, is accessible to all tenants and third-party managers. The program aims to provide content and resources to help improve the sustainable performance of managed buildings while also leading to cleaner, greener and more enjoyable places for tenants to work. Communication resources are distributed to all property management teams across North America and include sustainability-themed monthly posters, tri-annual newsletters, a tenant walk-through checklist, and more.

"We find that tenants are becoming more proactive and are increasingly looking for efficiencies that they can implement,” said Murray. “The intent of ForeverGreen is to provide them with the resources that will help to facilitate this.”

Keys to success

  1. Complete, accurate and trusted data. Although it can be challenging to keep all inputs accurate and up to date, data analysis is the foundation on which all Bentall Kennedy's decisions are made. A complete energy picture leads to better energy decisions.
  2. People are behind the numbers. By focusing on stakeholder engagement that is consistent and transparent, and using highly visual, eye-catching materials, Bentall Kennedy encourages an environment where new and innovative energy ideas are welcome.
  3. Develop the business case. Murray said that costs, not environmental issues, resonate the most with their stakeholders when trying to gain initial buy-in. "The opportunities will present themselves almost right away and you can easily show them the direct results in cost savings."

Whether you own, manage or hold properties for investment, Portfolio Manager can help you set investment priorities, identify under-performing buildings, verify efficiency improvements, facilitate accreditation in Canadian green building programs, and more. Portfolio Manager is a free, easy-to-use, nationally standardized system, backed by the Government of Canada and widely adopted by industry stakeholders. To learn more about Portfolio Manager and how it can benefit your organization, visit Natural Resources Canada at: nrcan.gc.ca/ENERGYSTARPortfolioManager, or contact info.services@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca for more information.

Top U.S. utilities offer Portfolio Manager web services

As the primary providers of energy efficiency programs, utilities are key facilitators in energy management. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently released its first Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard, ranking the 51 largest electric utilities in the U.S. in terms of the number, type and level of innovation of the energy efficiency programs delivered.

The ACEEE examined metrics in three categories: quantitative savings and spending performance, program diversity and emerging areas, and efficiency-related regulatory issues. It found that leading utilities generally offer at least 20 energy efficiency programs, sometimes including support for smart thermostats, residential geo-targeting, net-zero energy buildings, and advanced space-heating heat pumps.

The energy efficiency offerings of nine of the ACEEE’s top eleven utilities include providing their customers with easy access to data for energy benchmarking. Seven of these offer Portfolio Manager web services to input customer data directly into their Portfolio Manager accounts. Most of them also offer aggregate energy data for multi-tenant buildings to streamline the data entry process for these buildings. The use of Portfolio Manager web services offers a win-win situation for both utilities and customers. Web services enable clients to pursue energy efficiency projects more quickly, and utilities to better understand their customers’ buildings, allowing them to target energy programs even better.

Let us help you with your retrofit project!

Major Retrofit Guidelines ModuleMajor Energy Retrofit Guidelines: Principles for Commercial and Institutional Buildings [PDF – 2 MB] are now available. These guidelines provide you with a proven strategy to assess, plan, implement and maintain energy retrofits for your building. Check back soon on our Energy retrofits page for more modules, including:

  • Office Buildings
  • K-12 Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Hotels/Models
  • Supermarkets
  • Food Stores

Ontario consulting on proposed changes to the Ontario Building Code

Starting on July 14, 2017, the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs began seeking stakeholder and public input on proposed changes to the Ontario Building Code. The consultation and proposed Building Code changes include provisions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the buildings sector in support of the Ontario government’s Climate Change Action Plan. The proposals included in the consultation are for potential inclusion in the next edition of the Ontario Building Code. Among the proposed changes that pertain to large buildings (greater than three storeys or 600 m2), are the following key items:

  • Option to meet air-tightness targets in exchange for credits (proposed in-effect date: 2019)
  • Requirements to improve the energy efficiency of buildings undergoing renovations (proposed in-effect date: 2019)
  • Electric vehicle charging stations in new multi-unit residential buildings (proposed in-effect date: 2019)
  • Green building standards and green roofs (proposed in-effect date: 2019)
  • Removal of exceptions when calculating certain thermal bridging effects (proposed in-effect date: 2020)
  • Further 20 percent decrease in energy consumption (proposed in-effect date: 2022)
  • Mandatory air-tightness testing without a specified target (proposed in-effect date: 2022)
  • Trade-off limitation to building envelope (proposed in-effect date: 2022)

Visit the Ontario Building Code website for a full description of the proposed changes. If you are interested in taking part in the consultation process, please submit your comments by September 29, 2017.

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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.

July - Volume 4, Issue 7

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 4, Issue 7

Want to remain up to date?

Check out our Buildings: What’s new? page for the latest details on:

  • ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Updates
  • Canadian ENERGY STAR certification for buildings
  • New resources and more!
 
Hockey player scores a goal

Make energy efficiency in arenas your first goal!

Save energy, reduce costs and to improve the environmental performance of your facility with the new 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for ice/curling rinks coming this fall!

Don’t put potential savings on ice: Quebec funding program for modernizing ice/curling rinks

gold dollar sign

More and more Quebec municipal ice/curling rink operators are shooting to score big savings by retrofitting or replacing their refrigeration systems running on ozone-depleting chemicals thanks to Quebec government funding support for refrigeration modernization.

The program stems from a desire to adhere to the Montreal Protocol, which seeks to reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of substances that harm the earth’s ozone layer. Thus, the program is setting aside $31 million to specifically target the replacement/retrofitting of refrigeration systems that use R-12 and R-22 refrigerants.

After the first call for proposals under the program in 2012, the government funded 26 modernization projects for a total of $22 million. The second call in the summer of 2016 resulted in 80 completed projects totalling $57 million in financial support.

To build on this success, Quebec’s Ministry of Education, Recreation and Sport (le ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport) is launching another call for projects targeted at municipal, educational and not-for-profit organizations that operate ice/curling rinks. Eligible projects, which must be completed by March 31, 2020, can receive financial support of up to 50 percent of admissible project costs.

Interested organizations will start by applying for a feasibility study that will inform a decision to either replace or convert the system. Once a decision has been made, the Ministry will provide the tools necessary to go forward with a project application, such as project cost templates, sample submissions and additional guides to help applicants.

Refrigeration modernization is a key step in optimizing energy use in ice/curling rinks, but other energy saving opportunities exist as well. Energy benchmarking is an excellent approach to identifying energy efficiency opportunities, and is the basis for sound and comprehensive energy management given the high energy demands of rinks.

Already benchmarking the energy use of your ice/curling rink? Stay tuned for updates on the upcoming 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for ice/curling rinks. This new score will give ice/curling rink managers a better understanding of their facility’s energy performance — the first step to improving it.

For more information about the program, visit the Ministry website (available only in French) and see the full article on the program (available only in French). You can also learn more about the Survey of Energy Consumption in Arenas, which provided the basis for the upcoming ENERGY STAR score for ice/curling rinks.

Start benchmarking today to learn how to save money in your facility!

B.C. school district shines thanks to successful lighting retrofits

Schools throughout B.C.’s School District No. 43 (SD 43), in Coquitlam, have been retrofitting their lighting systems, with huge results. The district leads the province in energy efficiency upgrades, with numerous projects already completed and more underway.

image of classroom

The energy efficiency campaign started with an LED lighting pilot project at Citadel Middle School, initiated by the district’s Assistant Director of Maintenance Operations. Poroshat Assadian, SD 43’s Energy Manager, recognized that the school’s lighting fixtures — a mix of T-8 fluorescent, compact fluorescent, metal halide, and incandescent — were at the end of their life cycle and accounted for more than 50 percent of the school’s energy consumption. Moreover, many classrooms were overlit, which can cause headaches for students and make it harder to concentrate in class.

 

Recognizing the significant savings that could be gained from a retrofit, Assadian made a business case that secured the support of school administrators. With an additional incentive from BC Hydro, the return on investment of the project was less than six years. During the retrofits, 1,000 of the school’s 1,500 fixtures were updated, and 500 were removed entirely.

In addition to fixture replacements, the school upgraded the control system by adding dimmable switches with independent front and back zones. Classrooms, hallways, washrooms and the gymnasium now have dual occupancy sensors, so that light levels in these areas can now be dimmed when the areas are unoccupied.

"With benchmarking, we can compare schools within the district and to other schools in the province and the rest of Canada.” - Poroshat Assadian, SD 43 Energy Manager

The project was completed in March 2016 and has reduced electrical energy consumption at the school by 40 percent. Assadian adds that the lighting power density was also reduced from 17.2 watts per square metre to 5.7, which is well below guidelines set out in the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings and ASHRAE standards.

 

Following overwhelmingly positive feedback from Citadel’s administrators, teachers and students, the school district completed another LED lighting retrofit at Como Lake Middle School in the summer of 2016, with an expected 25-percent savings in electricity consumption. A similar project at the district’s largest school, Terry Fox Secondary, was completed in December 2016.

Assadian notes that these LED lighting retrofits and other energy efficiency projects in the schools have saved the district a total of 1,427,000 kWh in electricity and 15,645 GJ in natural gas. Just last year, the energy cost savings from energy retrofit projects and incentives from BC Hydro and FortisBC returned a total of $800,000 to the district.

Better lights for better learning

The benefits of the LED retrofits go far beyond the energy savings, says Assadian. The new LED lights provide better classroom environments with less noise, require less maintenance and, most importantly, can be adjusted according to student and teacher needs.

The new lights even appear to have a positive effect on learning. Assadian is now piloting another project in the district in partnership with BC Hydro and the University of British Columbia. The project will test the impact of tunable white lights on the learning behaviour and well-being of special needs students at Riverside Secondary. Cory Farquharson, BC Hydro Key Account Manager, is excited about the prospect that the SD 43 pilot project could improve classroom environments for educators and students while being energy efficient and sustainable. 

Assadian encourages other school districts to pursue lighting and other energy efficiency retrofits. She notes that with the ever decreasing cost of LED lighting, there is no reason not to retrofit.

She also notes that energy benchmarking set the stage for the retrofits that followed. Benchmarking allows users to track utility and water consumption, and analyze historical energy usage. “With benchmarking, we can compare schools within the district and to other schools in the province and the rest of Canada.”

As Assadian’s experience shows, schools that are thinking of switching to more efficient lighting and implementing other energy efficiency upgrades should start energy benchmarking with tools such as ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Those school districts or schools already benchmarking can use Portfolio Manager to obtain a score for their K-12 schools. Stay tuned to the  What’s new with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager? page for news and updates.

For the full article, please visit: School District 43 has the light stuff

Google achieves LEED v4 certification for its Kitchener office

Google Inc. has joined the elite ranks of building owners who have achieved LEED v4 certification. The company’s new 9,290 square-metre Google Offices Phase 1, located in a historic building in Kitchener, Ontario, recently earned LEED v4 Silver certification. The project, one of the first LEED v4 certifications for Google, will help guide the company in its future sustainable building projects.

LEED v4 is becoming the international standard for the design, construction and operation of high-performance structures. This newest version of LEED raises the bar for sustainable building performance while allowing considerable flexibility. LEED v4 focuses on the nature of building materials and their impacts, indoor environmental quality, smart grid thinking, and water efficiency.

Because indoor air quality was a priority for Google, the building was retrofitted with a ventilation system that maximizes intake of outdoor air. Many of the project’s LEED credits were also earned through the company’s attention to healthy material selection: every material used in the building retrofit was carefully selected to reduce or eliminate toxic substances in the workplace.

The building also features extensive sub-metering to better monitor energy use and identify further energy saving opportunities. Water-efficient fixtures were installed with reduced flush volumes, which are expected to lead to savings of 500,000 litres annually.

Google also considered the environmental implications of its location. The Phase 1 office is located in downtown Kitchener, in the city’s warehouse district, with easy access to public transit and bicycle paths.

Building owners striving to achieve LEED v4 certification or other green building certification can start identifying energy efficiency opportunities by energy benchmarking with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Energy benchmarking is the best way to measure the energy performance of a building over time relative to other similar buildings. If the building is older, owners/managers can implement many measures to improve energy efficiency for existing buildings, as did Google Inc. for its Kitchener location.

For additional information about Google’s LEED v4 office in Kitchener, visit: Google office obtains LEED v4 certification and Google office: Phase 1 in Kitchener, Ontario.

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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.

June - Volume 4, Issue 6

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 4, Issue 6

Want to remain up to date?

Check out our Buildings: What’s new? page for the latest details on:

  • ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Updates
  • Canadian ENERGY STAR certification for buildings
  • New resources and more!

Energy efficiency upgrades to commemorate Canada’s 150th

Commemorate Canada's 150th

 

In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, Canadians from coast to coast to coast will celebrate our country’s history, not just on Parliament Hill, but in their own communities, at their local arenas and recreation centres. So what better year to make sure that those community gathering spots are as energy-efficient as they can be?

To mark the celebration, the Government of Canada’s Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program is investing $300 million to retrofit and improve existing community infrastructure assets and facilities, including projects that ensure a better future for Indigenous peoples and promote a clean growth economy, such as upgrades that reduce water and energy, or installing renewable energy systems.

The Stoney Tribal Nation in Morley, Alberta, for example, received $150,000 for renovations to the Morley Community Recreation Centre. “This is one of the central community buildings,” said Ken Christensen, Acting Tribal Administrator and CFO. “It’s primarily used for hockey, but other events are held there.”

Morley Recreation Centre

Photograph by Tim Hall. Reprinted with permission.

Garry VanKeimpema, the project’s engineer, said that the funding was used to upgrade the centre’s changing rooms – including new tiles for the showers, walls and floor; new water-efficient fixtures; and LED lighting – and to replace the flat roof.

“There was hardly any insulation up there at all before,” said VanKeimpema. “We took out the old flat roof, stripped it down and rebuilt it, with much more insulation.” The insulation level has been improved to R-22, from what was likely R-8 or lower.

According to research conducted by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, community centres are the largest energy consumers for many municipalities. They operate for many hours a day, seven days a week, and can have a variety of different uses—ice rinks, swimming pools, gymnasiums, public meeting spaces—all with different energy needs.

That’s certainly the case for The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre in Banff, Alberta. The Fenlands, which boasts two hockey rinks, four sheets of curling ice, and several offices and other community function spaces, is the largest municipal consumer of electricity after the water treatment plant (electricity costs were more than $130,000 per year in 2015).

Funding from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (CIP 150) will cover about half of the cost to add a 280-kW solar array to The Fenlands roof; the work is expected to be completed in June 2017. Shannon Ripley, Banff’s Manager of Environmental Services, said that the array will generate about one quarter (23 percent) of the centre’s annual electricity consumption, and save the town about $15,000 per year in electricity costs. A real-time energy display in the centre’s lobby will also let users see how much power the array is producing.

The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre

“As an active mountain community, recreation helps foster our personal wellness, social cohesion, and quality of life for everyone,” said Ripley. “In addition to being great for solar, The Fenlands is a prominent location for education programs with both locals and visitors.”

In 2009, The Fenlands was entirely rebuilt to LEED Silver standards. “During its renovation, The Fenlands was fitted with a new roof made with highly durable Glulam beams, giving it a life expectancy of around 100 years,” Ripley explained. “This makes it an ideal foundation for a solar energy project, which itself is expected to be operational for at least 25 to 30 years.”

Lighting retrofits may not be as glamourous as a solar array, but switching to high-efficiency lighting is one of the most cost-effective energy projects that can be done. Even the simplest upgrades can save 50 percent or more in electricity costs.

The Chestermere Regional Recreation Centre will replace the approximately 160 lights in their two hockey rinks, curling rink, hallways, and lobby space this July. CIP 150 funding will cover about half of the $90,000 cost.

Happy Birthday, Canada!

The Government of Canada’s Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program is investing $300 million to retrofit and improve existing community infrastructure assets and facilities.

“Energy upgrades can be costly, so when you have grants like this, it really helps,” said Jody Nouwen, General Manager of the Chestermere Regional Community Association. Chestermere will also be trying out a relatively new lighting technology for the lobby and hallways: LED panel lights. “Instead of changing individual bulbs, the whole panel will be replaced,” she said. “We’ve seen the panels in other places, and it definitely makes things lighter and brighter, and will save on maintenance costs, too.”

The City of Airdrie, 150 kilometres east of Banff, is also benefitting from CIP 150 funding. A grant of about $293,000 will cover half the cost to upgrade the siding and insulation at the 25-year-old Ron Ebbesen Arena, with the city covering the remaining costs.  An earlier energy audit of the arena indicated that the building could lower its carbon footprint by adding more insulation and new siding. The upgrades are expected to improve the arena’s insulation level from R-2 to R-20.

Ice and curling rink owners and operators can join the benchmarking movement now to measure their energy use and identify areas to improve. This fall, ice/curling rinks will become the seventh building type to be eligible for a Canadian ENERGY STAR score. Because of the high energy demands of creating and maintaining ice surfaces, energy management is particularly important for these facilities. The new score will give ice/curling rink managers a powerful tool to help them understand their energy performance, which is the first step to improving it. For more information, please visit What’s new with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager

Hockey player scores a goal

Make energy efficiency in arenas your first goal!

Save energy, reduce costs and to improve the environmental performance of your facility with the new 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for ice/curling rinks coming this fall!

Edmonton launches three-year energy benchmarking pilot

Logo The City of Edmonton

On June 5, 2017, the City of Edmonton kicked off its three-year Large Building Energy Reporting & Disclosure (LBERD) pilot program to benchmark the energy performance of its largest buildings (20,000 sq. ft. or larger).

Participating building owners and managers will have access to technical support, workshops and other educational opportunities; incentives to help offset the cost of an energy audit; information on provincial and federal rebate and incentive programs; and the advice and experience of local experts and energy champions. A recognition program will also highlight the buildings that reduce the most energy and emissions.

Benchmarking often reveals how small changes can reap big savings. Building owners and managers are often pleasantly surprised that low-cost, operational improvements can yield energy savings of five to fifteen percent. Learn more from Natural Resources Canada's Recommissioning Guide for Building Owners and Managers.

Edmonton selected ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to benchmark, report, and disclose energy data for the pilot. The free, web-based tool allows users to compare building energy consumption and energy performance metrics, including GHG emissions, for a single building or across an entire portfolio. Participating owners and managers will need to open a Portfolio Manager account, if they don’t have one already.

“Benchmarking is valuable because it’s the starting point for awareness of whole-building energy use and how that energy relates to similar buildings,” said Lisa Dockman, the City’s Energy Transition Project Manager. “It shows you where you stand now, who you compare to, and what you can anticipate.”

The results of other similar programs show an average two percent energy reduction across all buildings. “That may not sound like a lot,” said Dockman, “but if that continues for five years, you’ll have a 10 percent energy reduction.” The City will lead by example, registering 20 of its owned or operated buildings in the first year, and eventually registering 120 of its buildings.

While buildings collectively represent a significant proportion of municipal GHG emissions, they typically emit modest GHG emissions on an individual basis. The key to unlocking the potential across an entire building stock is therefore dependent on scaling GHG mitigation measures across almost all buildings to achieve Edmonton’s climate goals. The challenge is to engage the whole market in energy efficiency.

Edmonton's Community Energy Transition Strategy

LBERD is the first municipally-led benchmarking program of its kind in Canada, and was devised to be the first step in transforming the building energy efficiency market from the bottom up. The City wants to use the data to steer future energy improvements, and ultimately, make all buildings more efficient.

“The Government of Canada’s Pan Canadian Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change also indicates that labelling of building energy use will be regulated nationwide as early as 2019,” said Dockman. “LBERD will help Edmonton’s building owners prepare for future regulation and take advantage of existing government incentives.”

Whether you own, manage or hold properties for investment, Portfolio Manager can help you set investment priorities, identify under-performing buildings, verify efficiency improvements, facilitate accreditation in Canadian green building programs, and more. Portfolio Manager is a free, easy-to-use, nationally standardized system, backed by the Government of Canada and widely adopted by industry stakeholders. To learn more about Portfolio Manager and how it can benefit your organization, visit Natural Resources Canada at: nrcan.gc.ca/ENERGYSTARPortfolioManager, or contact info.services@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca for more information.

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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.

May - Volume 4, Issue 5

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 4, Issue 5

Want to remain up to date?

Check out our Buildings: What’s new? page for the latest details on:

  • ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Updates
  • Canadian ENERGY STAR certification for buildings
  • New resources and more!

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Data Snapshots are coming!

Ever wondered how many buildings are registered in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager? Are you aware of the energy benchmarking trends within your province or territory? Soon you will be able to find out all sorts of valuable data through our new series of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Data Snapshots. The Snapshots will provide you with up-to-date statistics on the buildings entered into Portfolio Manager. Stay tuned!

Learn more about ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Data Snapshots

Edmonton’s LEED-certified Rogers Place sets the bar high for new sports facilities

Rogers Place will soon have the honour of being the first NHL venue in Canada to be LEED Silver certified. The 93,000-m2 arena is part of a new 25-acre mixed-use development site in Edmonton, and officially opened in September 2016. Thanks to its many sustainable features and programs, Rogers Place sets the bar high for new sports facilities.

Rogers Place

Mike McFaul, assistant general manager of facility operations at Rogers Place and a founding member of the Green Sports Alliance, has been planning some of the waste management, green cleaning and energy use initiatives that would contribute to the building’s LEED certification since before it even opened. He also acknowledges the advantages of working with a building that was designed for efficiency from day one.

For example, Rogers Place has low-flow, efficient water fixtures, electric vehicle charging stations, LED lighting, and motion sensors. A LEED green cleaning program is already in place, and other programs, such as a sustainable procurement policy and lighting and HVAC scheduling to match occupancy, are in the works.

The facility also has a robust waste management strategy that started during construction. Almost 90 percent of construction debris was recycled, and nearly 20 percent of all construction materials came from recycled and/or local materials or contained recycled content. Now that the facility is up and running, its recycling and composting efforts have already enabled it to hit and exceed its 90 percent landfill diversion target.

For McFaul, investing in sustainable options makes good economic sense: “Hauling organic materials to a compost facility is less expensive than sending it to landfill. Consuming less energy is less expensive; green cleaning programs cost no more than the alternative.”

The facility’s downtown location also helped in its bid for LEED certification, because it promotes the use of the city’s public transit system as well as active transport such as walking and cycling. A sustainability committee is being organized to develop and oversee future environmental initiatives to make sure that the building’s performance is maintained or improved over time.

McFaul notes that “we have a unique opportunity and, perhaps, a social responsibility to do those things. It’s not only good for business, but it actually enhanced our brands, we engaged better with communities and it opened doors to new markets.”

Similar sports venues and municipally-owned or run ice/curling rinks can implement some of the features found at Rogers Place by retrofitting their facilities with LED lighting, motion sensors and efficient water fixtures. Arenas can go further by energy benchmarking with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to identify additional and ongoing energy saving opportunities. To enable these facilities to become even more energy efficient, NRCan will be launching a new score for ice and curling rinks in the fall of 2017.

With this launch, ice and curling rinks will become the seventh building type to be eligible for a Canadian ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager score. The score will help with energy management, which is critical for these facilities, given the high energy demands of creating and maintaining ice surfaces. With the new score, managers will have the opportunity to better understand their facility’s energy performance and find the tools to improve it.

Facility managers who are aiming for LEED certification and/or other environmental recognition or those planning new building construction should consider efficient building design and modelling and best practices for new buildings. Resources offered on the energy efficiency for new buildings page will also support new sustainable construction.

For more information on the sustainability features of Rogers Place and its LEED Silver certification, read the following articles: Rogers Place scores green, sets stadium standard and First LEED-Silver NHL facility in Canada.

To stay up to date with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, visit: What’s new with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager

The countless benefits of energy benchmarking

Investments in well-built, zero or nearly-zero energy buildings will generate long-term economic, health and environmental benefits for Canadians. The time to invest in energy-efficient buildings is now, with easy-to-use tools and resources to help building owners and managers readily accessible.

Money stacks with green leaves

Energy efficiency stimulates the economy. According to research, for every $1 million invested in energy efficiency, $3 to 4 million is generated in economic growth. Energy-efficient buildings are more comfortable and healthier for occupants, thanks to better air quality and reduced mold and drafts. This results in lower vacancies, increased resale value, higher tenant retention, and greater portfolio value.

NRCan has been promoting these and other benefits of energy-efficient buildings for decades and, since 2006, has consulted with building sector stakeholders to develop a national energy benchmarking initiative to accelerate the adoption of energy benchmarking across the buildings sector.

Now, more than 10 years later, numerous sectors are using the Canadian adaptation of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager launched in 2013, which makes energy benchmarking now easy for the buildings industry. ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is Canada’s standard benchmarking tool and is based on national statistics that allow for comparison and scoring of buildings compared to others.

It is never too late to improve energy efficiency, and energy benchmarking is an easy way to improve the energy efficiency of new buildings and existing ones. Energy benchmarking and energy audits enable building owners and managers to identify underperforming buildings, inefficient equipment and other energy efficiency issues. Once issues have been identified, priorities and goals can be set to increase energy performance and reduce overall energy costs.

In addition to cutting costs, companies that embark on energy benchmarking will be at the forefront of new energy-efficient technologies and will stay up to date with changing energy regulations. Start benchmarking now with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and reap these and many other benefits.

For more information about the benefits of energy benchmarking, visit:

BC Hydro: Benchmarking with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager gets even easier

BC Hydro logo

Energy benchmarking with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is already user friendly. But now, BC Hydro’s new ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager web services, which connects directly to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, are making it even easier for eligible customers to access their energy consumption data. These services enable BC Hydro to automatically upload customers’ electricity usage data every month, making benchmarking effortless for building owners and managers. BC Hydro is now the second Canadian utility to offer web services, following Manitoba Hydro.

BC Hydro’s web services interface directly with Portfolio Manager, enabling customers to access the benefits of energy benchmarking quickly. Once customers have set up their Portfolio Manager accounts and entered their property and meter information, they can connect with BC Hydro’s web services. From there, users select which properties and meters they want to share for data exchange, and their electricity use data will be available within 24 hours. In addition to regular monthly uploads, BC Hydro will also add up to three years of an organization’s past electricity use data.

Would you like to benefit from automatic uploads via web services? Ask your utility to consider offering Portfolio Manager web services.

In 2016, Manitoba Hydro became the first Canadian utility to offer web services to help organizations on their energy efficiency journey with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. In January 2017, it also launched its Race to Reduce challenge, the first Canadian building energy challenge to offer participants the added benefit of uploading their utility data automatically into Portfolio Manager via web services

Other utilities and energy management service providers that would like to implement web services can visit Data exchange with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager web services or contact info.services@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca for more information.

For more information about Portfolio Manager web services, visit: 

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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.

April - Volume 4, Issue 4

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 4, Issue 4

Want to remain up to date?

Check out our Buildings: What’s new? page for the latest details on:

  • ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Updates
  • Canadian ENERGY STAR Certification for Buildings
  • New Resources and more!

Going green pays off for Okanagan College

Two green building projects at Okanagan College in Kelowna, B.C., took top honours at the 2017 Tommie awards held by the Canadian Home Builders Association. The College’s new Trades Complex was recognized with the Best Environmental Initiative in Construction award, and the Wilden Living Lab took home the FortisBC Award for Building Energy Efficiency.

The Tommie Awards showcase vision, talent and commitment in the Okanagan valley building industry and are awarded for a variety of building innovations, including environmental and energy efficiency initiatives. The Best Environmental Initiative in Construction category recognizes sustainability efforts such as recycling and waste minimization, carbon footprint reduction, and energy management and/or water efficiency. The FortisBC award can go to any facility that uses natural gas and shows innovative measures to increase energy efficiency.  

Okanagan valley building
 

The Trades Complex project involved a 10,000 square metre renovation and expansion of existing facilities. The existing space was retrofitted with environmental upgrades, and a three-storey learning space and workshops were added. The facility has incorporated numerous energy-efficient and sustainable elements in an effort to earn LEED Platinum certification and achieve net zero energy performance.

The building’s sustainable features include the following:

  • A connection with a neighbouring wastewater treatment plant to make use of the excess heat from its treated effluent as a source of energy
  • A large photovoltaic solar array that generates enough power to run 25 homes per year
  • Smart technologies such as window automation that regulates heating and cooling based on temperature and sun position
  • On-demand ventilation that significantly reduces energy use in workshops

The Wilden Living Lab is an innovative study project — the only one of its kind in North America — that allows students to monitor and compare the energy use in two homes with the same floor plan built to different energy-efficiency standards. The Home of Today was built to current code requirements and serves as a baseline, while the Home of Tomorrow will push the envelope by exceeding current code requirements and making use of leading-edge sustainable technologies. Both homes will be occupied by real families, and their energy use tracked in real time over a three-year period.

To be recognized in our community for two leading-edge environmental initiatives is very affirming, "says Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. We pride ourselves on having set and achieved high standards for sustainability. The Trades Complex and Living Lab demonstrate how we continue to achieve that standard."

Both new construction and existing buildings can maximize their energy efficiency by adopting energy management best practices. These include meeting or exceeding energy codes, using an integrated design process, benchmarking their energy use and undertaking major energy retrofits where appropriate. What projects can we help you showcase?

To read the full article, visit: College’s green buildings earn gold.

Visit the Tommie Awards website for the full list of winners and to learn more about the awards.

Retrofitting your building makes plain business cents

Retrofitting buildings makes economic sense, and not just because of lower operating costs: green buildings can fetch higher rents and retain occupants longer. Moreover, as the cost of carbon increases, more sustainable buildings will have a clear advantage in terms of reduced GHG emissions.

A study of Bentall Kennedy’s North American real estate portfolio of more than 300 buildings found that environmentally friendly office properties commanded nearly 4 percent higher rent. Occupancy rates among their Canadian holdings were also 18.7 percent higher in environmentally certified buildings than in non-certified buildings. Study authors suggest that tenants in these buildings also tend to be happier and "stickier", thus reducing landlord leasing costs associated with tenant turnover.

Net zero for buildings cannot happen overnight so retrofits are essential. Luckily, the building industry is well-equipped with both the knowledge and the technology to make net zero a reality. With tools such as energy benchmarking and a plethora of energy management best practices, building owners and managers can easily go beyond changing light bulbs to deep retrofits. 

In addition, retrofitting aligns neatly with national and international climate change goals, namely that of reducing emissions from buildings and homes through a net zero goal by 2030. Acting now to improve energy efficiency and carry out other green retrofits will reduce emissions and attract/retain tenants in the short and long term.

To find out more about how to identify the most strategic energy-saving investments in your buildings read about energy benchmarking with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

For the full article, visit: The economic case for retrofitting buildings.

Net-positive buildings are energizing office buildings in Canada

Construction is set to begin this month on Evolv1, expected to be one of the most energy-efficient office buildings in Canada. Its owners aim to show not only that net-zero energy is a feasible goal, but that net-positive buildings are also achievable — without paying a significant premium.

"We want to disrupt the industry with what we’re going to build," says Adrian Conrad, Chief Operating Officer at the Cora Group, one of the building’s construction partners. Cora and the project’s other partners, Sustainable Waterloo Region and EY Canada, believe that Evolv1 will change the way offices are built.

Evolv1 will provide a practical example of a highly sustainable building that is financially feasible, with an estimated cost of $35 million for a 10,000 square metre building. As a net positive energy building, it will generate more energy than it needs to operate. The excess power can be sold to the province’s electricity grid or used to power the building's 14 electric vehicle charging stations.

In addition to net positive performance, Evolv1’s owners also intend to pursue LEED Platinum certification. Some of the features to be built into the property that will help them achieve their goals include:

  • Highly-efficient materials such as triple-glazed glass and very high levels of insulation
  • Digitally-controlled LED lighting with occupancy and light level sensors
  • A geo-exchange system that extracts heat from the ground for winter heating and returns excess heat to the ground in the summer
  • Power generated from an array of about 1.5 acres of solar panels on the roof and carport
  • Direct access to the city’s light rail transit system to reduce the environmental impact of commuters
  • Natural light for every occupant
  • A three-storey green wall to improve air quality

Although net-zero energy buildings are becoming more common, net-positive ones are still a rarity. "This project is absolutely ground-breaking," says Tova Davidson, Executive Director of Sustainable Waterloo Region. "If we think about a clean economy, this is a game-changer." Evolv1 aims to prove that net-positive green buildings are not only a viable financial option but a winning one.

To make sure buildings perform as anticipated once built, building operators should make sure the new building is properly commissioned, and then benchmark its energy use with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

For the full article, visit: An office building so green it actually produces energy.

Do you have a net-zero or net-positive energy project to share?  Please contact us!

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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.

March - Volume 4, Issue 3

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 4, Issue 3

The years 2017 and 2018

New fiscal year – Let’s get into gear!

Fiscal year 2017-2018 promises to be a big one for buildings: we’re hard at work to bring you some great new programming to help you manage your energy use and meet your energy efficiency goals! Here’s an overview of what you can expect from us in the coming year.

For new buildings

National High-Performance Building Challenge

As previously announced, BOMA Canada will be spearheading the National High-Performance Buildings Challenge. The Challenge is intended to recognize leading building designs that demonstrate significant progress toward net-zero energy performance. In this way, NRCan hopes to support the buildings sector as a whole as it moves toward this ambitious goal. BOMA plans to launch the Challenge this summer, so stay tuned, or contact BOMA for more information!

Update to the 2015 National Energy Code for Buildings

NRCan is working with key stakeholders on an update to the 2015 National Energy Code for Buildings, to be released in December 2017. The update will feature significant performance improvements over the 2015 edition of the code and is a great tool to help the Canadian buildings sector move toward net-zero energy performance in new building design.

Learn more about the National Energy Code for Buildings

For existing buildings

Updates to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager logo

Fiscal year 2017-18 will be a big year for energy benchmarking in Canada. NRCan is planning a number of updates to the tool to make sure you’re benchmarking against the most accurate and up-to-date information possible. Source energy factors will be updated based on the latest data, and an updated Office scoring model will be developed based on statistics from the Survey of Commercial and Institutional Energy Use 2014. In the fall of 2017, we will also be introducing a brand new 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for Canadian ice and curling rinks, based on data from the Survey on Energy Consumption in Arenas 2014. The new score will provide rink managers and municipalities with current, statistically sound data on similar facilities, making it easier for them to assess and manage their energy use.

Learn more about ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager in Canada.

Learn more about the schedule for updates to the tool.

ENERGY STAR certification for Canadian buildings

You asked for it; we are bringing it! We are hard at work adapting the ENERGY STAR certification process for use in Canada so that you can earn recognition for your top-performing energy-efficient buildings. Starting in 2018, eligible building types with ENERGY STAR scores of at least 75 will be able to apply for certification and share their success with everyone who walks through their doors. We will share more information about this exciting initiative as it becomes available, but in the meantime, make sure you’re benchmarking and taking advantage of all the energy-saving opportunities you can so that you’re ready when applications open!

Learn more about certification for Canadian buildings.

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Data Snapshots

The arrival of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager into Canada provided a valuable new source of data that the buildings sector has been looking forward to. We are pleased to announce that we will be making this data available shortly through a new series of documents to be published twice per year. The Data Snapshots will provide Canadians with regularly updated statistics and information about the buildings entered into Portfolio Manager, including numbers of buildings, energy use profiles, energy use intensities, distribution across the country, and more. Data Snapshots will be published for a selection of building types, as well as for Canadian buildings overall. The information contained in these documents can be used for policy development, reference, research and planning.

Major Energy Retrofit Guidelines

Want to maximize the energy savings potential of your upcoming retrofit? NRCan’s Major Energy Retrofit Guidelines can help you to do just that. The Guidelines are a new series of documents intended to provide guidance for building owners and managers who want to undertake significant retrofits to make their buildings more energy efficient. The first document, the Principles Module, will outline the principles of the recommended approach to major retrofits. It will be followed by other modules that build on this foundation while focusing on the measures that can be applied to specific building types. Watch for modules for office buildings, K-12 schools, hospitals, and more!

For federal buildings

Real Property Institute of Canada Excellence Awards for Energy Efficiency

Nominations are open for the 2017 Real Property Institute of Canada (RPIC) awards. The annual awards are intended to recognize and celebrate the best energy efficiency projects and the most energy-efficient buildings in the federal government. This year’s awards ceremony will be held in November 2017.

Get more information about applying for an RPIC award.

NRCan’s Federal Buildings Initiative (FBI) helps federal departments and agencies reduce the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of their facilities.

Learn more about the FBI.

Canada racks up LEED milestones

With a cumulative total of almost 3,000 LEED projects, Canada has been recognized as a top performing country by the U.S. Green Building Council for the third year in a row. This total also represents over one billion square feet in LEED-certified space — a major milestone for the Canadian green building industry.

The numbers tell the story: 406 projects achieved LEED certification in 2016. Of these, 30 earned Platinum certification, 152 earned Gold, 154 earned Silver and 70 earned Certified status. By province, Ontario led LEED-certified projects in 2016 with 147, followed by Quebec (103), British Columbia (62), Alberta (61) and Manitoba (10).

LEED Gold is the most-earned certification in Canada, making up 42 percent of all projects. The first quarter of 2016 saw the total number of Gold-certified projects surpass 1,000. During that same quarter, the cumulative reduction of CO2e emissions achieved by LEED-certified projects surpassed one million tonnes — the equivalent of taking 238,377 cars off the road for a year.

A number of other milestones were also achieved last year:

The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change identifies the buildings sector as key to meeting greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. The sector’s successful adoption and recognition of LEED certification throughout Canada will help it make the greatest possible contribution to those goals. The Canada Green Building Council is doing its part to set the bar higher for environmental performance from both new and existing buildings through LEED v4, its most rigorous rating system yet, and through its new Zero Carbon Buildings Initiative.

To learn more about improving energy performance in existing and new buildings, explore NRCan’s web pages on Why energy efficiency? and Energy management best practices.

For the full article, go to: LEED® projects in Canada surpass 1 billion square feet, and for ongoing updates on LEED in Canada, visit www.cagbc.org/LEED.

New low-cost housing apartment to be Passive House certified

Paying only $28 per year in heating costs sounds too good to be true, but it has become reality in an Ottawa neighbourhood. A recently opened affordable housing complex is expected to be the first of its kind in North America to be Passive House certified.

Ottawa housing complex

The four-storey, 42-unit residence, built by Ottawa Salus, a charitable organization, offers housing for adults with severe mental illness. It was designed with strict environmental and cost-saving goals in mind, and it is estimated that the apartment building will be up to 90 percent more efficient than regular buildings. Ottawa Salus anticipates that the yearly energy consumption from the apartment building will be the same as that associated with a single family dwelling.

Lisa Ker, Executive Director of Ottawa Salus, expects the building to be Passive House certified by the fall of 2017. Passive House certification requires buildings to use less than 15 kWh per square metre of living space per year in heat and less than 120 kWh for primary energy.

A number of energy-efficient features helped the building meet Passive House certification requirements:

  • Triple-glazed windows and doors that are much more efficient than the Ontario Building Code requires.
  • Exterior walls with thick insulation that includes graphite-based insulation, making them 2.3 times more efficient than code requirements.
  • A painted cool roof that reflects heat in the summer to reduce cooling costs.
  • A large, centralized energy recovery ventilation unit that provides a full air change every three hours.

Not only will the organization reduce its environmental footprint, but it will also realize significant cost savings that can be reinvested into the maintenance of the organization’s 13 other supportive housing buildings around Ottawa. Managing energy costs in its tax-funded buildings is also part of the organization’s responsibility on behalf of the public. Ker believes that the building makes wise use of tax dollars and offers a spotlight on the most vulnerable sector of society. The 42 new residents are at the forefront of sustainable housing and “are championing an approach that is good for all Canadians.”

To read the full article, visit: Ottawa Salus, city's new affordable housing complex, boasts top efficiency rating  
For more information on passive buildings, visit: www.passivebuildings.ca
For more information on designing energy-efficient new buildings, visit: Energy efficiency for new buildings.

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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.

February - Volume 4, Issue 2

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 4, Issue 2

BOMA Canada to lead the National High-Performance Building Challenge

NRCan is pleased to announce that BOMA Canada has been selected as the proponent to lead the development and administration of the National High-Performance Building Challenge. The Challenge will support the Canadian buildings sector’s move toward net-zero energy performance by recognizing leading designs that demonstrate significant progress toward this goal.

BOMA Canada was selected following a call for proposals launched by NRCan in the fall of 2016. Work on the project started in January 2017, and BOMA Canada anticipates launching the Challenge this spring. Stay tuned for updates on this exciting project, or contact info.services@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca for more information.

Canada in the top ten for LEED-certified green buildings

Canada is yet again among the top 10 countries for LEED-certified green buildings, placing second in the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) annual ranking for 2016. Every year the USGBC recognizes the top ten countries outside the U.S. that are leading in sustainable building design, construction, and operations.

The USGBC analyzes countries according to their gross square metres (GSM) and numbers of LEED projects to date. In 2016, Canada had LEED-certified space totalling 34.39 million GSM with another 90.36 million cumulative GSM and registered space. This represented 2,937 LEED-certified projects across the country and a total of 6,082 projects participating in LEED.

Canada shares the spotlight with nine other countries that include six of the world’s 20 largest single-nation economies by GDP and five of the top 11 GHG emitters. China took top honours with slightly more LEED-certified gross square metres than Canada, but only about one-third the number of certified projects. India, Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Turkey, Sweden, and the United Arab Emirates rounded out the top 10 countries for LEED-certified green buildings.

LEED certification means buildings use less energy and water, reduce carbon emissions, and create healthier living and working environments while saving money for individuals, businesses and taxpayers. As such, green buildings are one of the most cost-effective mitigations for climate change. Globally there are more than 82,000 commercial projects involved in LEED spread over more than 1.4 billion GSM, and an additional 112,000 residential units are certified under LEED Homes.

Mahesh Ramanujam, USGBC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, says, “with a focus on LEED and green buildings, Canada is prioritizing environmental and human health in the built environment on a holistic scale and helping us get one step closer to a green building for all within this generation.”

Thinking of LEED certification for your facility? A good way to start is by energy benchmarking using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

For the full article, visit Canada ranks second in Top 10 countries for LEED green building.

The Town Hall Challenge names most energy-efficient city halls in Canada

An article released in December 2016 acknowledged that the Mississauga Civic Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, and the Moncton City Hall in Moncton, New Brunswick, shared the 2015 Town Hall Challenge award as the most energy-efficient city halls in Canada. Both municipalities were recognized for not only meeting but exceeding the Challenge’s goal of energy use reduction to 20.0 equivalent kWh/square foot (ekWh/sq. ft.) by last year.

The municipality of Mississauga had already achieved this goal by 2013 and reduced its energy use even further to 17.2 ekWh/sq. ft. by 2015. Moncton City Hall surpassed the goal in 2012 and went on to further reduce its energy consumption to 17.2 ekWh/sq. ft. in 2015. Other participating municipalities in the 2015 Challenge included Barrie, Caledon, Oshawa, Region of Peel, Richmond Hill, Toronto and Windsor (all in Ontario), as well as Gatineau in Quebec.

The Mississauga Civic Centre, which opened in 1987, houses the municipal headquarters and administration. The municipality wants to lead by example by demonstrating that sustainability need not be sacrificed for economic decisions. It knew that by going green, it could modernize its facilities and reduce operating expenses.

Improvements to the Civic Centre include building automation system upgrades, new maintenance programs and employee training sessions. Employees are also actively involved in saving energy for the municipality by practicing energy efficiency both at work and at home. Moreover, a real-time energy dashboard pilot project that shows the daily, weekly and monthly energy and water use statistics was launched at the Centre. All of these actions have contributed to the impressive reduction of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The Town Hall Challenge is an initiative of The Living City, delivered by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, which challenged municipalities to reduce their energy use to 20.0 ekWh/sq. ft. by 2015. The Challenge works with cities, towns and regional governments from eight provinces to identify and recognize energy-efficient buildings in Canada.

Join other municipal leaders in the Town Hall Challenge and investigate the potential for improving energy efficiency for existing buildings, and learn about energy benchmarking for municipalities.

For the full article published in December 2016, visit Did You Know Mississauga's City Hall is the Most Energy Efficient of its Kind in Canada?

What happens after you benchmark? New York City’s unique building retrofit approach offers a model of what can be done for municipalities

Canadian cities wanting to go to the next level in building energy efficiency can look to New York City (NYC) for inspiration. The city’s unique approach, the Retrofit Accelerator program, helps building owners and managers take advantage of energy saving opportunities in existing buildings.

The Province of Ontario and other jurisdictions in the United States, including NYC, already have benchmarking laws that require building owners to report energy and water use. However, to ensure that benchmarking translates into energy savings, NYC has adopted a very active approach to educate decision-makers about relatively simple upgrades.

The NYC Office of Sustainability, which administers the Retrofit Accelerator program, has identified steam heat as the single largest opportunity to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. About 70 percent of the city’s large buildings use steam heat but have aging, inefficient systems. The office estimates that a city-wide GHG emission reduction of about five percent could be achieved if relatively simple upgrades were implemented in every large steam-heated building in NYC. This would help to address the city’s climate change target of an 80 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2050. Individual building owners can save about 15 percent in energy costs annually with steam heat retrofits.

The Retrofit Accelerator aims to be the city’s one-stop shop for energy efficiency education and personalized implementation advice. Educating building owners/managers about maintenance and small upgrades is an effective approach to energy efficiency improvements and is more accessible than investments in major building renovations or large-scale system replacements.

The managers/owners of more than 2,000 buildings in NYC have already started working with the program. Some of the upgrades implemented include heating system retrofits, vent maintenance to improve steam flow, and the installation of in-unit radiator valves to let tenants control heat.

In addition, the city is actively recruiting and training contractors to implement steam upgrades. The Office of Sustainability says that this offers a valuable business opportunity for service providers in NYC and other cold-weather municipalities.

Many building owners/managers are already benchmarking with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, but they may not know what to do next. The Retrofit Accelerator program helps them decide on the next steps, find qualified contractors to do the work, and secure financial incentives and support to make it happen.

For more information on the NYC’s Retrofit Accelerator, visit: https://retrofitaccelerator.cityofnewyork.us

For the full article visit: New York City Cracks Down On Steam Heating

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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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January - Volume 4, Issue 1

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 4, Issue 1

2016 in review!

It has been a year abounding with energy efficiency activities at NRCan’s Buildings Division. We released a new ENERGY STAR score and worked hard to support a host of new benchmarking and energy efficiency initiatives launched by some of our key stakeholders. Here are some of the highlights:

New 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for senior care communities and residential care facilities

Last spring, senior care communities and residential care facilities became the sixth building type to be eligible for a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score in Canada. The new score applies to facilities that provide permanent rehabilitative, restorative and/or ongoing nursing care to patients or residents in need of assistance with the activities of daily living. There are close to 6,500 of these facilities in Canada, accounting for about 39.1 million gigajoules of energy every year. The new score allows these facilities to better understand their relative energy performance and encourages them to improve it.

For more information on the new score, visit Energy benchmarking for senior care communities and residential care facilities.

Launch of BOMA BEST 3.0

The latest version of BOMA Canada’s building certification program, launched in the fall, includes an online platform that integrates with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and uses the same methodology to assess certain criteria. This integration makes it easier for building owners and administrators to manage their Portfolio Manager and BOMA BEST accounts, which in turn helps them to focus on improving their energy performance. BOMA BEST 3.0 also includes additional BEST practices and a streamlined questionnaire, and is based on the latest industry standards.

For more information, visit About BOMA BEST.

Ontario enacts energy and water reporting and benchmarking regulation

Last summer, Ontario became the first Canadian jurisdiction to enact mandatory energy benchmarking and reporting legislation (Bill 135). The Large Building Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking regulation will be phased in over several years, and will ultimately require buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to benchmark using Portfolio Manager and report the results to the Ontario government on an annual basis. Results will be disclosed publicly after the first year of reporting. The regulation is intended to help building owners and managers understand their energy performance, which is the first step to improving it. In this way, the Ontario buildings sector will help the province to achieve its conservation and GHG emissions reduction targets.

Read the Large Building Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking regulation.

CaGBC releases National Energy Benchmarking Framework

The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has long supported the use of energy benchmarking as a catalyst for energy-saving initiatives, and it includes ENERGY STAR scores in its LEED certification criteria for eligible building types. Last spring, it released a white paper presenting a proposed national framework, based on industry and stakeholder consultations, to support the development of benchmarking policies throughout the country. The national framework is intended to offer background information and recommendations to jurisdictions that may be considering such policies, to promote consistency and maximize the effectiveness of these policies.

Read the CaGBC’s white paper, Energy Benchmarking, Reporting and Disclosure in Canada: A Guide to a Common Framework [PDF – 2 MB].

Manitoba launches Race to Reduce building energy challenge

This month, Manitoba launched its Race to Reduce, a four-year challenge aimed at reducing energy use in participating buildings by 10 percent. Manitoba Race to Reduce is modelled after the highly successful Race to Reduce run by CivicAction in the Greater Toronto Area between 2011 and 2015. That challenge involved more than 42 percent of the region’s commercial office sector and surpassed its savings goal, achieving collective energy savings of 12.1 percent.

Like its predecessor, Manitoba Race to Reduce promotes collaboration between landlords and tenants to encourage team building and behaviour changes that save energy. Participants will have access to a variety of resources and incentives to help them on their path toward greater energy efficiency, and annual events will be held to publically honour their achievements.

Manitoba Race to Reduce joins a number of energy efficiency challenges that have used ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager as their primary tracking tool, including CivicAction’s Race to Reduce, the City of Richmond’s Building Energy Challenge, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s nationwide Battle of the Buildings. Manitoba Race to Reduce will also be the first Canadian building energy challenge to offer participants the added benefit of uploading their data automatically into Portfolio Manager via web services.

If you own or rent space in a commercial building in Manitoba, why not join forces with the other occupants in your building to find out how much energy you can save by working together? Visit Manitoba Race to Reduce to learn more and to register your building and start saving!

For more information about building energy challenges, visit:

New high-performance designation is now available for property managers

These days, building owners and managers are expected to responsibly and sustainably develop and manage real estate assets while addressing the bottom line. BOMI International’s new High-Performance Sustainability (HP) designation aims to help property managers meet this expectation by becoming leaders in sustainable building management.

The BOMI-HP Designation Program consists of three online, self-study or in-class courses – Principles, Practices and Investments. The program provides credentials to participants and equips them with practical and cutting-edge knowledge to effectively drive and implement initiatives.

The first in the series, the Building Principles course, covers topics such as improving energy efficiency in existing and new buildings, integrating high-performance building standards and guidelines, identifying and resolving issues, and achieving top-to-bottom organizational buy-in for initiatives.

The Building Practices course provides participants with no- and low-cost sustainable initiatives. This course offers best practices that cover all aspects of the built environment and allows managers to drive operational efficiencies for high-performance buildings.

The last course, Building Investments, delivers strategies for building a business case for high-performance investments. With this course, participants can fully integrate the social, environmental, and economic factors associated with the bottom line.

Participants who earn their BOMI-HP designation will have an in-depth understanding of how to define, initiate, pay for, complete, and obtain a return on investment for sustainable initiatives within all segments of a building or portfolio. The HP designation program also incorporates information on BOMA Canada’s recent move to BOMA BEST 3.0, placing graduates in a strategic position to attain this stringent industry standard.

For more information, visit: High-Performance Sustainability (HP) designation

For the full article, visit: Transforming property managers into high performers

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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.

Click here if you would like to unsubscribe.

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