The City of Burlington adopted a Corporate Energy Management Plan in 2013. While work on energy matters was well underway before the plan was approved by City Council, the plan helped staff to focus their efforts on ongoing projects and initiatives resulting in continuous improvement in energy conservation and dollars saved.
Since most of us seem to respond quite well to competitions, a small but potentially powerful way to keep the energy savings momentum going is through the occasional energy challenge.
In 2014, a competition was held between six community centres to improve facility energy performance by 15 per cent. Incredibly, accumulated savings of 23 per cent were reached which translated to almost 116,000 ekWh (electricity and natural gas combined) and over $9,000.
A similar initiative is taking place between October 1 and December 1, 2015 with four of the city’s indoor swimming pools (Aldershot Community Pool, Angela Coughlan Pool, Burlington Centennial Pool and Tansley Woods Pool). Recognizing the city’s commitment for specific pool water temperature settings, the current challenge is to realize 10 per cent in energy savings. While the winning facility will receive a plaque, what most facility operators are really looking forward to are the associated bragging rights.
I was at an introductory meeting with some facility operators and you could already see the wheels spinning and hear the excitement in their voices. While bragging rights are fun for the winner, the increased awareness and insight gained as to what worked and did not work in each facility is the true winning moment.
Since this is the Take Action Burlington blog, we are also asking you to help us to reach our goal of 10 per cent energy savings. Take your own energy challenge when visiting one of the city’s facilities:
- Keep all facility doors closed to help maintain temperature settings
- Take short showers with soap before and after swimming (watch for a future blog regarding why everyone needs to shower before entering the pool)
- Ensure taps are turned off when not in use
- Turn off the lights when not needed
- Save phantom power! Unplug devices when not in use.
Watch for a future posting to see the results of the indoor swimming pools competition.