Region's Corporate Natural Gas Consumption
What is the indicator and why measure it?
This progress indicator monitors the natural gas consumed by Regional buildings and operation of water/wastewater pumping and treatment facilities. Buildings include Regional libraries, daycares, housing, Sunnyside, police, museums, the courthouse, Grand River Transit facilities, and Regional office buildings. Energy consumption associated with water and wastewater includes all pumping and treatment facilities in Waterloo Region and is influenced by residential, industrial, commercial and institutional demand for water services. Utility bills are used to compile consumption data, enabling staff to analyze consumption trends and monitor if improvements made to Regional facilities, processes etc. are having the desired affect.
Natural gas reduction goal
The short term goal will be to keep natural gas consumption at or below year 2004 levels through to 2012 even though the Region is expanding its building area. 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.
From 2004 to 2013, there has been a 22% improvement in the efficiency of natural gas use despite a 16% increase in facilities space. The winters of 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011 were more milder than the other years during 2004 – 2013 which influences the amount of natural gas required for heating. Other projects such as heat recovery, geothermal, solar thermal and capturing and utilizing bio gas at wastewater treatment facilities also reduces the Region's natural gas consumption.
Ventilation Energy Recovery Project Success
The Region of Waterloo is implementing energy reduction strategies at Sunnyside Home long-term care facility. Ventilation Energy Recovery from a natural gas fired make up air unit and resident exhaust system has been successfully piloted. The Energy Recovery Unit is based on an simple design with only one moving part, a damper that directs air being exhausted from a facility or process into energy storage cassettes. The cassettes act as thermal reservoirs, storing energy from exhaust air and preheating cold incoming air in the winter or pre-cooling hot incoming air in the summer.
When the Ventilation Energy Recovery unit was installed, two identical Air Handler Units were fitted with 2 natural gas meters on each unit to monitor results and make comparisons of energy consumption between units with and without the Energy Recovery Ventilator. Natural gas consumption was monitored and recorded daily on both units until the end of the heating season during part of year 2007 and all of 2008.
The results were impressive with the unit utilizing heat recovery using 51,461 cubic meters less natural gas on average per year. This equates to a reduction of approximately 100 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Sunnyside has seven other similar HVAC systems that will be switched over to the new energy recovery unit design later in 2009. In addition to this energy efficiency initiative, a clothes dryer Exhaust Energy Recovery unit and Wastewater Energy Recovery will be installed on the laundry operations during the summer of 2009 and monitored for their effectiveness.
Efficient use of non-renewable energy is essential in conserving their availability for the future. In addition, this aids in reducing their impact on climate change and air pollution with associated emissions from energy consumption.