Building Benchmarking in Ontario

Building Benchmarking, or as its technically called, ‘Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking’ is a first in Canada towards reducing emissions. We have long known about the power of data, but now it will be directly applied to help building owners curb emissions, and lead Ontario’s charge towards a reduction in greenhouse gases. However, this article will be about what the new policy actually means for building owners, and how they will be required to proceed.

The policy is split up into three different time frames, all holding buildings of different sizes accountable to report. The requirement to report will be done annually, for each calendar year, no later than July 1st of the following year.

The years in which the requirement to report applies are as follows;

  • 2018 (information for the 2017 calendar year) for buildings over 250,000 square feet
  • 2019 (information for the 2018 calendar year) for buildings over 100,000 square feet
  • 2020 (information for the 2019 calendar year) for buildings over 50,000 square feet but less that 100,000 square feet.

What must be in the report?

Building owners must provide information pertaining to electricity, natural gas, and water, and how much was consumed or used at the property that is available through existing meters.

Who must write the report?

Any building owner who is required to repot, must ensure that the information is produced and verified by a person who hold an accreditation or certification from an accrediting body recognized in Canada or the United Stats such as a certified energy manager, building operator, measurement and verification professional, or commissioning agent

This process and policy will ultimately result in two things, which will be of benefit to both private and public sectors. The first is that it may truly lead to a reduction in carbon emissions and greenhouse gasses, and overall contribution towards climate change goals. The second thing the policy will hopefully ignite is recognition of the importance of energy efficiency by building owners, along with the data needed to quantify, qualify, and verify these findings, which will ideally lead to implementation of high efficiency equipment, thus bringing down costs for building owners and managers.

See the full policy, Ontario Regulation 20/17 under the Green Energy Act, 2009 here