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Office of Energy Efficiency Links


Personal: Residential


Step 5: Choose Your Measures

Once you have established a baseline, compared with other facilities and you understand payback, the next step is to decide which energy efficiency measures to adopt or equipment to upgrade. In some cases, your organization could be eligible for financial assistance.

Identify Your Energy Hogs

Your major energy users are typically space heating, space cooling, lighting, domestic hot water heating, auxiliary equipment and auxiliary motors. The following chart shows an overall breakdown of energy use in commercial and institutional buildings in Canada according to our statistics and analysis.

Holistic Approach

You may be tempted to tackle energy efficiency measures one at a time, starting with those that have the shortest payback. This practice is called "cherry picking," and it will often leave you with a number of expensive measures that will become increasingly difficult to justify. By taking a holistic approach and bundling multiple measures, you can often subsidize longer-payback projects with savings from shorter-payback projects. For example, lighting measures often have a shorter payback than heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) measures such as a new boiler. The natural tendency might be to undertake only a lighting retrofit and abandon the boiler, even though it presents a huge renewal opportunity and one of the greatest potentials for energy savings. If both measures are combined, an attractive blended payback is achieved, and both measures fit into a shorter payback period.


Information on purchasing, maintaining and operating energy-efficient off-the-shelf equipment for industrial and non-industrial facilities can be found on the Energy Efficient Equipment Web site. Use the EnerGuide high efficiency label to compare the energy consumption of major appliances and HVAC designed primarily for residential use. Turn to the ENERGY STAR® symbol to identify the most energy-efficient products in their class. Categories include office equipment, consumer electronics and exit signs.

Commissioning and Recommissioning

It is important to make sure all your building systems are working together. Find out more and read publications about optimisation of building systems.

Calculate Potential Savings

The ENERGY STAR® Simple Savings Calculator, an interactive software tool, can help you compare the costs and potential savings of energy-efficient products with conventional equipment. Using local utility rates, projected savings can be calculated from reduced energy consumption and maintenance costs.

Alternating current (AC) induction motors are the most commonly used motor type in Canada and account for between 10 and 20 percent of Canada's total annual electricity consumption. CanMOST – The Canadian Motor Selection Tool can help you analyse the benefits and compare the costs of various types of motors.

Next: Step 6: Arrange financing