Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency – Volume 3, Issue 2

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Volume 3, Issue 2

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

On February 8, 2016, NRCan introduced a new 1-100 ENERGY STAR score to make it even easier for you to assess and manage your facility’s energy use. Developed just for senior care communities and residential care facilities, the new score joins the family of ENERGY STAR scores for the health care sector to ensure that the sector has the tools it needs to slash energy waste and provide efficient health care to Canadians.

In Canada, as around the world, long-term care is vital, and our most vulnerable citizens cannot do without it. But this care comes with a high price tag, and it is becoming harder and harder for those who need it to afford it. A study from the Institute for Research on Public Policy found that 24/7 care can cost upwards of $60,000 per person per year, and the number of Canadian seniors requiring care is expected to triple in the coming decades.

A study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [PDF – 457 KB] found that buildings that benchmark regularly saved an average of at least 7 percent after three years.

If each nursing and residential care facility in Canada could reduce its energy consumption by just 7 percent, they could collectively save 2 700 0000 GJ!

In this climate, it is more important than ever for senior care communities and other residential care facilities to do everything they can to keep costs from getting even higher. One effective way to cut costs without sacrificing service is to reduce energy waste. Increasing the energy efficiency of your facility can produce significant savings, and those savings can be passed on to patients or reinvested into improving services without increasing patient costs.

NRCan can help your facility track and manage its energy use with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, Canada’s only free, nationally standardized energy benchmarking platform.

For more information on energy benchmarking and the new score for senior care communities and residential care facilities, visit www.nrcan.gc.ca/ENERGYSTARPortfolioManager and www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/efficiency/buildings/energy-benchmarking/types/18073.

For a commentary on the Institute for Research on Public Policy study, visit http://umanitoba.ca/outreach/evidencenetwork/archives/9178.


NRCan Training Opportunities for the all new ENERGY STAR Score for Senior Care Communities and Residential Care Facilities in Canada

NRCan will be offering a series of webinars to support the launch of the new 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for Senior Care Communities and Residential Care Facilities in Canada. The training will include information for those who are new to using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and/or benchmarking. 

These webinars will teach participants how to use the basic functions of the tool, with a particular focus on energy benchmarking for senior and residential care facilities.

To learn more about the Canadian adaptation of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, please visit our website. If you have any questions or difficulty registering, please contact us at info.services@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca

Miramichi Lodge comes out as top long-term care facility in Ontario Municipal Energy Performance Benchmarking Project

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) recently conducted a Municipal Energy Performance Benchmarking Project looking at the 2008 energy consumption data of 393 municipal facilities across the province. The project was intended to provide an overview of the sector’s energy management performance and to enable participants to benchmark their performance against that of other similar facilities.

Image of an elderly woman and a caretaker

With an energy use intensity of 34.43 equivalent kilowatt-hours per square foot (1.33 gigajoules per square metre) per year, Miramichi Lodge in Pembroke stood out as the best in class among the 19 long-term care facilities benchmarked. The AMO benchmarking study attributed Miramichi Lodge’s success to a number of technical best practices, as well as some particularly impressive management best practices.

Miramichi Lodge’s technical best practices include:

  • Properly sized, efficient HVAC systems. The facility is heated mainly by three near-condensing boilers: two larger ones to handle the winter load, and one smaller unit to handle the shoulder season loads. These boilers are controlled by a building automation system, which performs equipment shutdowns and setbacks as applicable.
  • Efficient service water heating. At the time of the study, the facility was in the process of upgrading its water heaters to fully-condensing units that are up to 95 percent efficient.
  • Effective insulation. The building envelope is well sealed thermally, with both the roof and the walls boasting high levels of insulation. The building is also fitted with high-performance windows, and air curtains are used to reduce heat transfer to colder areas.
  • High-performance lighting systems. Most of the building is lit with four-foot high-efficiency T-8 fluorescent fixtures with electronic ballasts. In some areas, occupancy sensors are used to further increase energy savings.

The facility’s management best practices earned it a score in this area a full 16 points higher than the average for its category.

Its energy management best practices include:

  • A facility management organizational structure that clearly defines responsibility for energy management budgets, actions and targets.
  • A current energy management plan that includes energy performance targets and formal plans for implementing specific projects and actions.

These technical and management best practices have enabled Miramichi Lodge to achieve its best-in-class rating in the AMO benchmarking study, and continued benchmarking will enable the facility to identify more opportunities for further savings. For more information, please read the AMO’s Best in Class Report on Miramichi Lodge [PDF – 1.8 MB].

Learn more about NRCan’s new 1-100 ENERGY STAR score and find out how your senior care community or residential care facility compares to others across the country, visit Energy benchmarking for senior care communities and residential care facilities and sign up for your free Portfolio Manager account to start benchmarking today!

Calendar of events and other important dates

NRCan’s training webinars - Release of the ENERGY STAR score for senior care communities and residential care facilities

Dollars to $ense Energy Management Workshops

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.

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