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

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.

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