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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.
Some lighting applications suit the use of off-grid solar to power them, and a number of companies are now marketing off-grid solar powered LED lamps in Canada. This takes the savings captured by using LEDs a step further by taking you off the grid altogether.

Measure, map and manage

Written by  Ken Sinclair Thursday, 26 November 2009 02:29
Our industry now has the power to measure and sensor almost every piece of building information and then map it to graphical representations to develop strategies for managing from anywhere, anytime. To effectively make this happen, we need to lower the cost of sensors and their installation, increase their reach by improving our presentation models while looking to the cloud for low cost management of dynamic building information.

Lighting efficiency series: The ultimate green lighting retrofit solution

Written by  Greg Jones Thursday, 26 November 2009 02:24
Many companies have come to realize the tremendous value in switching to energy efficient light fixtures, enticed by savings of 50 per cent or more. Typically, existing fixtures are replaced with new fixtures such as T5 or T8 fluorescent lamps and ballasts. But there are alternatives that allow companies to use their existing fixtures – and enjoy the same savings.

Five tips for choosing LEDs for exterior lamping applications

Written by  Robert Colman Thursday, 26 November 2009 02:19
The use of light emitting diodes, or LEDs, for exterior lamping applications has become a viable option for parking lot and street lighting over the past couple of years. The energy savings possible for municipalities and businesses can be remarkable, but to get full value from the adoption of LEDs, it’s important to use the right approach. Bryan Charlebois, Director of Technical Sales for Ruud Lighting Canada offers these tips to anyone considering replacing older luminaires with LED technology.

Riding Scotland’s renewable wave – a potential energy boom

Written by  Robert Colman Thursday, 26 November 2009 02:15
An international renewable energy contingency was in Ottawa recently for the Ocean Renewable Energy Group’s (OREG) 2009 Fall Symposium. Prior to the event, which assembles Canada's ocean energy industry leadership and international associates who see the resource and economic opportunities our oceans and massive river systems offer, Scottish Development International hosted a workshop to highlight Scotland’s achievements in the areas of tidal, current and wave energy and how those are able to be translated to other parts of the world.
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