Authors: Nick Brown & Chantal Sylvestre

In our last post, we began exploring the energy efficiency programs being rolled out by Energy Efficiency Alberta. We also advised how to take advantage of their rebates. Read on to find out more steps for building owners and managers to take towards energy efficiency.

To start, switch out incandescent and halogen lights for more efficient options. Common base lamp swaps are the easiest place to start. This is an easy switch in areas where light levels are adequate and the goal is energy savings rather than changing light levels. Also, auxiliary areas that do not get a lot of use serve as a good test area to gauge new lighting technology options. This is because it will have a lower capital cost and minimal impact on occupants.

Another easy approach is behaviour change. If a light doesn’t need to be on all the time, enforce turning lights off when the area is not in use. This can be a simple sign or a monthly tenant engagement meeting where you discuss actionable efficiency behaviours. Changes such as these decrease a building’s overall energy use intensity (EUI), which is a building’s overall energy use as a function of its size.

The next step is for building owners to create a policy on energy management, or review their current one. Energy management is not often simple, but it is as complex as a building wishes to make it. A good place to start for any energy management project is to address the areas with a direct impact on energy consumption. This is especially important for those that reflect savings in your electricity bill.

The best proactive step for companies to take is to have a dedicated Energy Manager. This is someone who keeps up with changes to energy efficiency and incentives. Across Canada, there are incentives provided for organizations that bring on energy managers. There is also a Certified Energy Manager program that provides training for this position.

Building Owners in Alberta should consider getting the BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) building certification. From there, they can find a benchmark for similar buildings, and from there, know where their building is lacking in terms of energy efficiency performance. This certification will only become more relevant as the new program rolls out in Alberta and it comes to the forefront of the conversation.

Energy efficiency should also be incorporated into capital and budget planning. Some questions you may ask in this planning process might be:

  • How much does it cost to undergo a retrofit?
  • When is the best time to do such a project?
  • How much does it cost to bring on an Energy Manager?
  • Other than the Business, Non-Profit and Institutional Rebate Program, what other incentives can I take advantage of?

The creation of the Energy Efficiency Alberta agency is an opportunity for people across Alberta to implement energy efficiency changes. As well, it is an opportunity to take advantage of the financial incentives to do so. Contact us today to see how we can help you get started!