On Tuesday, October 2nd, Save on Energy: Energy Management for Organizations was held at the Holiday Inn Kitchener-Waterloo Conference Centre. Featuring three knowledgeable guest speakers, this event gave professionals an opportunity to discuss the benefits of implementing energy management and energy efficiency projects in their own offices and workplaces. Greg Rushby, the founding principal of Rushby Energy Solutions Inc., was the first speaker. Greg offered a great introduction to the morning by outlining what energy management means for organizations. Energy management is a continuous, profitable, measured, and organization-wide process that attempts to maximize efficiency in energy use.  According to Greg, there are four ‘P’s’ of successful energy management including:
  • People – buy-in from the organization’s top personnel all the way down to the bottom;
  • Planning – consider aspects such as your objectives, key drivers, and your desired target;
  • Projects – what projects will you take on to reach your target? These can be anything from behavioural campaigns to infrastructure retrofits;
  • Performance – to manage energy, it must be measured. Consider what tracking tools and metrics will be used to measure your success.
Greg also described a single ‘P’ for energy mismanagement: Pitfalls. Pitfalls are common mistakes organizations face when taking on energy management projects and include, a failure to obtain organizational buy-in, lack of accountability, fixation on high-capital projects, and treating energy as a fixed cost. Greg concluded with some useful tips and techniques, such as utilizing your utility bill as insight into your energy use, and taking advantage of incentives and training available in your area. The next speaker was Jeff Quint, Manager of Energy Efficiency & Corporate Communications at Waterloo North Hydro. Jeff described some of Waterloo North Hydro’s many energy management programs that assist homeowners, small businesses, and medium to large commercial businesses. For example, Waterloo North Hydro provides free facility assessment and energy management project identification for all residents and business owners in the Region. They will also help you to assess the opportunities available to you (such as government funding and rebates), review your current technology, apply for grants, and even help to develop a business case for your organization’s board of directors regarding implementing energy management activities. Waterloo North Hydro offers these services as a part of the Save on Energy program, and similar services are also accessible through both Energy+ and Kitchener Wilmot Hydro. It’s worth reiterating that all of the excellent resources are offered to home and business owners free of cost – you’ll never see a bill! As Jeff said, “our job is to help you do what you do most efficiently.” The final speaker was Robert McCallum, Project Manager of Wilfrid Laurier University’s impressive Laurier Energy Efficiency Program (LEEP). LEEP is a multi-phase project with many stakeholders, including Waterloo North Hydro and Union Gas. LEEP aims to transform the university’s building portfolio by promoting campus sustainability, reducing energy and water consumption, optimizing electrical demands, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and developing an energy strategy for the future. Phase 1 of LEEP began in 2017 and has already been completed. Targeting three of the main buildings on Laurier’s campus, phase 1 implemented energy conservation measures including solar thermal walls, low-flow bathroom water fixtures, sub-metering and LED lighting upgrades. Phase 1 has resulted in reduced maintenance costs, improved comfort, and increased energy savings upwards of $425,000  total since 2016. Phase 2 and 3 also began in 2017, with plans to implement energy conservation measures across the remaining 40 buildings, in addition to the installation of rooftop solar photovoltaic arrays on six buildings on the Waterloo and Brantford campuses.