Energy is essential to the operation of our buildings, production of water and separation of waste. It's also an important factor in any municipality's plan to reduce its environmental impact.
Facilities Management staff work closely with all Regional departments to identify energy-saving opportunities, facilitate rebate and grant-funding programs and implement retrofit projects. Finally, we track our energy savings.
Where the energy goes
As one of the largest employers in Waterloo Region, with more than 4.6 million square feet of space and responsibility for pumping and treating water and wastewater, the Region consumes nearly 130,000 megawatts of electricity and eight million cubic metres of natural gas in delivering a wide variety of services each year.
Our operations include administrative buildings, clinics, childcare centres, cultural facilities, Emergency Medical Services, Grand River Transit, housing, Regional libraries, Police Services, transportation, traffic signals, waste management, water services and the Region of Waterloo International Airport.
Managing energy consumption
Since 2005, the Region has saved an estimated $6.5 million in energy costs by implementing energy management projects. Building on this success, Regional Council has approved the Corporate Energy Plan which outlines strategies that the Region will use to effectively manage energy usage and deliver cost savings and cost avoidance.
Ontario Regulation 397/11, under the Green Energy Act, 2009, requires public agencies including municipalities, universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, school boards, municipal service boards (for water and sewage treatment and pumping operations) and hospitals to report on their annual energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in designated facilities by July 1st.
Accessible PDFs of both documents will be available soon:
Corporate Energy Plan
2013 Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact Richard Schafer, Program Manager, Corporate Energy at 519-575-4757, ext. 3191 or Brian Bechtel, Program Manager, Corporate Energy at 519-575-4506.
Putting best practices to work
To improve energy performance, the Region has implemented best practices including:
- Constructing new buildings to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standards
- Retrofitting traffic signals from incandescent to LED lights
- Upgrading Regional facilities with the latest lighting-control strategies
- Installing low-flow fixtures, waterless urinals and drought-resistant landscape to improve water efficiency at Regional facilities
- Replacing old refrigerators in Regional Housing units
- Developing Green Purchasing Guidelines for environmentally responsible purchasing practices
The Region also investigates and implements initiatives that use alternative energy sources, including:
- Photovoltaic (PV) panels at Waterloo Region Emergency Services Training Centre, EMS Headquarters (20kW System) and the Operations Centre (170 kW System)
- solar thermal energy at Cambridge Childcare Centre
- geothermal energy at Library Headquarters and Sunnyside Supportive Housing
- wind monitoring, employing a 50-metre meteorological tower to determine the validity of using wind energy in the region