New Changes to Water and Energy Reporting in Large Buildings

Published on July 31, 2019

As of January 1st, 2019, new updates have been added to Ontario’s regulations regarding water and energy reporting in Large Buildings. The regulation comes under the Electricity Act of 1998, and is labelled: Reporting of Energy Consumption and Water Use. It requires some large building owners (depending on gross floor space per building) to report each of their building’s water and energy use amounts by July 1st of 2019. Before you begin reporting your building’s energy and water consumption, you should first confirm that your building is required to report this year, and that you have everything needed to submit a proper report ready and fully completed.

The purpose of reporting water use and energy consumption in large buildings is in part to help demonstrate the effectiveness of energy efficiency improvements to large building owners. It is also intended to allow different building owners to compare and compete for higher levels of energy performance every year, and to set a benchmark of energy performance that owners can use to compare with similar buildings across Canada.

Both energy use (including electricity and/or natural gas) and water use must be reported, along with some physical properties of the building, such as total floor space. More than one building on the same property can be reported separately, but it is worth noting that each building will need to have an Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking ID (EWRB ID) to do so, which can be obtained by contacting the government of Ontario.

Which Buildings Need to Report their Energy and Water Use this Year?

In 2019, both Multi-Unit Residential Buildings (MURBs) and commercial / industrial buildings must report their water and energy use, but only if they are 100 000 square feet or larger. By 2020, all buildings that are at least 50 000 square feet must also report their usages. The deadline for reporting in both 2019 and 2020 is July 1st.

For cases where a building has more than one owner, all owners are mutually responsible for ensuring that the building’s water and energy use is properly reported. As a building owner, you can allow someone else to make the report for you if they are properly prepared, and have been given written permission that allows them to gather the necessary information from your utility provider.

The full list of building types that are required to make a report can be found here. If you have any questions about reporting your building’s usages, or about how energy efficiency improvements can reduce your water and energy consumption, please contact us through our free phone consultation service.

What Information Do You Need to Gather to Make a Proper Report?

In order to report the water use and energy consumption of your building, the first thing you will need to do is to provide your building’s name, address, and total floor space to the government of Ontario. From there, you will need to obtain a EWRB ID.

Next, you are to contact your utility service providers and gather the applicable information. This includes the information that indicates how much electricity, water, and natural gas your building used each month during the previous year. Information regarding other energy sources, such as propane and oil will need to be reported separately for each building.

To complete your water and energy use report, you will also need to gather your building’s property code and assessment roll number. These can be found on your building’s tax bills and property assessment. Additionally, you will need to create or login to an account on Energy Star’s website for portfolio management.  

By gathering and reporting this information, you are not only becoming more aware of your building’s water and energy use, but you are also able to compare your results to those of buildings with a similar size and purpose. This helps you track your building’s performance and your progression towards lower energy use and utility costs.  

BSG Can Verify Your Building’s Energy Consumption Data

For buildings that are 100 000 square feet and larger, the energy consumption data of your building must be verified by a recognized authority, such as a registered energy advisor from Barrier Sciences Group. It also must be re-verified every five years, and is completely voluntary for buildings that are less than 100 000 square feet.

Contact us now and schedule a time to have your building’s energy data verified. Remember, all buildings that have a total floor space of at least 100 000 square feet need to verify and report their 2018 usages before the July 1st deadline.

Understanding Your Building’s Energy Use Helps You Save Money

As with any building, home, or MURB, energy efficiency improvements are effective at reducing energy consumption, utility costs, and greenhouse gas emissions. They can also improve a building’s: air quality, interior comfort, humidity control, and even its market value. The first step towards making any upgrades in the name of energy efficiency is to understand and determine how much energy your building is currently consuming, and which areas could be most effectively improved.

With the Reporting of Energy Consumption and Water Use regulation, a shift of focus towards energy efficiency has been made more necessary for large building owners. This helps owners clearly see how much water and energy their building consumes, and how it stacks up against similar buildings across Canada. It also provides a foundation that makes it easier to improve a building’s energy efficiency, and with the help of a registered energy advisor, the most cost-effective improvements can be successfully targeted.

By using technologies such as thermal imaging and computerized energy modeling, along with performing airtightness tests and energy audits, a registered energy advisor can supply a building owner with a comprehensive look at their building’s energy performance and problem areas. After they finish testing a building, they also provide the building owner with a list of suggestions regarding how they could improve their energy efficiency in the most cost-effective manner possible.

To get started with your energy efficiency upgrades, and to begin saving on your monthly utility costs, or to have your building’s energy consumption data verified, call us toll free at 1-(866)-333-3920, or email us at  

The Canada Greener Homes Grant offers home efficiency renovation grants up to $5,000.

Homeowners Canada-wide are eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, announced on May 27, 2021. This new incentive offers up to $5,000 in grants for home efficiency retrofit renovations, plus a $600 reimbursement for pre- and post-work EnerGuide evaluations. Eligible retrofit scopes include home insulation, heating, doors, windows, photovoltaic solar panels, resiliency measures, and thermostats.

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