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Widespread benchmarking and auditing is creating a large and growing body of knowledge to fuel the fast-developing energy efficiency agenda in Canada.  According to speakers at the 9th Annual Energy Matters Summit ( May 6th and 7th, 2013), the growth in data and metrics are driving progress in building efficiency as public and private sector organizations are achieving deep reductions in energy use.  Corporate and government strategy are aligning on a data-driven approach to energy performance. Growth in quantity and quality of data has inspired and informed world-class initiatives such as CivicAction’s Race to Reduce, REALpac 20 by ’15 target, and Toronto & Region Conservation’s Town Hall Challenge and Sustainable Schools program.

Energy Matters panels featured senior managers from Oxford Properties, Infrastructure Ontario, City of Oshawa, City Toronto, and from the York Catholic and Simcoe County District School Boards. Each outlined their own energy efficiency programs and the substantial savings achieved to date. New and notable was the targets set by each organization and how they are striving for far deeper energy reductions and higher levels of performance.

Attendees also heard from Ontario’s Ministry of Energy concerning the Green Energy Act regulations requiring all public sector organizations to report on energy use in 2013; from Natural Resources Canada describing the 2013 launch of Energy Star Portfolio Manager in Canada enabling benchmarking of offices and schools across the country; and from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities about their programs supporting cities and towns in lowering energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

“In 2006 the Canada Green Building Council set a goal of reducing energy use and emissions in Canadian buildings by half,” according to Ian Jarvis, President of Enerlife Consulting who chaired the energy efficiency stream. “There is now a growing body of evidence from different building sectors that this goal is achievable.”