Corporate Electricity Consumption
What is the indicator and why measure it?
This indicator monitors the electricity consumed by Regional buildings (administrative buildings, clinics, childcare centres, regional housing, retirement facilities, recycling and waste disposal facilities), traffic signals, streetlights on Regional roads, and the operation of water/wastewater pumping and treatment facilities (this is influenced by residential, industrial, commercial and institutional demand for water services).
This information is important because it monitors whether improvements made to Regional facilities are having the desired affect of using energy efficiently. Consumption data is collected from utility bills. This enables staff to analyze consumption trends and associated air emissions such as greenhouse gases and precursors to smog (e.g. oxides of nitrogen and sulphur dioxide). In some cases, energy data is correlated with variables such as building area (m2) or population served to demonstrate efficiency levels.
Energy reduction goal
Sustainably managing the Region's corporate energy use is important in preserving non-renewable natural energy resources, and reducing air emissions from fossil fuel-based power generation (e.g. coal). Managing energy sustainably over time includes improving energy efficiency in the short-term and decreasing overall consumption of non-renewable energy resources in the mid-to-long-term. Mid-to-long term goals will be established within the development of the Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan required by the Province in the year 2014.This is a challenge as Regional facilities are increasing in size to meet a growing demand for programs and services delivered to the community.
The Region will aim to offset increased demand of new facilities to keep energy use at 2004 consumption levels. See below for a graph showing electricity usage in Regional facilities.
Energy efficiency strategy
The Region of Waterloo consumes approximately 130,000 megawatts of electricity each year in delivering a wide variety of services to the residents of the region. Enable for the Region to more aggressively reduce its energy use and thereby its impact on the environment, the following actions are taken:
- Regional Council endorsed the establishment of a Corporate Energy Conservation Office.
- As part of the Region's Corporate Strategic Plan, an Energy Management Strategy is being developed to focus on meeting increased demand for Regional programs and services while reducing the energy intensity to provide these services (e.g. kWh per m2 office space).
Refer to the graph below for the energy efficiency trend in Regional facilities.
Note: Buildings include Libraries, Daycares, Housing, Police, Museums, Courthouse, Transit, and Corporate office buildings. Excluded are all Wastewater and water services facilities (e.g. pumping stations, treatment plants).
Highlight: LED traffic light retrofit
A recent success story is the retrofit of all regional traffic signal lights to LED (light emitting diodes) technology in 2007 and 2008. Compared to the year 2004 (see graph below), this project reduced:
- Electricity consumption by approximately 75%,
- Energy costs by 70%, and
- Greenhouse gas emissions by 1,200 tonnes per year.
For more information visit the Region's Energy Conservation website: www.region.waterloo.on.ca/energy