Taking measures to be more energy efficient is a big priority for Peterborough Square, says the mall’s manager Cheryl McQueen.
Cheryl has been an avid supporter of energy efficient solutions, participating in the Power Savings Blitz Program and the ERII Chilling Project in 2012. By accessing these resources, Peterborough Square received funding for new energy efficient lighting, and the old air conditioning system was replaced with a new energy efficient one.
This year, Cheryl participated in the Save on Energy Retrofit Program, an incentive program offered through Peterborough Distribution Inc. (PDI), which GreenUP’s Green Business Applicant Representative can help you to access. Participating in these programs allowed Cheryl to make significant changes to Peterborough Square, enabling the building to function more sustainably and cost-efficiently.
Cheryl specifies the financial savings as enticement to participate in these incentive programs.
“Especially when you are leasing, a lot of tenants want to see that you are being proactive in making your building much more energy efficient because the end result is that it controls the operating costs,” she says. “The more energy efficient we are, the more the tenants save.”
The projects Peterborough Square implemented this year include the installation of LED lighting systems and five Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs).
Financial incentives were granted by Save on Energy Retrofit Program, a provincial program that business operators access through their local electricity distribution company.
The total cost of the LED Lighting project was $37,000, but Peterborough Square received an incentive of $10,000 to implement these changes. Most importantly, it has been calculated that Peterborough Square will save $23,000 a year in operating costs by switching to LED lighting.
And, the Return on Investment (ROI) calculation for this project is only 1.22 years. This means that in less than a year and a half, Peterborough Square will have saved enough money on energy use to cover the initial start-up cost.
Likewise, the installation of five VFDs will also enable Peterborough Square to save on energy use. VFDs are a type of motor controller that ramps down the frequency and voltage of a device to meet the requirements of the electric motor’s load.
In other words, if more energy is being allocated to a device that does not require that amount, VFDs will match the energy to what is needed by the device — eliminating energy waste by not using more than is necessary.
The retrofit cost of the VFD project came to $23,500 in total, but this amount was brought down to $15,000 after an incentive of $8,500 was granted from the Save on Energy Retrofit Program.
In about 2.6 years, Peterborough Square will have met its ROI and will be saving $5,700 per year as a result of the installation of five VFDs.
Together, both of these projects will be saving the mall approximately $28,700 per year on energy operating costs.
If you’re worried that implementing retrofit changes will cause disruption to your workplace during the process, Cheryl says that the contractors who installed the energy-efficient devices were great to work with and moved around tenants and customers to ensure the installation was hassle free.
The potential savings from these retrofit programs are huge, but businesses may not know all of their options and could miss out on these savings as a result. This is where the Green Business Program, supported by PDI, aims to help by providing this information to business operators.
The Green Business Program aims to provide “one-stop shopping” for business operators. It offers information on existing incentive programs for lighting upgrades, equipment retrofits, gas savings, and renewable energy installations.
The Green Business Program will be able to guide you through the process of applying for retrofit programs, and introduce you to the appropriate agencies you need to be connected with. Green Business staff will act as an Applicant Representative on your retrofit funding application.
An audit will be performed with an energy advisor, and this information will be used to produce recommendations for how to get the maximum conservation benefit for the least expense.
The vision of the program is to meet each business operator where they are, understand their needs, and help them identify and prioritize actions which will move them further along the continuum towards achieving full economic, and social sustainability.
To learn more about the Green Business Program and how it can help your business become more energy efficient, contact GreenUP at 705-745-3238 ext. 200 or visit the Green Business Peterborough website at www.greenbusinesspeterborough.ca.
All photos courtesy of Peterborough GreenUp.