NRC Honours Organizations with Energy Star Canada Awards

NRC Minister and Energy Star award winners

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Jim Carr, recently presented awards to organizations from across Canada for their achievements in partnering with Canada’s Energy Star program to develop and promote the most energy-efficient products and homes in the Canadian market (photo: Minister Carr with award winners).

The winners were selected for a variety of innovations in energy efficiency, from incorporating Energy Star-certified products in major social housing developments to encouraging energy conservation through consumer incentive programs and promotional campaigns and selling and promoting innovative energy-efficient homes, products and appliances.

The Energy Star program is a voluntary partnership between the Government of Canada and more than 2,000 organizations that manufacture, sell or promote Energy Star-certified products and homes. The Energy Star symbol and label indicate for consumers that certified products and homes meet strict technical requirements making them among the most energy-efficient on the market. Here’s a sampling of this years winners, by category.

Sustained excellence — Toronto Community Housing Corporation

Toronto Community Housing Corporation provides homes to 60,000 low- and moderate-income households in 2,100 buildings located in almost every neighbourhood across the city. Since 2006 Toronto Community Housing has continuously demonstrated its commitment to energy efficiency and Energy Star with numerous initiatives. Noteworthy activities and accomplishments since they joined in 2006:

  • a dedicated team of energy management professionals — the Smart Buildings and Energy Management Unit — has as its principle mandate reducing energy consumption, GHG emissions and related costs by identifying, implementing, educating and realizing many energy savings as well as other sustainable opportunities for the company
  • partnered with Toronto Hydro Electric-System Ltd. since 2012 on Home Assistance Program (HAP) measures in 5,184 units; installing 1,040 Energy Star certified refrigerators and 2,308 Energy Star certified bulbs; which equates to 3,086 MWh (megawatt hours) savings of electricity annually (equivalent to saving GHG emissions from 448 passenger cars for one year) 
  • replaced air conditioners and light bulbs in 2011 with Energy Star certified products, saving over $850,000 in utility costs annually and enough energy to power 214 homes
  • strategic partnerships with multiple organizations (e.g., OEE, Toronto Hydro, Toronto Atmospheric Fund, IESO, etc.) to ensure that: they take advantage of incentives, they keep up to date with the latest technologies, they participate in innovative pilot projects to test new products, new methodologies, etc.

Advocate of the year — Efficiency Nova Scotia

Efficiency Nova Scotia is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting energy efficiency at home, for businesses and in the community. Noteworthy activities and accomplishments in 2015:

  • “Instant Savings” rebates issued on more than 270,000 units of Energy Star certified products
  • 9,315 Energy Star certified windows and doors installed
  • 280,000 Energy Star certified LED and CFL lamps installed in homes across Nova Scotia
  • 160+ Energy Star fridges and freezers installed for income-qualified homes
  • 28,000 customers engaged and educated on Energy Star products and benefits
  • 55,000 Energy Star certified products rebated to businesses

Promotional campaign of the year — social media — Énergie NB Power

Énergie NB Power, the primary electric utility in New Brunswick, has a goal of having 40% of its electricity generated by renewable sources by 2020. In February 2015 NB Power launched its “Smart Habits” campaign with the tagline “Why pay for electricity you don’t need?” The campaign reached both urban and rural consumers, English and French populations. Noteworthy activities and accomplishments for the promotional campaign included:

  • rebates honoured increased 26% on Energy Star certified LED bulbs, 680% on refrigerators, 48% on Most Efficient clothes washers over last year
  • in just three months, rebates were issued for 4,400 Energy Star certified ductless mini-split heat pumps as part of program to promote the product through 150 heating contractors in the province
  • point-of-sale promotions involved 40 appliance retailers and, for low-cost products such as LEDs, 170 home improvement and general merchandise retailers. For example, sales at one large retailer grew 29% for Energy Star certified LED bulbs and 37% for certified light fixtures
  • the “Smart Habits” campaign used traditional media, including a booklet, fact sheet, flyers bill insert to radio, e-newsletters, events, trade shows and even at the movies

Noteworthy activities and accomplishments for the social media campaign included:

  • a four-week Facebook contest had 660,000 impressions and attracted 5,000 contest entries
  • Blog posts attracted 3,000 readers
  • Facebook and Twitter platforms reached 400,000 people in 2015
  • Smart Habits campaign used e-newsletter to 1,500 subscribers
  • advertising or promoting Energy Star on other websites

Utility of the year — provincial — Manitoba Hydro

Manitoba Hydro provides service to 561,000 and 274,000 natural gas customers. Noteworthy activities and accomplishments in 2015:

  • incentives supported sales of 690,658 product units
  • “Power Smart” education campaign and rebates of up to 50% plus give-aways of Energy Star certified LEDs delivered 683,000 bulbs, resulting in an increase from 9% to 19% of the market
  • collaborated with 14 retailers (138 individual stores) on LED rebate campaigns, including cooperative advertising; partnered with Philips and Conglom lighting manufacturers on LED promotions at Home Depot and Costco respectively
  • direct marketed rebates and flyers on Energy Star certified commercial kitchen steamers and fryers resulting in 100% increase in sales
  • New Buildings Program incented 1.1 million square feet, up 83% from 2014, of floor space that requires Energy Star certified appliances

Utility of the year — regional — Hydro Ottawa Ltd.

Hydro Ottawa distributes electricity to 325,000 residential and commercial customers. Noteworthy activities and accomplishments in 2015:

  • continuous, year-long promotion of savings for Energy Star certified furnaces, air conditioning, LED bulbs and light fixtures 
  • multi-layered marketing plan added digital components which resulted in a dramatic increase in visits to the website to download coupons and a higher redemption rate
  • the “Is Your Furnace Old Enough” campaign included a bill insert, radio, outdoor boards, magazine and newspaper ads; and digitally an eBill banner, Home Page banner, a take-over on The Weather Network, an animated online ad campaign including tablet and smartphone platforms, an auto-loading animated GIF on Twitter, and a vanity URL /NewFurnace
  • the Conservation Team attends community events, local Grade 5 classes, fairs and home shows to promote energy efficiency and Energy Star certified products

Recruit of the year — Independent Electricity System Operator

The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) is the agency responsible for operating the electricity system and market in Ontario. Noteworthy activities and accomplishments in 2015:

  • Save on Energy programs promote Energy Star to consumers and businesses with incentives and marketing efforts
  • Save on Energy incentive programs include heating and cooling systems, coupon promotions and lighting for small businesses
  • 70 local electricity distribution companies throughout Ontario are engaged in conservation programs
  • engagement with stakeholders and partnerships with non-profit and for-profit entities, including technology companies, consulting firms, industry associations, educational institutions and public sector organizations

Manufacturer of the year — lighting — L’Image Home Products Inc.

Montreal-based L’Image Home Products develops, manufactures and distributes a wide range of hardware products, including a portfolio of indoor and outdoor lighting. Noteworthy activities and accomplishments in 2015:

  • partnering with Costco Wholesale across the country, selling significant amount of Energy Star certified bulbs and Energy Star certified LED lighting fixtures
  • A19 LED bulbs and the retrofit downlight kit successfully adopted by consumers via BC Hydro, FortisBC and Manitoba Hydro rebate programs
  • 15,437 Canadian visits to the L’Image website featuring Energy Star certified products with the Energy Star symbol
  • point-of-purchase displays raised the visibility of the Energy Star brand, increasing consumer awareness

Partner of the year — Enbridge Gas Distribution

Enbridge Gas has been in business for more than 160 years and currently delivers natural gas to two million homes and businesses across Ontario. Noteworthy activities and accomplishments in 2015:

  • Savings by Design program provided $1.1 million in incentives to builders for new homes that are 25% more energy efficient than the Ontario Building Code
  • Savings by Design promotes Energy Star in the program’s design charrettes
  • supported vital Energy Star program initiatives through a funding partnership with EnerQuality for activities such as managing incentives, builder training and workshops, events and stakeholder engagement
  • through Enbridge’s program, 604 Energy Star qualified homes were labelled in 2015

See the full list of winners: www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/products/for-participants/awards/18610.

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