After inspiring replica competitions in cities across Canada, the second run of the Toronto race2reduce has hit a roadblock. The effort to curb energy consumption in the commercial real estate sector through the friendly rivalry of 580 joint landlord-tenant teams in office buildings citywide is without a funding sponsor, following cuts to Ontario’s conservation and demand management (CDM) programs.
As announced last week, Toronto Hydro — and 67 other local distribution companies across the province — will no longer deliver CDM programs. Instead, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) will act as the centralized administrator of a smaller array of programs.
As a consequence, race2reduce has been placed on hold as of April 1. The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Greater Toronto is the coordinating partner of the program, and urges participants to stay in energy-saving mode. The competition has proved popular, with approximately 100 building teams in the process of being enrolled prior to this uncertainty.
“BOMA Toronto sincerely values the commercial real estate industry participation, engagement and leadership demonstrated through this program and we would like to thank all the participating organizations that have embraced the spirit of the race,” it stated in announcement earlier today.
Toronto race2reduce encounters this detour in the second year of an envisioned three-year push to collectively reduce energy consumption by 10 per cent across nearly 94 million square feet of commercial real estate, which race participants manage and occupy. This was aligned with Toronto Hydro’s now-retracted target to achieve 1.6 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy savings by the end of 2020.
“We would like to thank Toronto Hydro for this unprecedented collaboration and partnership, and to recognize the commitment and expertise offered by their valued team,” BOMA Toronto reiterated.
The associated CREST awards, commending Commercial Real Estate Sustainability Trailblazers, will still be bestowed for 2019 and entries remain open until 6 p.m. on April 5. Race participants are also urged not to slacken the pace in this week’s Beyond Earth Hour Challenge, the seven-day exercise to identify energy-saving opportunities through operational and behavioural adjustments.
“We are opening up this year’s challenge to focus on building and tenant performance and collective conservation efforts over the entire week leading up to Earth Hour on March 30, 2019,” BOMA Toronto advises.