Toronto Hydro Energy Services Inc.

Toronto Hydro Energy Services Inc.

November 29, 2006 13:50 ET

Toronto Hydro Energy Services Inc.: Commercial Buildings Urged to Take Advantage of BOMA Incentive Program for Energy Efficiency

- Yves Lemoine of Toronto Hydro Energy Services says to act now

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 29, 2006) - Owners and managers of commercial buildings in Toronto should plan now to retrofit and take advantage of a new program that is offering 60 million dollars in energy-efficiency incentives, says Yves Lemoine, Vice-President of Engineering and Business Development at Toronto Hydro Energy Services, which provides energy-efficiency projects to customers throughout Ontario.

Lemoine was on a panel discussing the new Conservation and Demand Management Incentive program launched today at PM Expo, Canada's largest annual property management exposition and conference currently under way at the Toronto Convention Centre. The panel outlined the conservation-and-demand management program involving BOMA (Building Owners & Managers Association of Greater Toronto) and the Ontario Power Authority. Also on the panel were: Chuck Farmer, Director of Business Market Channels, Program Operator and Sector Development, Ontario Power Authority; Mike McGee, President of Energy Profiles; and Doug Taylor, BOMA Program Manager.

"This program is a tremendous opportunity to invest in energy-management solutions," Lemoine said. "By upgrading your building's operating system and improving energy efficiency, you will increase asset value and reduce operating costs by as much as 20 percent."

The Conservation and Demand Management Incentive program is targeted at multi-use, commercial, office, retail and hotel properties with at least 25,000 square feet. It aims to deliver 150 MW of measurable, verifiable savings within Toronto's commercial building stock over the next three years. The program requires engineering assessments of energy-efficiency measures and offers incentives based on $400 per kW saved or $0.05 per kWh. In total, the program is offering $60 million in incentives over three years.

"Energy costs are comprising a greater percentage of operating costs and will only increase in the future," Lemoine said. "But many buildings can achieve energy savings of 15% and the Return On Investment (ROI) for energy-saving projects can be anywhere from 25% to 35% so this is a low-risk, high-return investment. For example, a 100,000 square feet commercial building could save up to $50,000. It just makes a lot of sense."

The province of Ontario is committed to reducing electricity use by at least ten per cent by 2007 and according to Lemoine, owners and managers of commercial buildings can all do their part. He offered concrete suggestions on where energy savings can be achieved in their buildings and how they can access the incentive funds, but added that they should act now because the program covers only three years and the incentive funds are limited.

"The process involves making energy-efficiency strategies, doing implementations, verifying the savings achieved, and then applying for the incentives," he said. "You can start by looking at heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, general lighting and parking garage lighting. These are all areas where great savings are possible."

Lemoine offered this advice to managers of commercial buildings in Toronto:

- Look at your existing energy systems to see where energy is wasted.

- If your 2007 budget has already been set, defer items from 2007 capital budgets that aren't urgent, and replace them with an investment in energy-efficiency projects. This allows you to proceed without delay in applying for to the BOMA program and getting access to incentives.

- Start you planning for 2007, 2008 and 2009 now so that efficiency investments can be budgeted for. Ensure your plans are action oriented and scheduled to ensure that projects meet delivery timeframes consistent with the BOMA program.

- Consider new technology like energy-efficient light fixtures, which allow you to use fewer fixtures and get better lighting, and make this part of a retrofit to an existing system.

- Do a detailed cost-benefit analysis of your new energy-management systems so you'll know how much money is saved annually, how much more efficient the system has become, how long the payback will be, and what the return on investment will be.

- Ask for savings guarantees from your service providers and use a service provider that can handle your projects turnkey. This helps ensure that the project being conceived matches what gets engineered and installed and ensures you get the maximum incentive from BOMA.

Lemoine cited examples of buildings that have already achieved significant energy savings: a new lighting system in the underground parking garage at Commerce Court on King Street, which cut overall energy usage by more than half and reduced lighting maintenance costs to almost zero; the General Motors plant in Oshawa which saved almost $2 million in annual utility costs; and the Lotherton Condominium Complex which reduced its natural gas costs by $140,000 a year.

Toronto Hydro Energy Services Inc. is a professional energy services company focused on helping multi-residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, and government customers reduce their energy consumption and realize sustainable energy savings. In addition, Toronto Hydro Energy Services manages street lighting assets and is involved in the development and operation of renewable, clean-energy generation projects. Toronto Hydro Energy Services is firmly committed to energy conservation and clean energy initiatives.

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