As a leader in energy efficiency, Enbridge Gas Distribution is one of the largest North American gas companies reaching over 1.9 million customers each year. It is through this leadership that Enbridge strives to bring innovative technologies and programs to builders, developers, and owners within the residential and commercial new construction industry.
In January 2012, Enbridge presented the innovative “Savings by Design” initiative for new residential and commercial buildings planned for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Ottawa. Launched in collaboration with Sustainable Buildings Canada, Savings by Design is a program that residential and commercial home builders can apply for to maximize the energy efficiency in buildings. The program is available to project leaders to help offset some of the costs associated with the design and development of new high performance buildings.
Through the SBD program, Enbridge challenges the opportunity to highlight simple outcomes that are often overlooked. The goal of Savings by Design is to maximize energy efficiency of buildings by offering incentives and providing an alternative design approach. The synergy of industry experts and support for new technologies presents to shareholders that sustainability does mean better returns.
The commercial sector of Savings by Design program is divided into three portions: 1. The Integrated Design Process (IDP); 2. Project Development; and 3. Commissioning Stage.
The Integrated Design Process is used to establish how higher-efficiency energy performance levels can be achieved in new construction buildings. This is demonstrated through a comprehensive design charrette and energy modeling process where builders, developers, and stakeholders will recognize their project’s true sustainability and energy savings potential. A highly qualified team of technical experts is devised to help achieve the goals set out and to help identify cost-effective incentives. Support is then available during the Project Development and construction phase for the installation of new technologies and to ensure the project meets its energy performance targets.
To make achieving energy performance more affordable, Enbridge provides a “performance” incentive of $.20/m3 of natural gas savings based on modeled energy savings for buildings that achieve the 25% better than 2012 OBC code threshold (to a maximum of $50,000.00).
A complete review of the building is conducted towards the end to verify that all systems are working as designed. The outcome of the energy saving strategies implemented during the construction phase will determine the project’s qualification for the Commissioning Stage. Commissioning incentives are available to support post-construction verification activities and provide the client with the confidence that all technologies will perform as intended.
There are many benefits for the Savings by Design program. For the builder, it is the ability to design and construct a building that reaches their energy efficiency goals in a cost-effective manner by working with qualified professionals in the field. Enbridge also provides a risk-free environment to explore new concepts, technologies and construction methods supported by the latest research. And, on top of the many financial incentives, the SBD program offers builders the opportunity to market the green features of their building, further contributing to their bottom line.
The final outcome of the SBD process is to work with the building as a system, taking energy to the next level of performance and creating new buildings that not only meet, but exceed the Ontario Building Code. To qualify for the program, your project must be a minimum of 100,000 square feet and located in the Enbridge Gas Distribution franchise area, within the GTA or Ottawa.
The overall objective of the Enbridge Residential Savings by Design program is to help residential builders, developers and owners design more energy efficient homes. To support this initiative, Enbridge provides the builder the entire cost of the IDP process, incentive of $2,000.00 for the discovery home built (a minimum of 25% better than 2012 OBC within 3 years) plus additional funding of $2,000.00 per home to a maximum of 50 homes within the 2012 year.
In order to remain a leader in the industry, Enbridge is always developing new programs, supporting research, and implementing state of the art methods in providing more efficient, and cleaner, natural gas technologies. The Savings by Design program is just one of the initiatives Enbridge is promoting and delivering to help their customers receive the best value for their energy dollar.
One of the biggest market concerns to date is the instability of utility costs; the economy becomes a huge factor in sustainable growth, and the need to develop more green technologies becomes a greater challenge. To implement new technologies for sustainable growth, Enbridge has invested over a billion dollars in green electricity projects across Ontario.
Two of the most recent technologies Enbridge has put into action include a wind farm in Kincardine, Bruce County, Ontario, as well as the world’s largest Solar Farm located in Sarnia, Ontario. The Enbridge Ontario Wind Farm is a 181.5 MW wind farm developed by Enbridge Ontario Wind Power LP. Spanning over 5,600 hectares of farmland along the shore of Lake Huron, the project uses a total of 110 Vestas V82 wind turbines. The entire wind farm generates over 622,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy per year.1
The Sarnia Solar Farm is the world’s largest photovoltaic solar farm, with 80 megawatts of power, the site generates enough energy to power more than 12,000 homes2 – talk about energy efficiency! Enbridge has also applied for a Biogas initiative, focused on approaching the Ontario Energy Board to progress operations for having Biogas injected into the gas distribution system. The company’s investments in green energy are becoming an increasingly important part of their business and the impacts of their recent operations prove Enbridge’s potential in further advancing Canada’s achievements in sustainable technology.
The success of Enbridge’s initiatives is a collaborative effort that gives back to all associated disciplines, and most importantly, the customer. Their continued persistence in implementing sustainable projects reaches both the private and public sector, working to establish a common understanding that better energy efficiency really does mean better savings in the long run. Sustainability can be accessible, and companies like Enbridge help make the population more aware of the advantages of investing and focusing on sustainable technologies.
Enbridge is recognized as one of the Global 100 Sustainable Corporations, and focuses on safety, reliability, and achieving the best value for its customers. Their mission is to deliver more than the energy people count on, “we deliver on our promise to help make communities better places to live”3.
For more information on the Savings by Design Program please contact Mary Harinck, Program Marketing Manager in Residential and Commercial New Construction for Enbridge, at Mary.Harinck@enbridge.com, or visit www.savingsbydesign.ca.