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2018 ENERGY STAR Certification for Castlebrooke Secondary School

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Certification Case Study

Castlebrooke Secondary School

Castlebrooke Secondary School, Brampton, ON

In 2018, Castlebrooke Secondary School, part of the Peel District School Board, became the first school in Canada to receive Natural Resources Canada’s ENERGY STAR certification for commercial and institutional buildings.

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) started offering ENERGY STAR certification on March 26th, 2018, recognizing top performing buildings in Canada. To be eligible, a building must benchmark using Portfolio Manager, a free online tool. Portfolio Manager then calculates a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score: a score of 50 indicates average energy performance, while a score of 75 or higher indicates top performance. Castlebrooke Secondary School received an ENERGY STAR score of 93 for 2018, making it one of the most energy-efficient schools in the country.

With an overall enrollment in excess of 1800 students, Castlebrooke is described in its mission statement as “a 21st century school committed to inspire innovative, collaborative and critical thinkers… [who treat] our environment with respect.”

According to Shahid Naeem, Manager of Energy and Sustainability for the Peel District School Board, there are long-term plans to use the experience of benchmarking Castlebrooke with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to reduce energy consumption across the school board’s entire portfolio of schools.

“Our schools are repeat designs. They build multiple schools of the same design,” stated Naeem. “We have 37 secondary schools… So if Castlebrooke is a 93 ENERGY STAR score then I can go to other schools and see why they can’t meet the same [energy] performance.”

“The ENERGY STAR guidelines are really good because it’s North America-wide and it’s used commonly,” continued Naeem. “I found ENERGY STAR to be the most applicable way to benchmark a school, because it lists all the 35-40 factors for schools.”

A cornerstone of Castlebrooke’s high energy performance is an emphasis on operational efficiencies for fans and heaters so that energy consumption is reduced over statutory holidays and summer holidays. Explained Naeem: “Most of it is about conservation. The cheapest, the greenest unit of energy is the one that I don’t use.”

With plans to recertify Castlebrooke for 2019, Naeem emphasized: “Basically, the work we do for energy conservation and water efficiency is not the easiest to communicate to the general audience because it’s not visible… So ENERGY STAR [certification] is something that people are familiar with because they buy [ENERGY STAR] microwaves and household appliances and that is easy to communicate.”

If you have questions regarding ENERGY STAR certification for commercial and institutional buildings in Canada, please contact

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