Important Update: Mandatory Energy Reporting
Mandatory reporting is imminent. If the regulation passes, the first energy reporting year will have already begun for some companies. The Ministry of Energy has submitted a proposal to implement what it now calls the Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking (EWRB) regulatory requirement for large buildings. We’ve been expecting mandatory reporting for quite a while, but what we didn’t expect was that the proposal would exclude most manufacturing, farm and agriculture facilities from reporting – at least for now. The Ministry’s rationale is that it is difficult to compare consumption across different industries that produce different end products – it may take more energy to produce car parts than chicken eggs. This makes building performance less relevant for these segments. Manufacturing performance, however, is very relevant for these customers, but it’s difficult for the Ministry to develop a cookie cutter approach.
It’s still important for all businesses to collect and track energy consumption – so that you can assess your performance within your own company and across your industry. That work will pay off by pinpointing previously unseen areas of waste and opportunities for cost savings.
In the Ministry’s notice, they announced that the proposed regulation – and the subsequent implementation of the EWRB initiative – will proceed pending passage of proposed legislative amendments to the Green Energy Act, 2009 (Bill 135). The Ministry is inviting comments/input due by April 10th, and you can do that here.
Who will be affected by the EWRB regulation?
While most industrial buildings – namely manufacturing facilities, and all agricultural facilities – are exempt for now, the Ministry proposal says that commercial and multi-unit residential buildings ≥50K sq. ft. are to be included. Owners of large buildings, including commercial, multi-unit residential and some industrial buildings will be expected to collect and report on their energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and building characteristic information (square footage, etc.).
What is the reasoning behind the new regulation?
The Ministry of Energy notes that buildings accounted for 19% of Ontario’s total GHG emissions in 2013. They say that the largest barrier to making these buildings more efficient is that many owners/managers fail to track and measure energy performance, and that measures and benchmarking are needed to improve the efficiency of existing buildings. They go on to say that owners/managers must first understand their energy and water usage in order to identify where improvements can be made, and the EWRB initiative is expected to help them:
- Better manage energy and water usage and costs;
- Identify best practices and energy and water saving opportunities;
- Set goals by providing benchmarks;
- Evaluate results by comparing to similar facilities across the province;
- Measure improvement over time; and
- Value energy efficient and water efficient buildings.
Our Bruce Power Saver toolkit can help you realize all of the above on the energy side. It will automate your data collection, reporting and budgeting; help you set benchmarks and track your energy consumption with your own KPIs; identify waste by evaluating trends and anomalies in your hourly consumption; and aggregate all of your electricity information in a single location. The Bruce Power Saver also verifies your energy bills, so you only pay for what you use. You can find out more on our website.
What is the energy reporting timeline?
The proposed EWRB regulation will be phased in over three years, starting with the largest sized commercial and industrial buildings. To allow building owners time to prepare for the requirement, the first reporting date will be July 1, 2017, 6 months after the 2016 reporting year end.
3-year phase in schedule:
- Year 1: Jan-Dec 2016: Commercial /Institutional / Special /Industrial Buildings ≥ 250,000 square feet
- Year 2: Jan-Dec 2017: Commercial /Institutional / Special /Industrial Buildings, multi-unit residential buildings ≥ 100,000 square feet
- Year 3: Jan-Dec 2018: Commercial /Institutional / Special /Industrial Buildings, multi-unit residential buildings ≥ 50,000 square feet
For a complete list of the prescribed building types and exceptions, refer to the Regulation Proposal Notice . Building performance will be publicly posted one year following each reporting year, summarizing key findings from the data collected.
We’ve all been expecting mandatory energy reporting. The first reporting year has already begun, so if passed, some companies will need to do a bit of backtracking. Manufacturing and agriculture are off the hook for now, but it’s important for all industries to begin to collect and track their energy consumption data. And while it does require additional work, that work will identify previously unseen areas of waste, which is healthier for the environment and the bottom line.
Interested in other trends in the energy market? Read our Spring 2016 Market Insights report. Click below to download.