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Drain-water heat recovery to help homebuilders improve energy efficiency

Tuesday, April 25th 2006 3:13:55pm

David Suzuki:  This technology can help Ontario reduce green house gas emissions

(Waterloo, April 25, 2006)  Award winning scientist, author, environmentalist and broadcaster David Suzuki, with the Honourable Donna Cansfield, Ontario’s Minister of Energy, John Milloy, MPP (Kitchener-Centre), Hans Schreff of London Hydro, and Corey McBurney, Managing Director for EnerQuality Corporation, the organization which oversees ENERGY STAR for New Homes in Ontario, announced that EnerQuality’s technical committee has recommended drain-water heat recovery for approval and inclusion in the ENERGY STAR for New Homes technical specifications.

The drain-water heat recovery system recycles waste heat from warm drain-water before it leaves the home.  Approximately 90% of the energy used to heat water goes down the sewer.  The Power-Pipe™, manufactured by RenewABILITY Inc., is a model which recycles enough heat to save up to 40% on hot water heating bills.  “The Power-Pipe increases water capacity by up to 3 times, while allowing you to set the water heater temperature lower,” said Gerald Van Decker, Founder and CEO of RenewABILITY Energy Inc.

“The Power-Pipe is made of specially designed copper coils that wrap around a separate copper pipe which channels warm waste water.  This technology is very affordable and has a payback period of only 2-6 years.  It is easy to install, requires no maintenance, and will last more than 50 years,” he continued.

“This announcement highlights the advances that can be made when Canadians are focused on energy efficiency,” said David Suzuki, who was in town to promote his new book, David Suzuki: The Autobiography (published by Greystone Books).  “The Canadian drain-water heat recover technology is very simple, innovate and will contribute to reduced electricity and natural gas demand, which will help reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions and the need for producing more electricity.”

Water heating is the second largest energy demand in the average house.  In a 3-person Canadian home, electric heaters consume approximately 5,100 kilowatt hours per year (much of this is costly, peak electricity) and natural gas heaters consume 790 m3/year (which is 29.4 GJ/year).

Drain-water heat recovery systems, such as Power-Pipe, could potentially provide a big boost to the ENERGY STAR for New Homes initiative.  “The technology could provide a less expensive way to meet the energy efficiency levels required for ENERGY STAR qualification,” said McBurney.  

Van Decker announced that, “several homebuilders have already installed Power-Pipes into model and employee’s homes and we have heard nothing but positive comments.  Reid’s Heritage Homes is expected to be the first ENERGY STAR builder to install the Power-Pipe, with many others to follow.”

Ron Salisbury of Reid’s Heritage Homes, who is building 70 condominium units in London, Ontario, commented, “Drain-water heat recovery systems will provide a less expensive way to achieve high energy-efficiency levels.”

McBurney predicts many ENERGY STAR homebuilders will install drain-water heat recovery systems over the next year.


For more information or high resolution photos, contact Walter Urban, (519) 766-9295, or Brent Kulba, ECO, 416-972-7401

RenewABILITY Energy Inc. manufactures and engineers systems for its patent pending Power-PipeTM in Waterloo, Ontario.  The Power-Pipe provides highly efficient Drain-water heat recovery without adversely impacting on water pressure in homes.  The company has offered innovative energy savings solutions in institutional, commercial, industrial, and residential applications for almost six years. Visit

EnerQuality Corporation administers and promotes the R-2000, EnerGuide for New Houses and ENERGY STAR® for New Homes and Building Canada initiatives in Ontario. For years, EnerQuality has been a leader in promoting energy efficient home building and providing the best in building science education to the housing industry.  TheR-2000, EnerGuide, and ENERGY STAR marks are administered and promoted in Canada by Natural Resources Canada.