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Toronto buildings on track to energy savings

Published by Canadian Property Management, part of the REMI Network 

Toronto’s commercial buildings have once again been designated as a course to energy savings in a new iteration of the conservation challenge, race2reduce. Participating owners, managers and tenants will be aiming for the same finish line as last time — a 10 per cent collective reduction in energy consumption — but race marshals are promising some added features along the route.

Joint sponsors, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Greater Toronto and Toronto Hydro, will welcome entrants for the first year of the race until August 31 and plan to stoke their competitive spirit with a selection of annual awards to be offered in 2018, 2019 and 2020. There’ll also be a coach on-hand as a new conservation consultant joins BOMA Toronto later this summer.

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Evidence from the first Race to Reduce suggests intense but friendly jostling for position is about to ensue as next-generation teams begin their three-year pursuit January 1, 2018. BOMA Toronto and Toronto Hydro would also be pleased to replicate the success that the non-profit community development organization, CivicAction, achieved with the pace-setting original.

Ultimately, 200 participating buildings surpassed the goal for a 10 per cent collective reduction in energy consumption over the four years from 2011 to 2015 — delivering a 12.1 per cent reduction that translated into $13.7 million in cost savings. CivicAction CEO Sevaun Palvetzian reiterated that her organization takes even more pride in the post-2015 survey findings that 62 per cent of participants credit the race itself for prompting them to look for ways to save energy. Similar creative schemes to draft off the vitality of private sector will be critical as governments drive to cut greenhouse gas emissions and meet their global commitments.

“We get stuff done because we try to pick the big urban issues that need all hands on deck,” Palvetzian explained. “A lot happens at the sub-national level and increasingly more things will happen on a sub-national level.”

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