Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Current Issue

Volume 5, Issue 2 (February 2018)

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.



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.