It was a mix of energy insights, incentives, and advanced controls that helped Briarlane Rental Property Management Inc. optimize its natural gas consumption and increase occupant comfort across selected buildings in its portfolio.
In 2017, the Canadian firm participated in Enbridge Gas Inc.’s Commercial Energy Efficiency Program on a project to seek energy saving solutions for a number of buildings in its care.The project began with an inspection alongside an Enbridge Energy Solutions Consultant to identify ways in which energy saving practices could benefit its properties.
“We recognized there was an opportunity to install smarter heat controls within several of its properties,” explains George Hantzis, Commercial Energy Solutions Manager at Enbridge. “To keep residents cozy throughout the winter, heating equipment is turned on at the onset of colder temperatures and stays on throughout the entire season.
Although ideal temperatures are maintained on cold winter days, without the proper temperature controls in place, many buildings become overheated on milder days,” Added Hantzis. To address this, Briarlane installed advanced heating control systems at seven of its rental properties. The new controls connect directly to each building’s gas meter to provide real-time energy consumption feedback.
The system then applies this feedback to optimize the heating system’s output to deliver only the specific amount of energy needed to maintain the desired indoor temperature given outdoor conditions.
After one year, the retrofit paid off. In that time, buildings with the new system used less natural gas and eliminated nearly 1,100 tonnes of carbon emissions (the equivalent of planting over 18,000 trees).
Funding support from Enbridge’s energy efficiency incentive programs helped Briarlane clients receive over $98,784 in financial incentives.
“The benefits of the new system were realized immediately,” reports Pat Brawn, Vice President and General Manager and Principal at Briarlane Rental Property Management Inc. “It prevented overheating, reduced energy consumption and associated costs, and improved resident comfort.”
At last count, savings from the project are estimated to pay for the retrofit in little over three years.
Paying it forward
Embedding data-driven heating controls in several of its properties has given Briarlane’s properties the ability to adopt a more proactive and flexible approach to occupant comfort.
“The success of engagement has driven home the value of exploring energy-saving technologies and techniques,” says Hantzis. “We have seen many successful applications of advanced control systems in multi-residential buildings built before 1990.
Even the most efficient buildings in the portfolio realized energy savings by optimizing controls.”
Get with the program
Enbridge’s energy efficiency programs are available to property stakeholders, like Briarlane, at no cost. Program participants receive technical support from an Enbridge Energy Solutions Consultant to help identify and quantify energy efficiency opportunities. Financial incentives are also available to cover up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs.
George Hantzis is Commercial Energy Solutions Manager at Enbridge Gas Inc (operating as Enbridge Gas Distribution). For more information on Enbridge’s energy saving programs, incentives and services visit enbridgesmartsavings.com/business, call 1-866-844-9994, or email [email protected]