“[We] understand that our actions have the power to positively impact the environment, our customers, and the communities in which we operate.”
By Anthony Capkun
September 7, 2021 – “For large organizations, a dedicated energy manager is one of the best hires you can make,” says the IESO’s Carrie Aloussis, Senior Manager, Business Strategy and Content, adding that its Energy Manager program is the largest of its kind in North America, helping to save energy and drive Ontario’s competitiveness.
One of those dedicated energy managers is Olga Horolskaya of Canadian Tire Corp., one of five 2019 Energy Manager award recipients.
Working with the IESO’s Save on Energy team, Energy Manager Canada interviewed Olga to learn how she became an energy manager in the first place, to discuss her successes, and to understand the importance of energy managers and proactive energy management to any organization.
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Olga Horolskaya, Save on Energy Commercial Sector Energy Manager of the Year
Meet Olga, who was instrumental in implementing over 300 energy-efficiency projects in 2019, which contribute over $1 million to Canadian Tire Corporation’s (CTC) bottom line.
Energy Manager Canada: How did you get into the field of energy management and/or how did you become an energy manager in your organization?
OLGA: I have an Engineering degree from the Belarusian National Technical University in Minsk, specializing in Energy, and I am a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) and Certified Measurement & Verification Professional (CMVP).
I worked on multiple energy-efficiency projects in the past for the City of Toronto and am now very proud to work at CTC as Energy Manager for the Real Estate Sustainability team.
Energy Manager Canada: What excites you the most about the work you do in your organization?
OLGA: At CTC, we pride ourselves on incorporating innovative and energy-saving features into our stores across our group of companies. We want to be as efficient as possible in our operations by reducing energy costs and maintenance requirements, for example, with energy-efficient lighting, which not only consumes less energy but provides better quality light.
Our employees have also given us positive feedback about these changes, including the improved lighting in our warehouses. This feedback is what excites me the most and is a major stimulus for the adoption of strategic energy management by CTC.
Energy Manager Canada: What is a “win” (or some “wins”) of which you are really proud?
OLGA: By retrofitting our lights to LEDs at over 500 Canadian Tire, SportChek and PartSource locations across Canada, we’ve reduced store lighting energy use, on average, by 50%, which has had a major impact on overall energy consumption and utility costs. In 2019, we were able to save 6,843 MWh in these Ontario stores, which is the equivalent of powering 760 Ontario homes for an entire year.*
All of that has had a positive impact on our bottom line; in Ontario alone, energy cost savings in 2019 were around $1 million. It is very inspiring that CTC has received the Energy Manager 2019 award and received recognition for our contribution to energy conservation.
In addition to the Energy Manager program, the Save on Energy Retrofit program helped us succeed in saving energy in a cost-efficient manner. With the support we received in Ontario from this incentive program, we have invested in more energy-efficient lighting—as well as heating and cooling—at our Canadian Tire, SportChek and PartSource locations.
Together, these changes have made a large impact by reducing maintenance costs, as our new equipment tends to have extended product warranties and longer life spans than previous technologies.
Energy Manager Canada: How did Energy Manager Support Services provided by Save on Energy help you to succeed at your organization?
OLGA: The continued support and training provided by Energy Manager Support Services helps me excel in my role, as it has given me the opportunity to join a network of energy managers and to learn more about new energy-efficiency opportunities available to retailers.
Energy Manager Canada: Why is it important for organizations to have people like you?
OLGA: CTC is a part of the fabric of this nation, and we understand that our actions have the power to positively impact the environment, our customers, and the communities in which we operate. That’s why we never stop looking for ways to integrate new and innovative sustainable practices into our business strategy and, since 2008, we have focused our efforts on bringing more sustainable solutions and innovations to our business and retail operations.
Throughout the years, our company has committed to improving its environmental performance by setting targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The goal is to reduce emissions from buildings and operations by 22% by 2022 (against a 2011 baseline), and set new targets for 2030 and beyond.
As part of this journey, the Real Estate Sustainability team aims to reduce energy consumption as much as possible and our participation in Save on Energy’s Energy Manager program helps to make this happen. Over the last four years, my projects have contributed to 24,634 MWh savings at our facilities in Ontario, which is enough to power more than 2,737 Ontario homes for a year.*
For 2021 and beyond, we will continue to reduce carbon emissions through retrofits and attractive store designs, helping to build a better country for all Canadians and a sustainable world for future generations.
Energy managers = project success
“Energy managers have the strategic and technical expertise to recommend the energy-saving equipment and technologies that are right for your business,” added Carrie Aloussis. “They also have the skills to implement an energy management strategy for your business that supports project success and benefits a company’s bottom line.”
Learn more about the other 2019 Energy Manager award recipients:
• Jana Jamnicky of Cameco
• Benjamin Ratcliffe of the Peel District School Board
• Rod Michalko of Dunn Paper
• Cristina Guido of the Town of Caledon
* Assumes 9,000 kWh per home annually.