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Energy Matters: June 2024

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Energy Matters: June 2024

Summer is here, and the HSC Energy Services team is excited to tell you about our recent energy efficiency-focused site tour in Windsor. We also share a guest article from Enbridge Gas and update you on a free electricity efficiency webinar series offered by the Independent Electricity System Operator. Enjoy this issue of Energy Matters!

In this issue:


Windsor Tour Showcases Innovative Energy Saving Approach

On May 2, 2024, Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation (WECHC) welcomed HSC’s Energy Services Stakeholder Advisory Group for an exciting tour of its latest energy efficiency projects at two new buildings and one recently acquired retrofit site.

WECHC’s Chief Development and Regeneration Officer, Jay Shanmugam – along with team members Mohnad Nabhan, Senior Manager, Projects, and Joseph Ennett, Project Manager, Development and Regeneration – walked the group through the projects’ technologies and measures and discussed pros, cons, and lessons learned for each.

HSC Energy Services Stakeholder Advisory Group tours Windsor’s Meadowbrook Place

Meadowbrook Place

Windsor kicked off the tour at Ontario’s largest Passive House multi-residential building – Meadowbrook Place. Overlooking a city-owned golf course, this 10-storey, 145-unit tower is Windsor’s first new public housing in 30 years and features several energy and water saving measures to ensure tenant comfort and keep utility costs low.

Air tightness was a key piece of Meadowbrook’s efficiency approach. Its building envelope is comprised of a heavy-gage stud wall assembly, with a 2-layer, trowel-applied air barrier, and 5.5” adhesive-bonded Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS). The EIFS system has a full wrap-around for fire protection. Features such as triple glazed windows and no thermal bridging help prevents heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. The overall result is a super air-tight, highly insulated envelope that maintains thermal comfort for tenants throughout the year.

Meadowbrook Place Wall Assembly Source: Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation

Within the building, WECHC opted for a combination of highly efficient, low-energy-demand technologies to condition the tenant and common spaces:

  • Passive-House certified energy recovery ventilators on the roof and conditioning common rooms and halllways;
  • A variable refrigerant flow mechanical system with fan-coil units to provide in-suite heating and cooling; and
  • A simplified building automation system to maintain controls throughout the structure.

Located within a Conservation Authority-regulated area, Meadowbrook was built on a cast-in-place concrete structure with a raft foundation and has a storm water management system below-ground and above the parking lot. The storm water system will help protect Meadowbrook from potential 100-year storms and flooding. A rainwater harvesting system was installed in the basement to help reduce water consumption, with tenants on specific floors able to opt-in. In drought conditions, the system can switch over to the city water system.

WECHC also emphasized a positive tenant experience in Meadowbrook’s design. Features include integrated accessibility, a keyless access system, progressive waste management, and fresh, colourful interiors. Additionally, walls between suites can be reconfigured in future to accommodate changing tenant demographics and needs.

For photo captions of the Windsor Tour, click here.

Fairview

At our second stop, Jay and his team showed off the current and planned improvements at the recently acquired 7365 Wyandotte St. East. At over 50 years old, this building needed updates to its interiors and mechanical systems. The process was challenging given that occupancy has been maintained throughout the updates. 

On the energy side, WECHC has:

  • Replaced radiant heat and window air conditions with new ducted heat pumps, providing more efficient heating and cooling to the building;
  • Installed a new, more efficient air handling system to provide fresh air to common areas; and
  • Begun to install submeters to track tenant use.

The team has also worked to replace balconies, update laundry facilities, and renovate the building entrance, including enclosing the original exterior stairwell entry using an EIFS system. WECHC is also in the process of modernizing tenant spaces.

Bloomfield Phases I & II

Our final stop brought us to WECHC’s Bloomfield in-fill project. With funding from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Rapid Housing Initiative, WECHC has added 12 new townhomes and is in the process of adding 18 more at its existing Bloomfield property.

Like the other projects we visited, the Bloomfield project focused on creating highly efficient, modern, and affordable homes. The energy and water savings measures include:

  • Efficient hot water heating systems: at Phase I, the system is shared across four units, while at Phase II, each unit has its own system;
  • Condensing dryers;
  • Highly efficient heat pumps provide low-energy-demand heating and cooling;
  • Submetering of all units;
  • Sound Transmission Class-rated windows to reduce noise from nearby train tracks; and
  • A roof designed to support future solar installation at Phase II.

The completed homes are air-tight, with blower door tests achieving rates as low as 1.0-1.9 air changes per hour. Overall, the units are deeply affordable, modern, and efficient.

HSC thanks Jay and WECHC for hosting the Energy Services Stakeholder Advisory Group and commends the team on its great work providing affordable, efficient, and beautiful homes. We look forward to seeing more great projects in future from this innovative housing provider!


Looking for Energy Incentives for your Multi-residential Buildings? Enbridge Offers Incentives and Expert Support to Help You

The following guest article is sponsored content provided by Enbridge Gas, Inc.

Register now for Enbridge’s July 9th webinar on Energy Efficiency
Incentive Programs for Affordable Housing!

At Enbridge Gas we work hard to help property managers and building owners save money with our energy-efficiency programs. Our Affordable Housing Multi-Residential Program offers financial incentives up to $200,000 to help identify and implement energy efficiency initiatives and is designed to help participants save energy, cut operating costs, and reduce carbon emissions.

Here’s how we add value for our customers:

Solutions tailored to providers’ needs and budgets

We know that affordable housing providers operate within limited annual budgets, so every decision comes down to dollars. The Affordable Housing Multi-Residential Program provides generous incentives that go straight to the bottom line. We work with customers to identify the right technology and provide an incentive to help build a better business case for approvals.

Source: Enbridge Gas

Lower the cost barriers for housing providers

Budgets can make it difficult to move ahead with certain building improvements. Incentives not only lower the upfront cost of the equipment but can reduce energy and operating costs year over year. High-efficiency equipment is safer and more reliable, which is a huge benefit for residents and property managers during cold winters.

Assistance with project planning

Whether replacing end-of-life equipment in the years ahead or need an immediate upgrade for equipment that’s broken down, we’re determined to better understand our customer’s goals to provide a comprehensive solution. We can present a comparison of lower-priced and highest efficiency equipment to demonstrate the long-term cost benefits of energy-efficient equipment. Providing this comparison allows customers to make informed decisions on how best to move forward.

Source: Enbridge Gas

We make it easy to get incentives

We appreciate how busy housing providers can be. We’ve simplified the process to get incentives, making it as easy as possible for our customers. Our team does all the heavy lifting, from design assistance to verifying savings; we even take care of the paperwork. Our goal is simple — to help affordable housing providers reduce costs and improve the quality of the homes they provide.

Enbridge Gas has helped hundreds of affordable housing providers, building managers, and residents across Ontario find ways to become more energy-efficient, cost effective and comfortable.

We’ll work with you to:

  • Identify energy-saving opportunities.
  • Calculate potential savings.
  • Help you submit applications and receive incentives or free upgrades.

Important Information
Amendment 15: A key reason to upgrade now

Beginning in 2025, the only boiler replacement option for most multi-residential buildings will be condensing boilers (greater than 90 percent efficiency) due to Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations. With the boiler early bird offer, you can plan ahead on condensing boiler upgrades with extra incentives.

Let Enbridge guide you through the process and help get your savings underway. Take the first step and apply today.

phone icon 1-866-844-9994

energyservices@enbridge.com

enbridgegas.com/affordable


Unlock the Power of Energy Management:
A Comprehensive Course for Social Housing Providers in Ontario

The following guest article is sponsored by the Canadian Institute of Energy Training on behalf of the Independent Electricity System Operator.

Register now for the Save on Energy July 17th webinar on Navigating the Energy Efficiency Landscape: Leveraging Data for Strategic Decision-Making

Are you looking to make your social housing portfolio more energy efficient and sustainable? Save on Energy can help, with our new six-part series of workshops tailored to social housing providers across Ontario, offered at no cost.

Our immersive and collaborative program will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to effectively manage energy use in your housing portfolio. No prior energy management experience or expertise is required! This course starts with the basics and takes you right through to advanced strategies and we provide coaching and support every step of the way.

You will learn how to manage your energy use efficiently, engage tenants, and plan for the long-term. You’ll gain the skills you need to achieve a greener, more sustainable future for your housing community.

Whether you’re a property manager, facilities operator, board member, or asset or energy manager, our six-part virtual series will enable you to achieve your energy management goals.

Register for our upcoming webinar on July 17! And be sure to register for the whole series here!

Upcoming Workshop Series

In the introduction to the series, we’ll discuss the value of building energy data in decision-making, project prioritization and planning for the future. We will cover key resources and programs for housing providers in Ontario, including Save on Energy, Housing Services Corporation, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and the Government of Canada.
 
This session will help you unlock the power of data-driven decision-making and access support systems designed to propel your energy-efficiency initiatives forward.

In this workshop, we cover the fundamental principles of strategic energy management, guided by industry-leading experts. Learn how to design an energy management plan tailored to meet your specific needs and goals. Discover the valuable process of conducting an energy treasure hunt, uncovering no- and low-cost opportunities for immediate savings and additional non-energy benefits.

We’ll also explore the steps involved in identifying and planning for larger energy projects, ensuring a comprehensive approach to maximizing efficiency and sustainability in your residential buildings.

This session provides a deep dive into HVAC systems commonly found in residential buildings, ranging from single-family homes to multi-unit townhomes and apartments.
 
In this workshop, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills necessary to operate and maintain your building HVAC systems, ensuring optimal performance and comfort for residents. We’ll also explore how to identify signs indicating the need for HVAC system replacements, and innovative strategies for providing cooling solutions in environments where traditional systems may be absent or inadequate.
 
This workshop equips you with practical insights to enhance energy efficiency and elevate comfort levels in residential spaces.

From optimizing the building envelope to upgrading lighting, appliances, HVAC, and implementing advanced controls, this workshop offers a comprehensive examination of retrofit opportunities available to meet the diverse needs of housing providers.
 
Gain valuable tips for selecting contractors or developing procurements and engaging tenants about upcoming changes and efficient use of new technologies.

This workshop will focus on how to get needed budget approvals for your energy projects. Explore a range of available tools for conducting preliminary analyses, making informed decisions, and presenting your business case to decision makers.
 
In this session, we’ll go beyond simple payback calculations to cover the multifaceted benefits of energy-efficiency projects as investments — economic, social, and environmental. Learn how to articulate the life-cycle costs and long-term value proposition of energy-efficiency initiatives, and how to align them with organizational goals and priorities.

Understand the value of measurement and verification (M&V) to track the performance of implemented projects. Hear from industry experts on options available and explore guides and tools designed to streamline the M&V process, enabling accurate assessment and optimization of project outcomes.
 
A special emphasis will be placed on International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) Option C, taking a comprehensive review of this whole building approach that allows for M&V without the need for specialized metering equipment or additional costs. Gain a thorough understanding of how Option C can be seamlessly integrated into your energy-efficiency initiatives to maximize value and minimize complexity.


Track Your Utilities with UMP

How do you know if your utility use is increasing or decreasing when weather changes year to year? How can you tell if any energy and water saving projects are having an impact? HSC’s Utility Management Program (UMP) accounts for differences in weather each year so you can view an apples-to-apples comparison of your building utility performance over time and from one year to the next.

Log in to UMP to view your latest UMP dashboards and Gas, Electricity, and Water reports. If you’re not sure how to interpret your data, contact us!


Other Topics? 
If you’d like to suggest a topic or want a one-on-one review with HSC staff, please contact us!

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