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Energy Audits

Electricity and gas are the main energy sources in our homes: perhaps consider how your co-op's current energy use could be optimized.

Energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are affected by a range of factors including the kind of heating (and cooling) systems; where their power comes from; the design and number of lights and electronics, and the degree of insulation. Reducing waste is the first step in making your co-op more energy efficient. Are your systems running when they are not being used? Is there a potential for automation? Increasing the efficiency of your systems can mean regular cleaning, insulation, or replacement of certain components.

One way to determine how and where energy is being used (and identify opportunities for improvements and incentives) is through an energy audit. There are different standards for energy audits. One of the more popular, ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers), provides three levels of progressing detail for energy audits:

  • Level 1 – Walk Through Assessment
    This level includes a utility bill analysis and brief site survey. Typically, only low-cost measures are quantified. The purpose of this assessment is to determine the order of magnitude of the energy savings and costs and to determine if a more detailed analysis is warranted. Co-ops can usually access this level without cost.
  • Level 2 – Energy Survey and Analysis
    This level includes the identification of energy conservation measure along with savings and costs. This level includes detailed site surveys and interviews sufficient to identify all practical measures. However, detailed designs are not included.
  • Level 3 – Detailed Analysis of Capital Intensive Modifications
    This level includes engineering design of energy measures including drawings. This level is typically used only when a design build project is being used or if the owner is confident that they want to implement the measures identified.

*BC Hydro and Fortis have their own requirements for their incentives