Sign In

Energy-saving tips for business

​Saving energy and money is easy with our tips and product advice. Select a category:

 

 Apartments and condos

 

Managing space and water heating costs can help reduce operating costs for rental apartments. Here are some tips to help you reduce energy use.

Boilers

  • Have boilers and associated systems maintained annually by a licensed contractor. During the service, ask the contractor to measure the boiler’s efficiency and check the control system. 
  • Insulate valves, flanges and pipes in mechanical rooms and unheated areas. Insulate expansion tanks and heat exchangers.
  • Turn off boilers and heating pumps in summer.

Fireplaces

  • Use automatic fireplace shutoff timers. 
  • Include fireplace servicing as a part of your annual maintenance schedule.
  • Consider turning off the pilot lights in the summer to save energy. You can have them turned back on during annual maintenance.

Heat pumps

  • In winter keep the temperature set point consistent.
  • Replace filters regularly.
  • Keep supply vents open and free from obstruction.
  • Keep the coil in the outdoor unit clear of snow, leaves and other debris so air flow is not restricted.

Make-up air units

  • Leave the fan running in the summer, but turn off the heating. 
  • In the winter, set temperature controls to 18 °C (64 °F) as it’s sufficient for corridors, stairs and hallways.

Water heating

  • Have your storage tank and hot water supply boilers serviced on an annual basis. 
  • Flush storage tank water heaters yearly to maintain proper heat transfer and improve life expectancy. 
  • Make sure storage tanks, hot water pipes, valves and flanges are insulated.
  • Install water-efficient showerheads and faucet aerators to save on hot water consumption.

Swimming pools

  • Adjust temperature settings so the air temperature in the indoor pool area is higher than the water temperature. This greatly reduces heat loss from the pool.
  • Cover the pool and hot tub when not in use to reduce heat loss and evaporation.
  • Reduce indoor pool room ventilation rates at night when the pool is not being used.
  • Cover the pool throughout the period when it is being heated before the start of the season.
  • Clean filters regularly and conduct pump maintenance annually to help reduce energy use and extend the life of your pump.

Building structure

  • Check insulation levels when renovating and upgrade to current standards, where possible.
  • Draftproof windows and doors with weatherstripping. 
  • When it’s time to upgrade, install ENERGY STAR® windows and doors.

Lighting

  • In common areas, replace standard incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs. 
  • Replace T12 fluorescent lamps with high-performance T8 or LED lighting.
  • Upgrade CFL or incandescent exit signs to LED.


Highrises go high efficiency

After retrofitting 14 apartment buildings and receiving almost $206,000 in rebates from our Efficient Boiler Program, Hollyburn Properties encourages other residential property owners to get involved.


​GlenValley EnerGuide development

This 86-unit multi-family townhouse complex in Kelowna is unique as it combines energy efficiency with affordable price points.

 

 Health care

 

Hospitals and health care facilities often face tight maintenance budgets along with unique energy challenges such as power-hungry equipment, older buildings, 24/7 operation and backup power. Here are some low-cost and no-cost energy improvements that can help save energy and money and enhance the comfort of patients and staff.

Boilers

  • Regularly maintain boilers and associated systems and measure boiler efficiency at least once a year.
  • If boiler replacement isn’t feasible, consider adding an economizer to increase efficiency. This heat exchanger captures waste heat from the boiler’s flue gas to preheat water going into the boiler. 
  • Insulate valves, flanges and pipes in mechanical rooms and unheated areas. Insulate expansion tanks and heat exchangers.

Steam distribution system

  • Steam traps, which remove condensation from the steam distribution system once it’s cooled, can become stuck open. When they leak or fail in the open position, energy is wasted from the loss of steam. One malfunctioning trap can cost thousands of dollars in wasted energy annually.1

HVAC

  • Maintain HVAC units and clean or replace air filters and dampers regularly, to ensure proper air flow.
  • Clean heat transfer coils on chillers, heat pumps and air conditioners to ensure optimal operating efficiency.
  • Inspect and insulate heating ducts and pipes in unheated areas. Ensure ducts are sealed properly with approved foil tape.
  • Install variable-frequency drives (VFDs). They’ll help save energy by adjusting motor speeds to the building’s changing heating and ventilation needs.
  • Reduce fan speeds in unoccupied areas (e.g. cafeterias, meeting rooms and offices) at night.
  • Save energy in operating rooms by installing occupancy sensors or manual switches that reduce speeds of air supply and exhaust fans when operating rooms are unoccupied.

Thermostats and controls

  • Install programmable thermostats and set back the temperatures in rooms when unoccupied (e.g. offices and meeting rooms).
  • Invest in a digital direct control (DDC) system to continuously monitor and adjust conditions, such as vent fan speeds. Combined with software, DDC can be controlled remotely by facilities staff.

Water heating

  • Have storage tanks and hot water supply boilers serviced on an annual basis. 
  • Flush storage tank water heaters yearly to maintain proper heat transfer and improve life expectancy. 
  • Make sure storage tanks, hot water pipes, valves and flanges are insulated.
  • Fix leaky faucets as a tap dripping every second, wastes 720 litres of water per month, the equivalent of about 14 hot baths.2
  • Install water-efficient showerheads and bathroom faucet aerators to reduce water consumption.
  • Recycle hot water by installing drainpipe heat exchangers. They can save water-heating energy, shorten payback times and double or triple the water heater’s first-hour capacity.3

In the kitchen/cafeteria

  • Turn off cooking equipment when not in use (e.g. overnight hours or morning start-up), as a significant amount of energy used in cooking is for standby heating.
  • Preheat fryers for only as long as necessary. Cover them during slow periods to retain heat and turn them off completely when not in use.
  • Install water-efficient spray valves to rinse dishes.  
  • If shutting cooler doors isn’t practical, install vinyl strip curtains to keep cool air in. They’re also a great way to maintain temperature in loading dock areas.
  • Upgrade vending machines to ENERGY STAR® certified models, which are up to 50 per cent more efficient than conventional ones.
  • Install vending misers which use an occupancy sensor to power down vending machines and coolers when no one is around.

Window and doors

  • Regularly maintain and replace worn caulking and weatherstripping around windows and doors. 
  • On sunny winter days, open blinds to let in natural light and warmth. In warm weather, close or tilt them upward to keep rooms cooler.

Autoclaves

  • Install steam temperature boosters or spot steam generators so steam can be generated at the central plant at a lower temperature, reducing energy costs.

Lighting

  • In common areas, replace standard incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR® certified LED bulbs. 
  • Replace T12 fluorescent lamps with high-performance T8 and LED lighting.
  • Upgrade CFL or incandescent exit signs to LED.
  • Implement a regular lighting maintenance program.


HVAC goes under the knife

It wasn't the lack of heat, but rather too much of it that prompted a boiler replacement for one private hospital on Vancouver's west side.

1Source: US Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Office
2Based on the assumption of 3,600 drips/hour, 4,000 drips=1 litre, and 45L per bath.
3Source: ESource, Managing energy costs in colleges and universities

 

 Hotels and motels

 

Here are some innovative ways to help save energy through guest communications, staff engagement and changes in day-to-day processes to help cut costs.

Easy ways to save now

  • Set back HVAC settings to the minimum in storage rooms, offices and staff areas during hours of low use. 
  • Encourage housekeeping staff to unplug mini-fridges and microwaves and turn off lights and set temperatures to minimum levels after cleaning each room.
  • Close the drapes of unoccupied rooms to reduce heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter.
  • Front desk staff can help save energy by booking rooms in clusters. This way, only occupied building areas need to be heated or cooled for guests. Rooms on top floors, at building corners and facing west (in summer) or north (in winter) can be the most energy-intensive.

Boilers

  • Regularly maintain boilers and associated systems and measure boiler efficiency at least once a year.
  • If boiler replacement isn’t feasible, consider adding an economizer to increase efficiency. This heat exchanger captures waste heat from the boiler’s flue gas to preheat water going into the boiler. 
  • Insulate valves, flanges and pipes in mechanical rooms and unheated areas. Insulate expansion tanks and heat exchangers.

HVAC

  • Maintain HVAC units and clean or replace air filters and dampers regularly to ensure proper air flow.
  • Clean heat transfer coils on chillers, heat pumps and air conditioners to ensure optimal operating efficiency.
  • Inspect and insulate heating ducts and pipes in unheated areas. Ensure ducts are sealed properly with approved foil tape.
  • Install variable-frequency drives (VFDs). They’ll help save energy by adjusting motor speeds to the building’s changing heating and ventilation needs.
  • Reduce fan speeds in unoccupied areas (e.g. conference rooms, restaurants, offices) at night.

Thermostats and controls

  • Install programmable thermostats and set back the temperatures in rooms for when they are unoccupied (e.g. offices, banquet rooms, restaurants).
  • Install lighting controls to automatically turn down lighting and HVAC in unoccupied areas. 
  • Install CO2 sensors to automatically adjust the amount of fresh air to draw in for heating or cooling a large area. When no one is in the room, the fans run slower to ease the heating system’s load.
  • Invest in digital direct control (DDC) to continuously monitor and adjust conditions, such as vent fan speeds. Combined with software, DDC can be controlled remotely by facilities staff.

Water heating

  • Have your storage tank and hot water supply boilers serviced on an annual basis. 
  • Flush storage tank water heaters yearly to maintain proper heat transfer and improve life expectancy. 
  • Make sure storage tanks, hot water pipes, valves and flanges are insulated.
  • Fix leaky faucets as a tap dripping every second, wastes 720 litres of water per month, the equivalent of about 14 hot baths.1
  • Install water-efficient showerheads and bathroom faucet aerators to save on hot water consumption.
  • Install motion-sensor activated taps in public washrooms to prevent them from being left on. 
  • Recycle hot water by installing drainpipe heat exchangers. They can save water-heating energy, shorten payback times and double or triple the water heater’s first-hour capacity.2

Swimming pools

  • Adjust temperature settings so the air temperature in the indoor pool area is higher than the water temperature. This greatly reduces heat loss from the pool.
  • Cover the pool and hot tub when not in use to reduce heat loss and evaporation.
  • Reduce indoor pool room ventilation rates at night when the pool is not being used.
  • Cover the pool throughout the period when it is being heated before the start of the season.
  • Clean filters regularly and conduct pump maintenance annually to help reduce energy use and extend the life of your pump.

Windows and doors

  • Draftproof windows and doors with weatherstripping. 
  • Regularly maintain and replace worn caulking on the exterior.

Lighting

  • Replace standard incandescent bulbs in guest rooms with ENERGY STAR® certified LED bulbs. 
  • Replace T12 fluorescent lamps with high-performance T8 and LED lighting.
  • Upgrade CFL or incandescent exit signs to LED.
  • In meeting rooms and common areas take advantage of daylight to reduce lighting use during daytime hours.
  • Implement a regular lighting maintenance program.


Betting on efficiency results in big savings

Gateway Casinos is not only saving energy, but setting a standard for sustainability.


Nelson's grand old dame awash in savings

In 1898, before the words energy and efficiency joined together to become part of our modern day vernacular, Nelson’s Hume Hotel opened its doors to a new era in first-class service for the region.


Keeping cool under one roof

Keeping hotel guests comfortable is a priority for Kelowna's Accent Inns, but so is energy efficiency and keeping energy costs under control. Learn how we helped them keep air conditioning costs down with rebates on occupancy sensors.

 

1Based on the assumption of 3,600 drips/hour, 4,000 drips=1 litre, and 45L per bath.
2Source: ESource, Managing energy costs in colleges and universities

 

 Industrial facilities

 

The industrial sector in BC consumes approximately 36.5 million gigajoules* of natural gas annually, about 22 per cent of the total amount of natural gas consumed in BC. When you consider that a single pulp and paper mill can use as much as three million gigajoules of natural gas a year, the potential for energy savings is huge.

Through our rebate programs and conservation education, we can help you incorporate energy efficiency into your operations, to help you save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy-saving tips for industry

  • Ensure lighting is turned off or install lighting controls or timers in frequently unoccupied areas.
  • Automatic boiler blow down controls that continuously measure boiler water conductivity save energy, water and chemicals.
  • Increase your boiler efficiency by one to two per cent by using the oxygen trim feature. 
  • Reducing flue gas temperature by 20 ºC (68 ºF) can improve boiler efficiency by about one per cent. 
  • Insulate any bare steam or hot water pipes and distribution systems or replace deteriorating insulation.
  • Inspect for steam distribution systems for steam leaks and steam traps regularly.
  • Poor condensation drainage leads to water hammer, increased maintenance and poor heat transfer
  • Return as much condensate in systems as possible to save energy, water and chemicals
  • Combustion systems: 
    • Operate boilers and furnaces at a designed capacity. 
    • Conduct regular flue gas analysis to monitor operating efficiency.
    • Clean hot surfaces such as heat exchangers.
  • Compressed air:
    • Conduct regular leak detection and repair (LDAR) surveys and repair leaks as they are found.
    • Ensure the pressure set point is as low as possible while satisfying the system demand.
    • Conduct regular maintenance of air compressors, dryers and filters.
    • Optimize sequencing of multiple compressor system


Sawmill saves 2.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity

Weyerhaeuser’s energy champions are actively engaged to find opportunities to improve energy efficiencies. Find out how the company’s Princeton sawmill saved energy and money with lighting upgrades and more.

 

*Source: 2010 FortisBC Conservation Potential Review

 

 Offices and small business

 

Want to lower your energy bill? These energy-saving tips can help improve your bottom line and the environment too.

Install a programmable thermostat

Programmable thermostats will automatically adjust the temperature based on the time and day of the week, so there's no worry of accidentally leaving the heat on after hours.

Turn off computers to save electricity

Turn off computers and other non-essential electronics when not in use and enable ENERGY STAR® features on all computers. A computer monitor uses up to 75 per cent of the energy powering a computer and other electronics can idle for as much as 90 per cent of the workday.

Turn off unnecessary lights and upgrade to LED

Turn off lights when the sun provides enough natural light or when a room is unoccupied. Replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs.

Install lighting controls

Occupancy and daylight sensing controls can turn lights down or off to save energy.

Prevent heat loss by caulking and weatherstriping

If you have fixed, single pane windows, caulk the interior side where the sash meets the frame as well as where the trim meets the wall. For exterior doors and windows that open, apply weatherstripping where two surfaces meet.

Maintain and repair your heating system

Have your heating system serviced once a year by a heating professional. Make sure heating ducts are sealed properly by using approved foil tape and change furnace filters regularly. Clean radiators and vacuum baseboard heaters annually to keep them running efficiently.

More energy-saving tips for your type of business

The type of business you operate plays a role in how you use energy. A retail store and an office mainly require space heating, whereas a restaurant needs a lot of hot water for dishwashing.

At the restaurant

  • Install a low-flow spray valve to pre-rinse dishes. These devices use approximately 50 per cent less water than standard types.
  • Wrap hot water pipes located in unheated areas with foam or rubber pipe insulation. The insulation will help protect pipes during cold snaps and may even reduce the energy needed for heating water. 
  • Fix leaky faucets as a tap dripping every second, wastes 720 litres of water per month.*
  • Turn off cooking equipment when not in use (e.g. overnight hours or morning start-up), as a significant amount of energy used in cooking is for standby heating.
  • Preheat fryers for only as long as necessary. Cover them during slow periods to retain heat and turn them off completely when not in use.

At the office

  • Create incentives for staff to save energy. Set up a committee to develop goals and track progress. Fix leaky faucets as a tap dripping every second, wastes 720 litres of water per month.* You can also install bathroom faucet aerators to reduce water use. 
  • On sunny winter days, take advantage of Mother Nature by opening blinds to warm up. Do the opposite in the summer.
  • If working in a larger office, consider installing a locking device on thermostats to prevent the heat from being turned up too high.

At the store

  • You may think an open front door is welcoming, but on cold days, it will push your heating costs up. Close the door and keep the heat inside.
  • Customers may already be wearing a coat when they come into your store, so set the thermostat to no more than 20 °C and wear a sweater.
  • It could stay warm for up to an hour before you need to turn up the heat again, so why not turn it down an hour before you close shop.


Making energy savings count

How saving energy helped a Vancouver church access more funds to help those in need.


Big boiler savings

They were gluttons for energy! How replacing two large boilers was a win for the Liquor Distribution Branch of British Columbia.

 

*Based on the assumption of 3,600 drips/hour, 4,000 drips=1 litre, and 45L per bath.

 

 Recreation centres

 

Here are some simple ways to save energy in recreation centre complexes.

Boilers

  • Regularly maintain boilers and associated systems and measure boiler efficiency at least once a year. 
  • Have your maintenance contractor check the control systems. Inadequate or incorrectly operating controls can increase your costs by 20 per cent or more. 
  • If boiler replacement isn’t feasible, consider adding an economizer to increase efficiency. This heat exchanger captures waste heat from the boiler’s flue gas to preheat water going into the boiler. 
  • Insulate valves, flanges and pipes in mechanical rooms and unheated areas. Insulate expansion tanks and heat exchangers.
  • Use electronic controls to operate boilers and heating pumps only when needed.

Water heating

  • Have your storage tank and hot water supply boilers serviced on an annual basis. 
  • Flush storage tank water heaters yearly to maintain proper heat transfer and improve life expectancy. 
  • Make sure storage tanks, hot water pipes, valves and flanges are insulated.
  • Fix leaky faucets as a tap dripping every second, wastes 720 litres* of water per month.
  • Install water-efficient showerheads and bathroom faucet aerators to save on hot water consumption.
  • You can also install motion-sensor activated taps in public washrooms to prevent them from being left on.

Make-up air units

  • Use electronic controls to operate the heating only when required.
  • Set temperature controls to 16 °C. This temperature is usually sufficient for corridors, stairs and hallways.
  • Insulate all heating ductwork located in unheated areas.
  • Ensure air filters are changed regularly to maintain proper air flow.

Building structure

  • Check insulation levels when renovating and upgrade to current standards, where possible.
  • Draftproof windows and doors with weatherstripping. 
  • Regularly maintain and replace worn caulking on the exterior.

Swimming pool

Indoor

  • Adjust temperature settings in the pool so the air temperature in the pool area is higher than the water temperature. This greatly reduces heat loss and evaporation from the pool surface.
  • Cover the pools and hot tubs when not in use to further reduce heat loss and evaporation.
  • Reduce pool room ventilation rates at night when the pool is not being used.
  • Clean filters regularly and conduct pump maintenance annually to reduce energy usage and extend the life of your pump.

Outdoor

  • When you're heating the pool before the start of the season, make sure to cover it. This step reduces heat-up time.
  • Cover the pool when it isn't in use to reduce heat loss and evaporation.
  • Clean filters regularly and conduct pump maintenance annually to help reduce energy use and extend the life of your pump.

Ice rink

Heat recovery

  • Consider recovering heat from the refrigeration system for use in the hot water system or to preheat water for the ice-resurfacing equipment.
  • Make sure the bleacher heating is time controlled so it’s only used when occupied. Excess use will result in increased energy consumption.

Ice-resurfacing equipment

  • Ensure the water supplied to the ice-resurfacing equipment is at the correct temperature. Overheating will only waste energy.
  • Insulate the water storage tanks and the distribution piping to reduce standby losses.
  • Use a mechanical de-aerator so you can resurface with cooler temperature water.

Lighting

  • Turn off lights when not in use. 
  • Make the best use of natural daylight to reduce lighting during daytime hours.
  • Implement a regular lighting maintenance program. 
  • Replace T12 fluorescent lamps with high-performance T8 and LED lighting.
  • Upgrade CFL or incandescent exit signs to LED.
  • Replace metal halide and mercury vapour high-bay lighting with LEDs.


Burnaby dives into saving energy

A community pool exchanges an old "workhorse" to high efficiency.


*Based on the assumption of 3,600 drips/hour.

 

 Restaurants and foodservice

 

Restaurants and commercial kitchens are among the most energy-intensive businesses. Not surprisingly, cooking accounts for about half of the energy used in restaurants. There are many ways to maximize your energy dollar and keep customers and staff comfortable without spending a lot of money.

Easy ways to save now

  • Turn off lights, dishwashers, heat and cooking equipment overnight.
  • Provide a checklist for staff identifying the appliances and areas to be turned off at closing time.
  • Cut the preheating time for cooking equipment. Few appliances need more than 30 minutes to warm up.
  • Save energy and ensure a safe kitchen by doing a regular thermostat check and calibrate the temperatures of your appliances (e.g. fridges, freezers, dishwashers and ovens).
  • Fix leaky faucets as a tap dripping every second, wastes 720 litres of water per month.*

Cooking

  • Heat is mainly lost in the transfer from burner to vessel so choose well-designed, energy-efficient cookware for quicker heating time, ease of cooking and durability.
  • When practical, cover pots while cooking to reduce heat loss.
  • Fully load ovens when using them. To ensure oven doors close tightly, tighten hinges and replace seals.
  • Make ventilation fans work more efficiently by grouping heavy-duty appliances under the centre of the hood. Push appliances against the wall to maximize overhang.
  • If your kitchen is hot and smoky, add side panels to the ventilation hood. They’re inexpensive and can relieve the cooling load of your HVAC system.

Refrigeration

  • Train kitchen staff to shut cooler and freezer doors when they exit to prevent the loss of cooled air, saving the HVAC system from having to work harder to reheat the surrounding area.
  • If shutting cooler doors isn’t always practical, install vinyl strip curtains to keep cool air in.
  • Inspect doors of walk-ins regularly to make sure they’re aligned and closing tightly.
  • Dirty evaporator and condenser coils make refrigerator motors work harder, so clean them to improve energy efficiency.
  • Replace incandescent and T12 fluorescent refrigeration lighting with LEDs.

Water heating

  • Have your storage tank and hot water supply boilers serviced on an annual basis. 
  • Flush storage tank water heaters yearly to maintain proper heat transfer and improve life expectancy. 
  • Make sure storage tanks, hot water pipes, valves and flanges are insulated.
  • Install faucet aerators and motion-sensor activated taps in washrooms to save on hot water.

Dishwashing

  • Install low-flow spray valves as they use about half as much water as older models. Plus, they’re inexpensive, easy to install and save on water heating and usage costs.
  • Load dishwashers to capacity as they use the same amount of energy regardless of the size of the load. 
  • Turn off the dishwasher’s internal tank heater at night. Leaving it on overnight heats water unnecessarily. 
  • Check wash curtains in conveyor washers and replace them if torn. Wash curtains keep heat in, improving energy efficiency.

Heating and cooling

  • Install programmable thermostats and program them to set back the heat in unoccupied areas and when the restaurant is closed. 
  • Use ceiling fans to efficiently regulate the air temperature.
  • Turn off make-up air and the exhaust fan in the kitchen when the restaurant is closed. 
  • Insulate heating and hot water pipes, valves and flanges to prevent heat loss.
  • Turn off patio heaters when they’re not needed. Because they warm up so quickly, you can turn them off and on as required. 
  • If painting the exterior, consider a light-coloured paint as it will reflect the sun’s heat, easing cooling loads for your restaurant.

Windows and doors

  • Regularly maintain and replace worn caulking and weatherstripping around windows and doors. 
  • If practical, install double-entry doors to keep heat in and drafts out, saving you energy while increasing guest comfort.


​A slice of efficiency & savings

With nearly 200 customers a day, John Phelps depends on hot water to keep his Penticton pizza restaurant running smoothly.


Going solar in the sunny Okanagan

After a devastating fire, the owners of Kelowna's St. Hubertus Estate Winery saw an opportunity to include energy efficiency when rebuilding.


Nelson's grand old dame awash in savings

In 1898, before the words energy and efficiency joined together to become part of our modern day vernacular, Nelson’s Hume Hotel opened its doors to a new era in first-class service for the region.


Betting on efficiency results in big savings

Gateway Casinos is not only saving energy, but setting a standard for sustainability.

 

*Based on the assumption of 3,600 drips/hour.

 

 Schools and universities

 

A large portion of the annual energy consumption in schools and universities is for space heating. Additional energy is needed for water heating and other uses such as cooking. Saving energy is a project everyone can be involved in.

Quick ways to save energy now

  • Create an awareness campaign to support reducing energy use on campus or in the school. 
  • On sunny winter days, open blinds to let in natural light and warmth. In warm weather, close or tilt them upward to keep rooms cooler.
  • Work with departments to identify times when buildings are not occupied. Use this data to optimize energy usage (e.g. program temperature setbacks or turn down the ventilation fans).
  • Fix leaky faucets, as a tap dripping every second, wastes 720 litres of water per month.1

Boilers

  • Regularly maintain boilers and associated systems, and measure boiler efficiency at least once a year.
  • If boiler replacement isn’t feasible, consider adding an economizer to increase efficiency. This heat exchanger captures waste heat from the boiler’s flue gas to preheat water going into the boiler. 
  • Insulate valves, flanges and pipes in mechanical rooms and unheated areas. Insulate expansion tanks and heat exchangers.

Steam distribution system

  • Steam traps, which remove condensation from the steam distribution system once it’s cooled, can become stuck open. When they leak or fail in the open position, energy is wasted from the loss of steam. One malfunctioning trap can cost thousands of dollars in wasted energy annually.2

HVAC

  • Maintain HVAC units and clean or replace air filters and dampers regularly to ensure proper air flow.
  • Clean heat transfer coils on chillers, heat pumps and air conditioners to ensure optimal operating efficiency.
  • Inspect and insulate heating ducts and pipes in unheated areas. Ensure ducts are sealed properly with approved foil tape.
  • Install variable-frequency drives (VFDs). They’ll help save energy by adjusting motor speeds to the building’s changing heating and ventilation needs.
  • Reduce fan speeds in unoccupied areas (e.g. cafeterias, classrooms and offices) at night.
  • Save energy by installing occupancy sensors or manual switches that reduce speeds of air supply and exhaust fans when rooms are unoccupied.
  • Clean or replace air filters and dampers to ensure proper air flow on a quarterly basis. 
  • Check for leaks in rooftop HVAC units and inspect to ensure they’re secure, with all screws in place.
  • Check condenser coils quarterly for debris and clean annually, or as required.

Thermostats and controls

  • Install programmable thermostats and set back the temperatures in rooms for when they are unoccupied (e.g. offices and classrooms).
  • Install occupancy sensors to automatically turn down lighting and HVAC in unoccupied areas. 
  • Install CO2 sensors to automatically adjust the amount of fresh air to draw in for heating or cooling a large area. When no one is in the room, the fans run slower to ease the heating system’s load.
  • Invest in digital direct control (DDC) to continuously monitor and adjust conditions, such as vent fan speeds. Combined with software, DDC can be controlled remotely by facilities staff.

Water heating

  • Have your storage tank and hot water supply boilers serviced on an annual basis. 
  • Flush storage tank water heaters yearly to maintain proper heat transfer and improve life expectancy. 
  • Make sure storage tanks, hot water pipes, valves and flanges are insulated.
  • Fix leaky faucets as a tap dripping every second, wastes 720 litres of water per month.1
  • Install faucet aerators and motion-sensor activated taps in washrooms to save on hot water.
  • Recycle hot water by installing drainpipe heat exchangers. They can save water-heating energy, shorten payback times and double or triple the water heater’s first-hour capacity.3

In the kitchen/cafeteria

  • Turn off cooking equipment when not in use (e.g. overnight hours or morning start-up), as a significant amount of energy used in cooking is for standby heating.
  • Preheat fryers for only as long as necessary. Cover them during slow periods to retain heat and turn them off completely when not in use.
  • Install water-efficient spray valves to rinse dishes.  
  • If shutting cooler doors isn’t practical, install vinyl strip curtains to keep cool air in. They’re also a great way to maintain temperature in loading dock areas.
  • Upgrade vending machines to ENERGY STAR® certified models, which are up to 50 per cent more efficient than conventional ones.
  • Install vending misers which uses an occupancy sensor to power down vending machines and coolers when no one is around.

Laboratories

  • Turn off fume hoods except when needed for experiments or material storage purposes, or when required by code.
  • Upgrade laboratory air filtration with better air filters that maintain more constant air flow and create less resistance in the ventilation system, even as dust accumulates.

Lighting

  • Replace standard incandescent bulbs in guest rooms with ENERGY STAR® certified LED bulbs. 
  • Replace T12 fluorescent lamps with high-performance T8 and LED lighting.
  • Upgrade CFL or incandescent exit signs to LED.
  • In meeting rooms and common areas take advantage of daylight to reduce lighting use during daytime hours.
  • Implement a regular lighting maintenance program. 
  • Add lighting controls to common areas, such as washrooms and infrequently used rooms.
  • Implement a lighting management system in classrooms and auditoriums.

Computers

  • Turn off computers and other non-essential electronics to save electricity. A computer monitor uses up to 75 per cent of the energy powering a computer and other electronics can idle for as much as 90 per cent of the workday.


​A healthier learning environment

In Elkford, BC significant snowfall is not unusual. So it's safe to say that a reliable space heating system is essential. But when faced with an aging, unreliable, multi-zone furnace system, a solution was needed.


1Based on the assumption of 3,600 drips/hour.
2Source: E Source™ Companies
3Source: ESource, Managing energy costs in colleges and universities