Workplace Energy

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Content - Res - Enviro - Climate Change - Action Plan - Toolkit - Workplace

The energy consumed by workplaces represents 51% (761,064 tonnes) of the total community GHG emissions and costs $216 million.

Between 2000 and 2011, GHG emissions from electricity used in Kingston workplaces decreased by 50% and those from natural gas increased by 36%, so reducing GHG emissions from Kingston workplaces means targeting reductions opportunities for natural gas. 

Energy Source Distribution chart

In addition, lowering energy consumption can:

  • Save money by reducing operating costs and improving profitability.
  • Improve workplace morale and productivity.
    • Create a healthier and more comfortable workplace.
    • Attract and retain talented employees who want to work for a company that reflects their personal values.
    • Enhance innovative thinking and develop leadership.
    • Market your firm's brand integrity to attract talented employees and to grow market share

What you can do to reduce your workplace energy GHG emissions:

Develop an Energy Management Plan

ENERGY STAR's Guidelines for Energy Management outlines 7 key steps for developing an Energy Management Plan applicable to an organization of any size.

  1. Commit to Continuous Improvement: successful energy management is founded on commitment. Commit to allocate the staff and funding needed to achieve continuous improvement. 
  2. Assess Performance: understand current and past energy use, cost and GHG emissions organizations to identify opportunities.  Gather and track data, establish a baseline, benchmark, analyze data and conduct technical assessments and audits.
  3. Set Goals: Setting clear and measureable goals is important to understanding the intended results, developing effective strategies and realizing the benefits.
  4. Create an Action Plan: With established and communicated goals in place, the organization is in a position to develop a road map to improve energy performance. Define technical steps and targets and determine roles and resources. This differentiates a plan that is too high-level and not founded in reality from one that is actualized. By determining the cost/benefit analysis of various opportunities, it is possible to prioritize initiatives, develop a timeline and seek appropriate financing. This detail enables employees to participate in their areas of expertise and contributes to buy-in and the implementation of the plan.
  5. Implement the Action Plan: To successfully implement the action plan, it is important to create a communications plan, raise awareness within the organization about the initiatives of the plan and how it will benefit the  organization as a whole as well as the individual employee, build capacity, motivate employees to take action and track and monitor progress.
  6. Evaluate Progress: This involves a review of both the energy use data as well as the initiatives that have been carried out as part of the plan. Measure results by comparing performance to the goals. Review the action plan and learn about what worked well and what did not. 
  7. Recognize Achievements: To sustain momentum for the plan it is essential that recognition be provided. Internal recognition should be provided to teams and individuals within the organization and the organization should seek to receive external recognition (i.e. achievement awards, performance standards).

Additional Resources

Learn about O.Reg 397/11 and how it affects your organization

Green Energy Act Ontario Regulation 397/11 requires municipalities, post-secondary educational institutions, public hospitals and school boards to conduct GHG emission inventories as well as energy conservation and demand management plans.

July 1, 2013: Regulated organizations provide energy consumption and GHG emissions for operations conducted in 2011 to the Ministry of the Environment and post this information on their website.

July 1, 2014 (and annually): Submit to the Minister energy conservation and demand management measures:

  • annual energy consumption;
  • goals and objectives for conserving and reducing energy consumption and managing demand for energy;
  • the agency's proposed measures under its energy conservation and demand management plan;
  • cost and saving estimates for its proposed measures;
  • a description of renewable energy generating facility operated by the agency and the amount of energy produced on an annual basis
  • a description of the energy harnessed by ground source energy, solar energy and any plans to operate heat pump technology, thermal air technology or thermal water technology
  • estimated time the agency's energy conservation and demand management measures will be in place and confirmation that the conservation and demand management plan has been approved by the agency's senior management.

July 1, 2019 (and every five years): Submit, publish and post on the website:  Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, current and proposed measures for conserving and reducing energy consumption and managing demand for energy, a forecast of the expected results of current and proposed measures, a report of actual results achieved and any proposed changes to reach targets/forecasts.

Building, buying, renting or renovating: learn to read green building labels.

Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED): LEED is an internationally recognized sustainable building rating system that is administered in Canada by the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC). All new City buildings must be built to LEED standards. Explore these LEED guidelines if you are considering a building project:

  • LEED-NC LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations­ – applies to new construction and major renovations of commercial and institutional building as well as retail, mid- and high-rise multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs), public assembly buildings, manufacturing plants, and other types of buildings. For more information review LEED-NC Rating System and the ICI building LEED-NC check list.
  • LEED-CI – LEED for Commercial Interiors – applies to tenants and designers who do not have control over the whole building operations (i.e. a tenant in a large complex). For more information, review LEED-CI Rating System.
  • LEED-CS – LEED for Core and Shell – applies to buildings where less than 50% of the building area will be fit-up to LEED- NC requirements. LEED-CS applies to situations where the developer has no control over the final interior fit-ups of the tenant.
  • LEED-EBOM – LEED for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance – helps building owners/operators measure operations, improvements and maintenance with the goal of maximizing operational efficiency and minimizing environmental impacts. It addresses whole-building cleaning and maintenance issues (including chemical use), recycling programs, exterior maintenance programs, and systems upgrades. For more information, review the LEED-EBOM Rating System.

BOMA: Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada – is a green certification intended for the Canadian commercial and real estate market. The key product is BOMA BEST (Building Environmental Standards). The certification is available for five specific building types: offices, shopping centres, open air retail plazas, light industrial buildings, and multi-unit residential buildings.

Green Globes: Provides an online assessment protocol, rating system and guidance for green building design, operation and management.

Take advantage of workplace financial incentives.

Ontario Power Authority (OPA):  SaveOnEnergy Electricity Conservation Incentives

This program is administered locally by the Local Distributing Companies Hydro One and Kingston Hydro. The Kingston Hydro customer region includes the Kingston downtown core and the Hydro One customer region includes the area within the municipality outside of the downtown core.