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Ottawa-Carleton District School Board awarded Certificate of Recognition for outstanding energy conservation

Wednesday, September 13th 2006 1:33:52pm

District has reduced energy costs by over $4 million annually

September 12, 2006, Ottawa, ON — Peter Love, Chief Energy Conservation Officer with the Ontario Conservation Bureau presented the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) with a Certificate of Recognition this evening for its outstanding energy conservation achievements. The energy savings are a result of the Board energy management partnership with Ameresco Canada’s Better Schools Partnership. The eight-year partnership has resulted in the Board reducing energy costs by some $4 million annually.

“At a time when utility prices continue to rise, school facility challenges are growing rapidly. The OCDSB should be very proud of the accomplishments,” states Mr. Love.

Through the Ameresco Better Schools Partnership, energy retrofits have been taking place in schools across the district that see everything from new windows, to lights, doors, and heating and cooling systems. The improvements have not only reduced energy costs, but improved the learning environment for both students and staff alike.

By the time all of the energy retrofits are completed, it is expected the school district will be avoiding over $5 million in annual energy costs for years to come:  $2.6 million in electricity savings alone each year, enough to provide for 5,500 homes; enough gas to heat 1200 homes; enough water to serve 1,100 homes; and enough CO2 emissions saved to fill 11,000 small gymnasiums.

“This represents a significant savings for us now and into the future,” states Chair of the Board Lynn Graham, who will be on hand to accept the award. “We’re proud of our forward-looking energy management program and the improvements to our schools.”  

“Energy retrofits in schools don’t just make them more comfortable for students and teachers; they provide an opportunity to learn about energy conservation on a daily basis. Lessons learned here will last a lifetime,” adds the Chief Energy Conservation Officer.

Environmental education has been a constant in this energy saving process. Thanks to the BSP EarthCARE  program, our students have access to an action-oriented environmental education program designed to encourage environmental stewardship through school-based initiatives. Each year these initiatives are celebrated at the EarthCARE Expo wherein students highlight their energy saving efforts in a showcase of best practices.


For more information, please contact:

• Barton Sala, Conservation Bureau, 416-969-6009
• OCDSB, Communications, 613-596-8791
• Dave Seymour, Ameresco, Vice-president Eastern Region, 613-224-7500 x 26


Through the various phases of work with Ameresco Canada in the OCDSB schools, the Board has accomplished a tremendous amount of building improvement which has resulted in energy savings, building system renewal and improved maintenance performance. Building improvement and measures have been generously funded by a number of organizations, including Natural Resources Canada ($250,000) and Enbridge Gas Distribution ($145,000).

Here is a summary of accomplishments:

• 124 schools were converted to the new T8 lighting system with better quality lighting.

• Approximately half of these schools received new light fixtures as part of the measure which leads to fewer components needing replacement on an ongoing basis.

• 58 gymnasiums and/or cafeteria areas received lighting redesigns to improve lighting quality and reduce the cost of operating and maintaining these systems.

• 60 schools have received (or will be receiving) new building controls systems to improve the operation of the facility and permit more efficient operation. The indoor environment is improved as a result of better controls.

• A further 47 schools have received (or will receive) upgrades to the existing automation systems thereby eliminating existing problems, improving operation, improving the classroom environment and reducing energy costs.

• There were 14 smaller schools that were fitted with standalone control systems to achieve better system operation and energy savings.

• 53 schools have received new heating plants involving approximately 120 boilers leading to more efficient operation and replacing aging boiler systems.

• 13 schools were converted from electric heating to natural gas heating to reduce our reliance on this more expensive method of heating space. A total of 26 new boilers were installed as part of this measure.

• 9 schools were converted to natural gas heating from oil heating leading to a cleaner plant, a simpler method of fuel acquisition and removed the need for oil storage on the school site. A total of 18 new boilers were installed as part of this measure.

• 20 schools received new steam traps throughout reducing losses and improving overall system performance.

• 63 schools have received (or will be receiving) upgrades to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC). Some of these involve simple re-commissioning of existing systems, installation of new equipment to improve performance and reduce energy use and in 10 schools, there are complete new fresh air ventilation systems being installed where none currently exist.

• 21 schools are being retrofitted to remove water-cooled air conditioners (typically small size units) that waste water in providing cooling to smaller specialty spaces.

• 143 schools received water conservation measures and in approximately half of these schools, new equipment (toilets) was installed replacing the older less efficient systems.

• 56 schools received improvements to exterior walls and doors to eliminate drafts and heat loss. Hidden openings, unsealed openings (around pipes, ducts and other penetrations) and the leaks at the roof-wall joint were sealed and/or patched.

The Conservation Fund is a program of the Conservation Bureau, initiated by Ontario’s Chief Energy Conservation Officer, Peter Love, in 2005.  It funds promising, small-scale, replicable electricity conservation action and awareness projects that are candidates for broader deployment with other funding.  

Ontario’s Conservation Bureau was established in 2005 to develop, coordinate and stimulate electricity conservation and demand management programs and initiatives across the province.  The Conservation Bureau is a division of the Ontario Power Authority, a statutory, not-for-profit corporation governed by an independent board of directors.  It reports to the Legislative Assembly through the Ministry of Energy, and is licensed and regulated by the Ontario Energy Board.  Responsibilities span four areas: Conservation Bureau, Power System Planning, Generation Development and Electricity Sector Development.


For more information, please contact:

• Barton Sala, Conservation Bureau, 416-969-6009
• OCDSB, Communications, 613-596-8791
• Dave Seymour, Ameresco, Vice-president Eastern Region, 613-224-7500 x 26