2002 Buildings — Co-winner 1
City of Mississauga, Ontario
Energy Management Program
Increasing utility costs and a pending deregulation of the electricity market spurred the City of Mississauga to implement its Energy Management Program (EMP). Previously, the city had retrofitted sUsing improved energy monitoring software, the EMP extends those efforts with ongoing energy evaluations of existing facilities and reviews of new building construction proposals. Comprehensive energy audits were conducted on eight facilities in 2001, with another eight scheduled in 2002. The EMP is well ahead of schedule and is estimated to save $600,000 per year in utility costs from new and existing buildings, with corresponding annual savings of 4,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
In 1998, the city established the Mississauga Air Quality Advisory (MAQA) Committee to recommend to council short-and long-term strategies to improve air quality by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The energy management program is one of 36 air quality action plans identified by the MAQA committee, and is also part of the city's larger corporate smog response plan that was introduced in 1999.
"We have all aspects of what an energy program should be," said Rajan Balchandani, the EMP's administrator. "Staff awareness programs are not always well structured in other municipalities, but they can bring tremendous savings if people are careful about energy use. They could easily save five per cent in utilities. That's a lot of money compared to the cost of doing an energy awareness program."
The city prepares its utility budgets centrally, a practice that initially acted as a hindrance to educating facility managers about energy use. The EMP introduced a system of quarterly consumption reports so that facility managers know exactly how much energy is used in a given building and can take steps to conserve energy.
The city actively promotes the benefits of energy efficiency to the private sector. It hosted an energy efficiency workshop for the local building community in November 2000 to develop partnerships with the private sector to build new energy-efficient buildings and retrofit existing ones.
Since 1990, the city has been recording its contribution towards greenhouse gas reductions in anticipation of future funding or incentives from new federal government legislation. The city has been a participant in FCM's Partners for Climate Protection since 1998. It also has partnered with the City of Toronto in the 20/20 The Way to Clean Air pilot program launched in January 2002, which encourages residents to reduce home energy use and the amount of driving done alone by 20 per cent.
- Between 2000 and 2002, energy efficiency improvements to existing facilities and the construction of new energy-efficient facilities have saved $220,000 in utility costs with less than a three-year payback for each project.
- As a result of Energenius, an additional $380,000 in savings is expected through the efficient use of energy by staff.
- Energy-efficient technologies were installed at two new facilities constructed in 2001-the Erin Meadows and Cawthra Community Centres. At Erin Meadows, for example, waste heat from the pool's dehumidifier is used to heat pool water. New heat pipe technology (allowing operators to obtain maximum heat recovery on peak demand days) used in the Cawthra Community Centre ventilation unit recovers 60 per cent of waste heat, which is then used to heat incoming fresh air.
All aspects of the EMP worked well, except for the procurement of natural gas, which was affected by the high volatility of market prices. On the advice of an agent, the city had purchased 90 per cent of its natural gas from the AECO natural gas exchange in Alberta, where gas is traded as a commodity and can be purchased for a future period at a price quoted in advance. Prices fell, however, due to an economic downturn and mild weather. The city is now investigating various options for better methods of procuring natural gas.
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