All the good things 2017
All the good things 2017

All the good things

EfficiencyOne 2017
Pictured: The Velo Apartments on Gottingen St. Halifax

Keeping rent down, and efficiency up

Affordable housing has become a major issue in urban Canada, and Nova Scotia is no exception. Notably, in the past decade or so, rental prices have risen significantly in the North End of Halifax.

Ross Cantwell is the principal owner of a new building on 2300 Gottingen Street – a five storey, mixed commercial/residential complex with 165 apartment units. He recognizes the benefits of energy efficiency.

Having worked with Efficiency Nova Scotia on a building in Wolfville in 2015, Mr. Cantwell was familiar with sustainability programs and installed an energy efficient building envelope, heating system, as well as lighting and heat recovery elements in the Gottingen Street building. These features keep operating costs at a minimum and rental costs reasonable. Ensuring that the heating system and building envelope are energy efficient allows the landlord to include the heat and hot water in the rent. Located along a primary bus route, and within walking and biking distance of downtown, the building also has indoor bicycle parking and shared bicycle work space. Occupancy began in January 2018 and the neighborhood now boasts a new, modern energy efficient building.

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Pictured: Michael Chapman, Manager of Infrastructure and Environmental Stewardship at NSCC

The Future Shines Bright for award-winning college and its students

We’re very proud to partner with Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) and some of the province’s other leading postsecondary institutions to help foster a culture of efficiency and educate tomorrow’s workforce on its benefits for our economy and environment.

To promote green jobs and invest in our future efficiency leaders, Efficiency Nova Scotia worked with NSCC to offer a Bright Student Award bursary – a scholarship of $1,500 for students enrolled at NSCC in the Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology program. In its first year, the scholarship received 26 applications. The winner of the 2017 Bright Student Award bursary was Ian Vaughn.

“The Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology program at NSCC provides me with the knowledge and hands-on experience needed to succeed in the ever-growing field of sustainable energy. This award will help me achieve my goals of becoming a Certified Engineering Technologist, working alongside Environmental Engineers, helping design and build a more sustainable future for generations to come.” - Ian Vaughn, Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology, Annapolis Valley Campus Class of 2019.

Ten years ago, NSCC announced the “greening” of campuses across Nova Scotia. Since then, from their labs to their classrooms, their study areas to their ocean studies, the College’s sustainability policy has guided them on a green, energy efficient path.

The College is dedicated to reducing its energy consumption by at least 25 per cent by the year 2020. More than $1 million will be saved with this goal. NSCC’s energy efficiency efforts have saved over $1 million a year since the 2008 baseline year, thus increasing revenue for educational excellence. The savings were accrued from a 17 per cent decrease for electrical demand, a 20 per cent decrease in energy intensity per square foot, and a 32 per cent decrease in greenhouse gases.

NSCC’s sustainability plan, incorporating energy efficiency to benefit students and staff, won them the Bright Business Engagement Award at the 2017 Bright Business Conference. Pictured: Michael Chapman, Manager of Infrastructure and Environmental Stewardship at NSCC

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Keeping Nova Scotia clean, beautiful, and mercury free

The mercury collection program had a busy year in 2017. All over Nova Scotia, we collected mercury-containing streetlights, outdoor lighting, business lighting, thermostats, appliance switches, CFLs, and properly disposed of them. In our second full year of operation, the program safely diverted an estimated 45 kg of mercury from landfills. In all, we collected and recycled over 955,000 pieces, including roughly 960 km worth of fluorescent lamps alone,

Nova Scotia’s mercury collection program is funded by Nova Scotia Power, administered by EfficiencyOne, and delivered in partnership with Scout Environmental. There are 44 public drop-off locations throughout the province, including municipal waste facilities and retail locations. Given Nova Scotians’ positive response to the program, Nova Scotia Power has renewed it until the end of 2019.

Points of interest:

  • Recycled 774,370 pieces of fluorescent lamps (including UV lamps)
  • Roughly equals 960 km
  • In 2017, the program diverted as estimated 45 kg of mercury out of our landfills.
  • 44 drop-off locations + nine institutional locations including Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia Health Authority hospitals and CFB locations

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Making waves in the seaplants industry

Acadian Seaplants produces seaweed for the global culinary industry. Their plants start in a bio-room with water tanks which require a great deal of lighting. Until 2017, these plant growth tanks used a combination of fluorescent tube and highpressure sodium light fixtures. However, they used enormous amounts of electricity and burned out frequently

Working with Efficiency Nova Scotia, Acadian Seaplants set a goal to increase production at the Charlesville, Shelburne Co. bio-room by 60 per cent. In the end, the company met its goal — and then some: increasing production by 240 per cent. By converting their fluorescents to horticultural LED lights, Acadian Seaplants saved 260,000 kWh and $30,000 – money it can then re-invest in the company. Pictured: Phil MacLennan, Senior Manager, Engineering, Acadian Seaplants

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EfficiencyOne cleans up at the Clean50 Awards

EfficiencyOne’s efforts to help Nova Scotians enjoy the good things efficiency brings were recognized nationally in 2017.

William Lahey, Chair of the Board of Directors of EfficiencyOne and Stephen MacDonald, Chief Executive Officer of EfficiencyOne were named recipients of Canada’s 2018 Clean50 award for their industry-leading efforts promoting energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions in Nova Scotia.

Clean50 recognizes 50 individuals (or small teams) from 16 different categories who have made the greatest contributions to sustainable development or clean capitalism in Canada between January 1, 2015 and March 31, 2017. Both Mr. Lahey and Mr. MacDonald were named in the Traditional Energy category. A national leader in energy efficiency, EfficiencyOne’s independent model is unique in Canada and has served as an inspiration for other provinces seeking to replicate its success.

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Pictured: Jeff Domm

Energy efficiency meets its perfect match

Energy Efficiency can help your tennis game.

It’s true. Just ask the folks at the Daniel Nestor Tennis Centre in Bedford.

Last year the indoor tennis facility received a significant lighting upgrade that not only saved nearly 250,000 kWh/year, it also improved playing conditions on the courts.

The new lighting quality level now exceeds International Tennis Federation standards.

Manager Jeff Domm said he was also impressed with the quality work of Efficiency Nova Scotia’s contracted partner – Nichent Energy of Bedford – and their ability to adapt to the club’s needs.

For example, the building’s light fixtures used to sway noticeably. Nichent took care of the problem, installing stabilizing cables.

Mr. Domm says the lighting reboot was desperately needed — and Efficiency Nova Scotia played a pivotal role in making it happen, offering interest-free financing over the two-year payback period.

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Pictured: Darlene MacDonald, Homeowner

A heartwarming HomeWarming

Thirty years ago, in the scenic town of Judique, Cape Breton, Darlene MacDonald and her husband bought a 200-year-old house. Built with rich and sturdy Douglas-fir, this old-fashioned character home stood strong while they raised their children. But as is the case with most heritage homes, there were drafts, and heating through the harsh Cape Breton winters was always difficult. But they always managed with wood heat, and a reliable oil stove.

In May of 2015, Mrs. MacDonald’s husband passed away, and the heating that was once inconvenient, soon became a real challenge.

“When my husband died, I just wanted things to be easier, not harder,” said Mrs. MacDonald “I just wanted my home to be comfortable and warm.”

The HomeWarming program provides energy-saving upgrades to low-income homeowners. This helped Darlene make upgrades to her family home, making it more comfortable year-round and reducing heating costs, allowing her to stay in the house she loved.

In 2017 Efficiency Nova Scotia and the Clean Foundation helped over 2,000 homeowners in Nova Scotia to make their homes more energy efficient through HomeWarming. On average, these customers can save between 15 and 30 per cent on heating costs.

With additional funding announced from the Province of Nova Scotia in spring 2017, we’re excited to help low-income renters, non-profits and First Nations communities keep their homes, and hearts, warm through new low-income efficiency programs.

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The $99 difference that’s saving Nova Scotians on home heating

The Home Energy Assessment program makes it easy and more affordable for Nova Scotians to invest in energy efficiency. For $99, our certified energy auditors provide home owners with a full evaluation of their home, identifying inefficiencies and providing customers with customized recommendations tohelp save energy and money.

With the help of seven delivery agents and a network of energy advisors, Efficiency Nova Scotia completed a total of 1,730 energy evaluations in 2017, making it our best year to date. Judy Bell, of Hubbards, N.S., was one of these customers.

“We just received a power bill for February-March. It was $316. The same two months the year before were $585. This was basically 46 per cent cheaper” says Bell. “We are extremely happy with results like these.”

In addition, 940 homeowners also completed energy efficient upgrades and retrofits that Efficiency Nova Scotia supported through rebates and financing. These upgrades not only provide families an average lifetime savings of $23,000, but they allow them to be comfortable in their home year-round.

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Teaching the leaders of tomorrow about sustainability, today

Green Schools Nova Scotia encourages students and teachers to think sustainability first, protecting the environment by creating Green Teams, presentations, class projects and activities. As an Efficiency Nova Scotia program, it focuses on energy efficiency and how to help students do their part to mitigate climate change.

Since 2011, Green Schools has grown from 65 schools to over 250, and spread over eight school boards, including First Nations schools. The program has now reached over half of the schools in the province. Engagement Officers offer hundreds of free resources and lesson plans for teachers. Since the program started, hundreds of sustainability projects, such as energy saving campaigns, community gardens and recycling programs have been completed. Classrooms like Chelsea McOrmond’s in New Minas regularly take advantage of Green Schools’ resources.

“Green Schools Nova Scotia provides a great link to what we’re doing in the school and what we can do in the community,” says Ms. McOrmond, Green Team leader at New Minas Elementary School. “The Engagement Officers make time to connect with the students, which helps them see how they’re making a difference in the community and beyond.”

Green Schools builds confidence in students by educating and empowering them on how they can make a difference for themselves and future generations based on their actions today. Pictured: Olga Torres and Colleen Freake, Green Schools

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Building energy efficiency into one of Canada’s favourite retailers

As customers continue to flood through the doors of IKEA Canada in Dartmouth – which opened in fall 2017 – they probably don’t realize it’s the company’s most sustainable building.

Efficiency Nova Scotia partnered with IKEA on the project to save enough energy to power 250 homes in our province. During construction, IKEA focused on energy efficiency, waste avoidance and mobility as part of the company’s commitment to sustainable living.

Efficiency Nova Scotia’s Business Development Team approached IKEA– during the building planning stage – to talk about partnership. The collaboration led to an array of projects at the store including advanced lighting technologies, geothermal heating, high efficiency insulation, a solar photovoltaic system and a solar wall. By implementing these energysaving measures, the home furnishing retailer was able to lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce energy consumption and save electricity.

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Setting the foundations for the Passive House movement in Canada

Natasha Brooks, Program Manager with Efficiency Nova Scotia, became Canada’s first Passive House Verifier in 2017.

This certification allows Ms. Brooks to lead the adoption of Passive House standards across the province, specifically in the multi-housing and commercial building markets. Passive House is an emerging building standard in Nova Scotia that combines energy efficient techniques with comfort. From homes to commercial buildings, these structures look and feel like typical buildings, but consume about 85 per cent less energy.

Ms. Brooks was also awarded the Canada Green Building Council’s Atlantic Chapter’s Emerging Green Leader Award for making a significant contribution to advocating, educating or practicing green building and/or community development. She was recognized as a leader among her peers and for her strong commitment to green building, the environment, and positive change. Pictured: Natasha Brooks, Manager New Home Construction

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Small changes, big impact

Whether you rent or own your home there are always ways to make efficient upgrades to your space. An energy efficient home is less expensive to operate, more comfortable to live in, and more environmentally friendly.

Our Product Installation Service allows all Nova Scotians to enjoy the good things efficiency brings at no cost. Our efficiency partners visit homes across the province, removing outdated products and install new energy efficient versions such as LED bulbs, water-saving showerheads, and faucet aerators to keep Nova Scotian’s comfort level high but keep their energy use low.

“The fella that came to my house was five minutes early for his appointment,” says homeowner, Sara MacKinnon of New Glasgow. “He was very pleasant, courteous, time efficient, did a wonderful job. He also gave me some tips on how to save energy in my home just off the top of his head to be kind. I couldn’t be happier with this service; this company is employing good people.”

The program had a successful year in 2017, with over 13,000 participants. Delivery agents installed over 377,000 efficient products.

That translates into a total energy savings of over 18 GWh, This works out to be an annual household energy savings of approximately 1,300 kWh per home, and just under $200 in cost savings. Pictured: Cameron Tucker, Jessica Ellis, Thinkwell Shift

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Efficiency Trade Network: contractors that are up to code

Efficiency Nova Scotia connects home and business owners with professionals who can help with energy efficiency improvements through the Efficiency Trade Network (ETN), an online directory of local contractors, insulation installers, heating system installers, electricians and more.

We’re pleased to say, in 2017, average online directory user views were up almost 30 per cent from 2016. This tells us more and more Nova Scotians are trusting our directory of industry professionals as the place to go when starting an energy efficient renovation or project.

Members of the ETN receive technical training that enable them to identify and promote efficiency opportunities for their customers. And by being a certified ETN member, Nova Scotians know these professionals have the Efficiency Nova Scotia “seal of approval”, as one of the best at what they do in our province.

Efficiency Nova Scotia continues to coordinate and expand the Efficiency Trade Network’s member base. Over 150 organizations throughout the province are now members of the network, and available for hire by Nova Scotians.

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Picture: Membertou Health and Wellness Centre

First Nations Partnership

EfficiencyOne has had innovative partnerships with First Nations communities in Nova Scotia for years now, but 2017 stands out. In the fall of 2017, Milbrook First Nation’s Chief, Bob Gloade, was a featured speaker at EfficiencyOne’s annual Bright Business Conference in Halifax. Chief Gloade knows firsthand the transformative power of energy efficiency: through Millbrook’s partnership with Efficiency Nova Scotia, heat pumps were installed in 96 homes throughout the community during 2017.

And in Membertou, the community’s multi-purpose health and wellness facility opened – a sparkling showcase to the value of a long-term vision and the positive impacts of energy efficiency. With help from Efficiency Nova Scotia new construction rebates, the community and architect worked with an energy modeler to find ways to build energy savings right into the construction of this new hub in Membertou.

Two hockey rinks were at the heart of the facility. And making ice not only requires a lot of energy, it also typically produces all kinds of waste heat, year after year. Not so much at the Membertou Health and Wellness Centre. The energy-efficient design includes a geothermal system for both ice-making and heating.

The 12,000 m2 facility includes a modern fitness facility, a walking track, multi-purpose room, and meeting rooms. It also includes an array of energy efficient measures: individual controls for heating/cooling/ventilation in every room; multiple lighting zones, photo-sensors and occupancy sensors in every room; triple-pane windows and high-efficiency insulation; and a design that will allow the potential use of solar power in the future.

In the end, all those efficiency measures added just five percent to the total construction cost – and will cut annual energy use in half.

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All the good things