Authors: Nick Brown and Chantal Sylvestre

In our last post, we discussed Alberta’s new Carbon Tax and how it might affect your lighting needs. In this post, we share ways for companies to track their energy use and carbon emissions and make proactive moves for future carbon legislation.

One way for companies and businesses to do this is to start the more “obvious” changes in their operations, namely: updating energy-consuming products to energy-saving ones (for example lighting solutions), promoting energy-saving practices, incentivizing energy-saving behaviour, and other similar plans that increase your negawatt. Negawatt is a term used for the energy that is saved through energy efficiency and conservation.

Another advisable action for companies is to start carbon accounts. Carbon accounts provide a way to track a property’s carbon emissions. Based on this data, a company can establish expected carbon rates, and create plans for moving forward based on future carbon targets. From here, they can undertake carbon balancing, using published data from other companies. Managers can also set goals for net reductions in their facility’s greenhouse gas emissions. This can be calculated based on electricity use, which will have a GHG/kWh unit tied to it.

Building managers and owners can also conduct ASHRAE Audits, or commercial building energy audits, in order to track their building’s energy consumption. With this data, they can compare their performance with similar buildings and see how they measure up. In Ontario, benchmarking is now mandatory, and other provinces may soon follow suit. Benchmarking is also a useful tool for companies to manage their energy use and set targets for their own properties.

A good mindset to approach the province’s new program with is Triple Bottom Line Thinking (which is making decisions based on People, Planet, and Profit): the carbon levy is for climate change; those taxes go to Energy Efficiency; Energy Efficiency funding goes to the consumer; consumer reduces carbon; less tax.

Want to know more about how changes to your lighting solutions might help reduce your carbon taxes? Contact us today at for more information.