Increased efficiencies

Feb 12 • Business, Feature StoryNo Comments on Increased efficiencies

Municipality of Chatham-Kent representatives Tim Dick, Al Sasseville and Darrin Canniff accept a cheque for $103,888.51 from Enbridge Gas officials Mark Glasier and Bryanna Smith recently. The funds are helping to replace aging heating and cooling equipment at two affordable housing locations in the municipality.

Enbridge-C-K partnership saves cash, gas use

Enbridge Gas’ Mark Glasier calls it the gift that keeps on giving.

The supervisor of energy solutions with the natural gas company referred to an energy savings program offered by Enbridge to the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.

The program provided the municipality with a portion of the funds to use towards HVAC equipment upgrades at two affordable housing locations in Chatham-Kent – 99 McNaughton Ave. W. in Chatham and 287 Talbot St. W. in Blenheim

“Collectively, the funds are for $103,000, but the savings carry on year after year. When compared to the less-efficient equipment, there will be savings of over $150,000 over the lifetime of this equipment,” Glasier said. “It’s kind of a like a gift that keeps on giving.”

Al Sasseville, manager of housing assets with the municipality, agreed the savings are tangible. The newer HVAC units are much more efficient, as 12 older units at the two buildings were replaced by just four.

Tim Dick, director of drainage, waste and asset management for the municipality, said if the Enbridge program was not in place, he couldn’t guess when either of the buildings would have received new equipment.

“They were on our radar. They could have been done four or five years ago, but with trying to manage budgets to main facilities and properties, it makes it difficult to upgrade,” he said. “Once rebates are available, it makes it more attractive. Probably without the rebates available, one of these buildings wouldn’t have been done.”

Glasier said the municipality’s willingness to develop a partnership is appreciated as well.

“These capital investments are significant. There is always pressure on municipalities to reduce costs and reduce capital outlay,” he said. “This commitment to energy conservation is certainly commendable and appreciated.”

Glasier said Enbridge officials hope to see projects such as this to become standard practice.

“That’s really part of the energy conservation world. We’re driving towards new efficiency levels. These projects take us in the right direction,” he said.

Mayor Darrin Canniff, a former manager at Union Gas, which has since merged with Enbridge, said public-private partnerships are crucial in today’s economic climate. He added Enbridge and the municipality would continue to work together.

“It’s wonderful to support us with $103,000 in energy efficiencies, but the key on this is the partnership,” he said.

Sasseville said the partnership is a success.

“We plan on doing some more upgrades. It’s been a good partnership,” he said. “As for the long-terms benefits, it’s hard to actually put a number on it. But the new furnaces have an efficiency of up to 96 to 98 per cent. Prior generations weren’t even 80 per cent.”

One place where newer equipment could really pump up the savings is the Civic Centre, Dick said. Renovations to the HVAC equipment there would provide savings of between 20 and 30 per cent, he said, “as a result of all energy type upgrades we could do. That’s probably conservative.”

Glasier said Enbridge has shown a commitment to energy conservation over the past two-and-a-half decades, assisting institutional, industrial, commercial and residential customers.

“We have saved using over 28 billion cubic metres of natural gas through conservations measures, as well as 50 million tonnes of carbon reduction,” he said. “It’s been a very significant program in terms of energy reduction over the life of the program.”

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