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Building automation and the cloud educational series in Orlando

Written by  Ken Sinclair Thursday, 14 January 2010 09:37
I am often asked how one can learn more about the transitions now occurring in our building industry. One way is to travel to a warm location in January, and be part of the World's Largest HVAC&R Event and my 11th consecutive year of providing free education sessions at AHR Expo in Orlando, Florida (

Lighting efficiency series: It’s RRSP time… for lighting?

Written by  Greg Jones Wednesday, 13 January 2010 17:27

Well, it’s that time of year again — RRSP season is just around the corner. Every year I leave this to the last minute. The delay is usually due to my procrastination over where to put my money. Where can I get a decent return? My choices are usually pretty limited.

Financial mechanisms to reduce carbon emissions - why they are important

Written by  Peter Rowles Wednesday, 13 January 2010 17:24
The topic of climate change has been hotly debated for the past 20 years. Until recently, scientists, politicians and business leaders, especially in North America, have not been able to agree on the existence of the problem let alone what measures should be taken to mitigate it. It is only recently that consensus levels have dramatically increased. Even the Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, admits that climate change is real when he says: “The facts are there, that we have created... a self-inflicted wound through global warming.” It is now generally accepted that climate change is real, immediate and requires substantive action. 
In the fall of 2009, St. Marys Cement in Bowmanville was the first North American industrial organization to receive its Certification in Energy Excellence (CEE). St. Marys received a silver level certificate after completing an in-depth, 12 month, third-party energy assessment. The certification was the culmination of three years of work on the company’s energy management program.

Are your pumps working as efficiently as they should?

Written by  Robert Colman Wednesday, 13 January 2010 16:58
When considering how to make a building more energy efficient, lighting always seems to be the first thing that comes to mind. However, as Greg Towsley explained at the recent PM Expo in Toronto, there are many savings opportunities related to pumps that aren’t being captured.

2009 Year in Review

Written by  Robert Colman Wednesday, 23 December 2009 01:00
The past year has appeared to be a watershed in smart grid development (in some places), green building and clean technology promotion. It’s difficult to say what it will all amount to in another 12 months, but the following three stories are worth keeping a watch on throughout the new year.

Smart investments in higher education: lighting and chiller retrofits at U of T

Written by  Robert Colman Tuesday, 22 December 2009 22:44
Comprising approximately 11 million square feet, University of Toronto’s 180-year-old campus encompasses over 120 buildings averaging 77 years of age.  When a chiller failure led  to the closure of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto one hot summer day in 2004, capital constraints could no longer justify deferring the replacement of the 36-year-old-unit.

Recommissioning: The best-kept secret in reducing operating costs

Written by  Robert Colman Tuesday, 22 December 2009 22:40
Over the past year, organizations like the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada (BOMA) and the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) have emphasized perhaps more forcefully than ever that effective and efficient building management isn’t necessarily about spending money on expensive retrofit projects. At the most basic level it’s about policy, processes and people. This point was emphasized once more during a session at this year’s PM Expo in Toronto on recommissioning — perhaps the best kept secret in reducing energy costs.

The transition to a low carbon-world: Manufacturers need to prepare

Written by  Julie Matthews Wednesday, 09 December 2009 10:24
With prospective climate change legislation and policy discussions in the United States and Canada, intensive international negotiations culminating later this year, and ongoing stakeholder interest, companies are scrambling to develop or boost their climate change strategies. For heavy manufacturers, it is now clear that climate change regulation would have a significant impact on business. The US Environmental Protection Agency’s mandatory reporting under the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Rule and the Ontario draft Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting regulation and guideline now have a reporting threshold of 25,000 tonnes from combustible emissions per facility.

Smarter, more agile green IT – now within reach for small businesses

Written by  Robert Colman Wednesday, 09 December 2009 10:17
The value of having greener, more energy efficient IT departments has been well understood for the past few years, but until recently those efficiencies weren’t financially viable for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Times have changed quickly, as Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada can attest to. With IT virtualization, the company has become much more agile and, in the process, much more efficient.

Hats off to The Gas City’s solar project

Written by  Ricki Normandin Wednesday, 09 December 2009 10:04
Medicine Hat, Alberta, dubbed "The Gas City" because of its huge natural gas reserves, is looking to the sun for some of its own energy needs. Unique for a Canadian municipality, Medicine Hat is in the gas production business. A vertically integrated energy utility, the city has approximately 4,000 natural gas wells in its area and neighbouring southwestern Saskatchewan, distributes natural gas in the region and also uses natural gas to run its municipal power plant.
There is much talk today about renewable power, the smart grid and cleantech that is supposed to change the nature of our power grid. But while we are seeing a positive move to a greener and more intelligent electricity grid, there are lots of hurdles we will have to tackle before we achieve the intelligent grid we are aiming for. Those hurdles were concisely captured in Roger Gale’s recent keynote address at the Association of Power Producers of Ontario’s (APPrO) annual conference.
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