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Energy Matters: December 2018

As 2018 closes out, we’re busy getting ready to launch our revamped Utility Management Program, which moves to a new online platform in January. In this issue, read about the new system; learn how to make your buildings resilient to extreme weather; and find inspiration from successful energy projects from the SHARP program and beyond. Happy holidays!

In this issue of Energy Matters:

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The New UMP Launches in the New Year!

The revamped UMP is almost here! HSC’s new online Utility Management Program (UMP) will be available early in the new year. We’re moving UMP to EnergyCap’s software to provide a more user-friendly and responsive tool to track your portfolio’s energy and water performance.

As a first step, we’ll be emailing new usernames and passwords to all UMP participants. We’ll also be letting you know about dates for training webinars.  Be sure to watch your email for more information!

What’s the new UMP All About?

From the UMP dashboard, you will now be able to see a quick snapshot summarizing the energy profile of your portfolio by monthly and yearly consumption trends. From there, you can drill down to see building and meter-level results in detail. You can also customize your dashboard to make it easier to find key information and to communicate results to other people in your organization.

Let’s take a look at an example of a Sample Dashboard below:

Easy Navigation

The new UMP platform lets you navigate easily. You can quickly move from the portfolio to an individual building or meter level and use the helpful “PowerViews”, like the ones below, to spot issues and see trends in your utility use.

Helpful Reports

You can also run specialized reports and filter for parameters and timelines of your choice. You will receive quarterly reports by email showing your buildings’ year-over-year and benchmarking results.

Our Energy Services team will be available and able to assist you to understand your results and spot savings opportunities as part of the re-designed UMP program.

Contact HSC Energy Services if you have questions about the new system or enrolling your buildings.

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Can Your Building Stand Up to Extreme Weather?


How long would your building stay warm during a winter power outage? Could flooding shut down your backup generators in a storm? Would your building stay at a comfortable temperature for your residents if summer temperatures start to average around 44°C?

In the face of the extreme weather and the hotter temperatures we’re seeing in Ontario, having a building that is resilient is just as important as having one that is energy efficient.

Resilience involves thinking ahead and ensuring your building has what it needs to withstand a range of possible regional impacts resulting from a changing climate.

A resilient building is one that:

  • Can withstand changing conditions over time and in a crisis while still maintaining critical functions, such as back-up generation or fire safety;
  • Has staff who have been trained to manage a crisis when it occurs and can continue to keep the building well-maintained;
  • Has contingency plans and the resources in place to return to normal operations quickly following a crisis; and
  • Back-up resources, such as water storage and power generators, in case plans, processes, or systems fail.

So where do you start to ensure your building is prepared for extreme weather events? A few key areas to consider are highlighted in this infographic from New York City’s Building Resiliency Task Force Report.

Source: Urban Green

Envelop Your Envelope   

Structurally, one of the most important steps to make your building more resilient is to improve the building envelope. Better insulation, air sealing, efficient windows and doors, and a well-insulated roof improve your building’s ability to withstand changes in climate. A resilient building envelope will also help you reduce your energy demand by making you less dependent on your heating and cooling systems and better able to maintain comfortable conditions in a power outage. With higher summer temperatures and more heat waves predicted for the coming years, having a well-insulated, air-tight building envelope is critical to managing these potential changes.

While resiliency may begin with the building envelope, it doesn’t end there. Your building has multiple related systems operating together, so you’ll want to address each one to ensure they are in good working condition. This includes all safety, heating and cooling, back-up generation, water, and flood prevention systems.

This checklist offers a good starting point for identifying ways to increase your building’s resiliency.

The more resilient our buildings are to flooding and extreme weather means the safer they will be. HSC recommends incorporating resiliency measures in your capital planning to ensure your building is prepared to deal with the unexpected as part of your efforts to keep your residents safe and comfortable throughout the year.

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SHARP Helps 16 Toronto Non-Profit and Co-ops with Energy Efficient Retrofits

Back in 2016, 16 Toronto Non-Profit and Co-op Housing providers partnered with HSC and the City of Toronto on projects for the Social Housing Apartment Retrofit Program (SHARP). SHARP was focused on energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction retrofits. This one-time investment provided housing providers the opportunity to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings and lower their operating costs.

Through these retrofits, providers achieved an estimated collective energy savings of almost 12,790 megawatt hours across the 19 buildings. That’s the equivalent of taking 2,038 cars off the road and powering 1,028 homes for a full year!

Providers also tapped into almost $1.3M worth of gas and electricity incentives that helped extend their SHARP investment, allowing the providers to expand their project scope and execute further building improvements.  The numbers provide a great example of how accessing incentives can help you achieve an even greater impact with your energy reduction projects.

Questions?  Contact Jennifer McMahon at HSC for more information.

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Co-op Saves Big on Heating Systems Upgrade

upwoodIn 2017, Upwood Park/Salvador del Mundo Co-op successfully tackled a major heating system upgrade by combining over $100,000 in Enbridge Gas incentives with provincial Social Housing Apartment Retrofit Program (SHARP) funding.

By leveraging Enbridge’s Affordable Housing Multi-Residential Program and multiple incentive programs, this two-tower, ten-storey Toronto co-op is moving into the 2018-19 heating season with increased efficiencies and reduced operational costs.  The upgrades are expected to save the co-op $34,000 in gas costs annually, improve its efficiency and most of all, increase the comfort of tenants.

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Looking for Inspiration? Energy Efficient Housing Innovations in Ontario and Beyond

In and outside Ontario, housing leaders are working with governments on some exciting projects that tackle the need for more affordable housing. These projects and approaches are redefining the face of housing, as well as how we approach energy efficiency. Some interesting examples include:

1. Small size, big inspiration

Many housing organizations in Ontario are considering tiny homes as a way of adding affordable housing supply. Tiny homes make efficient use of space and land, energy efficiency potential, and mobility. The latest issue of Green Builder magazine provides a “tactical guide” outlining some of the opportunities and challenges of building small.

2. Municipal by-laws changes making it easier to create laneway homes

Larger municipalities are also looking at laneway homes as a means of growing affordable housing supply. The structures are typically small homes or suites infilled into the backyard or back lane of an existing lot and are an interesting option for areas experiencing affordability and rental pressure.  Over the past two years, Ottawa, Toronto , Vancouver  and Hamilton changed their by-laws to allow or make it easier and more cost effective to build laneway homes.  A small by-law change for municipalities has big potential for affordable housing!

3. Alberta announces ambitious shipping container project

Over the next two years, the Alberta Rural Development Network’s Sustainable Housing Initiative will develop up to 467 affordable housing units through at least eight energy-efficient shipping container projects. The first project announced under this initiative will meet net-zero targets for energy efficiency and will house up to 78 residents in a 33 unit, three-storey cost-effective project.

4. UK uses satellites to identify energy efficiency opportunities in housing stock

The International energy company, E.ON, is working with the European Space Agency and India’s Astrosat space observatory to identify areas of highest need for energy efficiency measures in housing across the UK. Experts are combining satellite imagery data from Astrosat’s heat-mapping software with existing data on housing stock and low-income populations to help local authorities target spending on energy upgrades and installations. The initiative aims to save the time spent evaluating houses one at a time on the ground in order to have more time to dedicate to actual upgrades. Read more here.

Want more inspiration? Attend our upcoming Regeneration Forum, March 25-26, 2019 in Toronto. The forum will feature multiple sessions discussing energy efficient buildings including passive houses and affordability related to energy retrofits. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to learn more and speak directly to experts in the field. For more information, visit the Regeneration Forum 2019 website here.

Source: CBC News
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Notice for UMP Users

Your Q3 2018 UMP reports will be available Wednesday, December 19, 2018.  Please log-in to view your report.

Login to UMP

Lost your UMP log-in information? We can help. Just send us an email specifying the building to receive your login credentials.

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Call Me Maybe
One Life
Turn Me On
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What Makes You Beautiful
The Motto
Wild Ones
Turn Up The Music
Middle Finger
Sorry For Party Rocking
Is Anybody Out There?
Safe and Sound