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Energy Profiles

Energy management efforts within an organization typically fall within three areas — the use of technology, organizational and behavioural changes. Although these are distinct areas, they generally work in combination to deliver significant improvements in efficiency and benefits to the bottom line.

When developing an energy management plan, one of the best ways to learn what's possible is to look at what others have accomplished. The following profiles highlight how technology, combined with organizational and behavioural changes can lead to successful energy management.


Husky Injection Molding machine 

 
 

Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd.

Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. is a Bolton-based manufacturer of injection molding machines and components, hot runners, robotics and integrated systems.

Their Canadian headquarters are spread across a 54-acre campus with five buildings and a total area of 863,000 square feet. Total demand at the site is seven megawatts (MW), with the three testing and machining buildings consuming the greatest portion of total electricity costs.            

Technology Improvements

The company purchased and installed an engineered power conditioning system that improves and stabilizes the voltage supplied, resulting in improved energy quality, equipment efficiency and longevity, energy savings and improved power factor.

Together with lighting and HVAC retrofits, equipment upgrades and control system improvements, the introduction of a power conditioning system has helped Husky shave 13.7 million kWh off its annual energy consumption.

Organizational Change

With annual electricity costs totalling several million dollars, good energy management practices are an absolute priority. In fact, energy efficiency is entrenched in the company's guiding principles. Energy efficient buildings, comprehensive programs to minimize waste and other highly visible practices demonstrate the company's commitment to the environment.

Behavioural Change

The Husky's Global Asset Management team launched a multi-faceted training initiative to help front-line equipment operators understand energy efficiency opportunities at the plant. One of the products emerging from the training was a detailed checklist of things to do before leaving for the night — including items such as shutting off equipment not required for the next shift, turning off unnecessary lights, and shutting off the exhaust and air conditioning systems.

 


York Catholic District School Board 

 
 

York Catholic District School Board

​The York Catholic District School Board has taken a broad-based and aggressive approach to managing its energy consumption. The board has actively embraced the challenge to reduce energy usage and associated costs in a number of innovative ways, resulting in savings of over $1 million in electricity costs.

Technology Improvements

The board upgraded lighting systems in 47 schools to newer technology, including new switches, motion contols and detectors.​ They also upgraded roofing, installed outdoor lighting controls that interface with the security system and automated shut-down of the computer lab after hours.

Organizational Change

When Ontario's electricity market opened to competition in 2002, six school boards representing the Catholic School Board Services Association (CSBSA) formed an energy procurement consortium. CSBSA saw an opportunity to reduce their costs by paying the hourly price for electricity. In the intervening years, the group grew at a rapid rate. The collective now represents 49 of 72 school boards in the province, comprising nearly 85 per cent of all elementary and secondary students in the province. By purchasing electricity and natural gas in large volumes, the consortium is able to secure deep price discounts.

Behavioural Change

At Our Lady Help of Christians Elementary School in Richmond Hill, they ran a pilot project known as the Eco Champion Program, which was then rolled out to additional schools in the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB).

The program's goal is to bring about electricity consumption awareness in three key ways:

  • By providing electricity data on a website and displaying live demand data through a large TV monitor in the foyer of each school
  • By triggering a visual alarm signal through the use of LED-based "Save Energy" signs mounted in the classrooms, offices and libraries of each school
  • By providing a resource for teachers, students and parents about energy sources, uses and conservation efforts

Electricity consumption data for the previous 24 hours is displayed on a centrally-located TV monitor so students and staff can monitor the immediate impacts of their consumption. Access to live data allows electricity users to see exactly how their actions can influence the amount of energy used by the school.

Similarly, when a pre-determined threshold of electricity use is reached at one of the participating schools, "Save Energy" signs will flash in all classrooms, offices and libraries. At that time, students take action to reduce energy use by switching off unnecessary lights, computers, monitors and other equipment.

 


Gary Bridgens of the AGO 

 
 

The Art Gallery of Ontario

​In November 2008, the Art Gallery of Ontario completed a four-year construction project that added approximately 100,000 square feet of gallery space to its existing 486,000-square-foot floor plan. Not surprisingly, the renovation caused increases in both electricity use and ​costs.The AGO met energy management challenges head on with a plan to reduce energy costs by changing the way in which the gallery's heating and cooling systems worked.

Energy cost savings were achieved through a combination of consumption reduction and pricing strategies. The AGO saved over half a million dollars in electricity costs during the first year of implementation. The gallery's winter electricity consumption (kilowatt hours) and their demand levels (kilowatts) dropped by almost 40 per cent, resulting in a significant reduction on all charge types on their electricity bill.

Technology Improvements

The original design of the facility called for their three 900-tonne chillers to operate during winter months to control humidity, but they saw an opportunity to turn the chillers off by harvesting free cool air from outside. In doing this, they would have to stay within the defined and non-negotiable temperature and humidity levels necessary for the conservation of the gallery's art collection.

The automation system regulates the flow of the outside air through several dampers based on what they need internally to maintain gallery conditions. It was programmed to measure inside and outside temperature and dew points; if the outside air was within certain thresholds, the air-handling system could bring in the outside air and reduce chiller loads and even shut them down under certain conditions — resultin in a huge energy savings.

Organizational and Behavioural Changes

One of the AGO's other priorities has been to investigate the potential of LED and other efficient lighting technologies. It's a process that didn't happen overnight. In 2003, they created a lighting inventory which tracks the wattage and type of the thousands of lights within the gallery and the hours that they are on. The inventory shows if a lighting project will guarantee results before the retrofit begins. Lighting retrofits have saved over 38,000 kWh of electricity −helping the AGO qualify for an incentive payment through the gallery's local distribution company, Toronto Hydro.

The AGO has an energy management plan that contains objectives, approaches and timelines for future projects. In making the case for capital funding for energy management initiatives, they build credibility through results. Having credibility with their most important stakeholder, the gallery patrons, also matters. Energy management is not only about reducing consumption, but also ensuring that AGO patrons have a great experience.