Breaking news. Ontario becomes the first province to approve new provincial Energy and Water Benchmarking Regulations

Ontario to Lead Provinces in Fight to Reduce Carbon Footprint in Buildings

Breaking news. Ontario becomes the first province to approve new provincial Energy and Water Benchmarking Regulations. The Ontario Ministry of Energy has introduced the Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking (EWRB) initiative to help building owners improve their building’s energy and water efficiency and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

It is reported that buildings in Ontario such as office buildings, condominiums and retail stores, accounted for 19% of Ontario’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2013. The mandatory reporting of energy and water use data for big buildings will help building owners to not only better manage energy and water use and reduce costs, but the data will allow for great insight into identifying best practices to improve efficiencies in buildings across the province.

According to an article published in December 2016 in by Tyler Hamilton, adjunct professor of eco-studies at York University, and the senior manager of partnerships at MaRS Cleantech, in, Hamilton states, “Sure, Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking sounds dull, but the rules it embodies represent a Canadian first, and the data it unleashes will offer municipal planners, building and condo owners, tenants, and investors unprecedented insight into the performance of any city’s most valuable non-human asset”.

The EWRB regulations, starting in July 2018, will require the largest commercial and industrial buildings, with a square footage of 250,000 of total floor space or greater, to report granular data about their electricity, natural gas and water use over the previous year. This requirement will be expanded in the subsequent two years to include buildings greater than 50,000 square feet, including multi-residential buildings with at least 10 units, commercial and some industrial buildings/properties. To find out if your building is required to report, review Ontario’s Large Building Energy and Water reporting and Benchmarking Requirement: Building Types for the full list of building types that are required to report.

Data reporting will be an annual requirement and the energy and water data will be reported using the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager.

Data to be reported on an annual basis includes:

  • Monthly energy and water consumption and performance data, e.g. energy and water use intensity, ENERGY STAR score (where available)
  • GHG emissions and intensity
  • Building characteristic information, such as gross floor area

This new Ontario Regulation, filed under the Green Energy Act, shows Ontario’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enables building owners to see the true value of granular energy data. By utilizing real time energy management systems that provide a continuous energy audit, building owners can make informed decisions to take corrective action to improve efficiencies in all buildings across the province.

CircuitMeter applauds this decision and predicts that it will lead to a greater focus on energy efficiency in commercial and industrial buildings, driving Ontario to adopt more advanced energy management technologies and services, and becoming leaders in this field.