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Energy Efficiency... Electricity



New conservation and demand management programs help your bottom line. Learn about incentives available for your business today!


Lighting has two main purposes: illumination of space and decoration of space.

Focus on function versus form.  Lighting is critical for safety and work areas, do not skimp on this part of lighting.  But when it comes to ambiance, focus on LED and background lighting. 

  • Focus beam lighting, like spot lights, use a lot of energy and do not deliver large area lighting. 
  • LED Candles
  • Sensors (washrooms, storage rooms, hallways, stairwells)
  • High Bay lighting – Newer technology is available today that will provide excellent lighting performance and a long life

Motors are used throughout most buildings.  They run pumps for boiler systems, fans for heating and cooling as well as kitchen ventilation, and pumps for hydraulic elevators.

  • Variable Frequency Drives or VFDs control the amount of energy a motor uses based on the load.  This is an excellent solution for reducing energy costs and is grantable!
  • Balancing kitchen exhaust systems with make-up air will reduce demand on the motors but also reduce the amount of conditioning of air (heating or cooling)
  • Power Factor Correction may also be a solution depending on the application but beware of snake oil salesmen selling solutions in a blackbox they aren’t allowed to tell you about it!

Heating is a significant challenge for any business in Canada.  Our climate is cold for almost half the year.  It is in the best interest of any business operator to control heating.  Like payroll, it is a significant expense that can be managed.  Thinking smart about heating; keep the heat in.

  • Insulation – reinsulated roof space that has not been touched in 15 years.  This will improve R factor significantly.
  • Controls – Controlling the heating cycles will result in significant savings.  As simple as programmable thermostats turning the building down at night and up during the day.
  • It is smart to think passive heating.  Heat exchanger units for banquet halls, when the hall is full, all of the exhaust hot air will warm a heat exchanger, taking the heat from the air and reusing it to warm the cool air coming into the building.
  • Maintenance programs pay for themselves.  This is a fact.  One failure of a major roof top heating or cooling unit could affect your customers, staff, products, the building.  Imagine losing the main heating unit for a weekend during a major winter storm.  A roof top heater repair cost will be exacerbated by the plumbing and structural repairs required due to the frozen pipes!

Ventilation - Maintaining fresh air is critical for the safety of all the occupants of buildings.  Today’s buildings are almost completely sealed and fresh air must be brought in by mechanical ventilation.  Today’s ventilation control systems can balance heat and cool depending on the temperature of the inside and the outside of the building.

  • Using external temperature to assist with controlling ventilation during heating and cooling season shoulder months such as April, May and June.  Fresh air cooling is a significant savings and is better air for the occupants.  A fully sealed building can still use fresh air to cool.
  • Demand ventilation comes in two basic forms for use in the hospitality industry.  Kitchen exhaust hood coordination with the heat/cool makeup air systems reduces the exhaust speed depending on volume.  Less cooking, less ventilation, less makeup air.  New technology available widely is CO2 demand ventilation, controlling the cycles of fan motors by measuring the actual requirement of fresh air in sealed buildings.

Air Conditioning  In the Canadian climate, AC is used basically for about 2 months of the year right?  Not true.  Many large office towers run AC year round and rarely “heat” the building.  This is mainly due to lighting and people.  People are 98 degree heaters!  The more in a room, the hotter it gets!  AC becomes critical for cubical floors with all of the desktop computers in front of the 98 degree heaters.

  • Control systems, similar to heating, are how to really save energy costs.  The systems should only run when required, off at night, on during the day.  But shoulder months are a great opportunity in our climate.  Fresh air cooling saves significant energy costs.
  • Hotels must really have control systems for air conditioned guest rooms.  Unless having staff check rooms regularly makes sense, a simple and affordable control system that operates via existing telephone lines is available.

Refrigeration  Keeping food and beverages cold, or frozen, is simply a part of doing business in the hospitality industry.  Today’s fridges, walk ins and stand-alone, are the best ever when it comes to insulation and seals.  The motors run less, the compressor has less wear due to fewer and shorter cycles and costs savings show up.  Refrigeration is expense.  A typical house fridge uses almost 1 kW when the compressor is operating.

  • New technology allows for temperature control and compressor cycles to be managed by the temperature of the food instead of the air.  Makes sense, especially in a freezer.
  • Teach control measures such as shutting down the compressor when keeping the walk-in fridge door open for extended periods of time.  Most walk-ins have a switch to disable the compressor.

Information Technology  Although not high in the list of many hospitality companies, those companies with dedicated server rooms must pay attention to this area.  Not only is cooling large part of the expense of the server room, the energy to operate the computers attached to the server becomes significant when you add up more than 50 or more users.

  • Enforce energy controls and acknowledgement of risk with as much emphasis as virus and security protection.  Energy savings can be significant if accepted as critical.
  • Avoid large computer screens.  Unless mission critical, a 17” screen is more than adequate for any staff member.  Monitors basically consume a linear amount of energy, the bigger the monitor; the more energy it consumes.  Therefore, a 21” screen will use about 20% more energy than a 17”.

Pumps Once again, part of the hospitality industry is pumps.  From dishwashers to pushing water up multiple levels, pumps are used throughout any hotel or restaurant.  In most instances, the best direction is maintenance.  Always check to see if a variable speed motor is possible but since a pump typically runs or doesn’t run, this isn’t always an option for energy savings.  High quality pumps, sized properly, should consume a measured amount of energy to move water as required. 

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