Between 2014 and 2016, Hydro rates have increased by 21% across the province, which impacts the budgets of individual households, businesses and municipalities. The City of Barrie has been successful in circumventing these rates by adopting energy efficiency.
Their annual spend on utilities is over $10 million dollars on utilities, so they have mandated the Energy Management Branch to reduce their consumption. City operations impacted by this initiative, include all facilities, parks, and water and wastewater infrastructure.
The City is one of 10 member municipalities with the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority Mayors’ Megawatt Challenge and won an award for reducing energy usage at the Allandale Recreation Centre by 18.7%.
Their efforts in providing education in order to change behaviours in energy consumption are now spreading into the community. Below are some tips provided by the City, (found on their website):
USE ENERGY EFFICIENT DEVICES
Replace devices with ones that use less energy by switching to a smaller, more efficient devices:
• energy star appliances
• high-efficiency furnaces or water heaters
• low flow toilets
• CFL lights
KEEP DEVICES ON FOR SHORT PERIODS OF TIME
• turn devices off when not in use (lights, TV, computers etc.
• Use a programmable thermostat to lower temperatures when a home is unoccupied
• reduce heat loss by insulating or caulking and weather-stripping (furnace, A/C will run less)
• maintain your appliances properly (clean filters, and coils, yearly tune ups by professionals)
• Appliances use approximately 15% of the energy consumed in our homes and are responsible for approximately 7.5% of the green-house gas emissions for each Canadian.
• Generally, the larger the appliance, the more energy it uses so ensure you buy the right sized appliances for your needs.
• Maintain your appliances properly (clean filters, and coils, yearly tune ups by professionals).
• Turn off your appliances when they’re not in use and ensure you buy the most energy efficient type. Energy star-rated appliances are your guarantee that the product is energy efficient.
• Some small appliances such as TVs, DVD players, Satellite decoders, and computer monitors continue to consume power even when turned off and should be shut-off with a power bar (if recommended by manufacturer).
They also provide information on accessing renewable power through purchasing green, non-polluting power from various electrical re-sellers.
For information, visit: www.barrie.ca/Living/Environment/Conservation/Pages/EnergyEfficiency