City of Guelph receives $47,000 in rebates for energy audits in City facilities

Incentives received from Guelph Hydro and Union Gas pay 50 per cent of cost of energy audits

GUELPH, ON, November 22, 2012 – Today, in front of the living wall at the City Hall Galleria, Mayor Karen Farbridge accepted rebate cheques totalling $47,612 from Guelph Hydro and Union Gas for an extensive energy audit program conducted earlier this year.

In total, 13 City facilities including City Hall, the River Run Centre, the Sleeman Centre, the main library branch, Centennial Park Arena, the transit facility and recreation centres were audited to evaluate how electricity, gas and water is being used and determine opportunities to improve energy efficiency and reduce operating costs.

The energy audits identified more than 100 electricity, gas and water conservation projects. These projects will require an investment of $3.3 million spread over the next three years but will result in a 5.9 per cent reduction in energy, worth more than $400,000 a year in avoided costs to the Corporation and tax payer, accumulating to $7 to $11 million over the next 10 years.

The rebates received by the City are available to businesses under two programs:

The Ontario Power Authority saveONenergyOM AUDIT FUNDING program for businesses which covers up to 50 per cent of the cost of an energy audit

The Union Gas EnerSmartTM energy-efficiency incentive program for projects that increase the efficiency of using natural gas

Energy conservation projects identified for the facilities include changes to lighting (high efficiency lighting, timers, daylight harvesting), upgrades of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and the installation of low-flow toilets and faucets.

By taking the initiative to perform these energy audits and commit to making improvements, the City is leading by example and achieving a win-win for the community. Reducing energy consumption in City facilities supports the goals of the Community Energy Initiative and reduces costs.


“With energy being the fastest growing expenditure at the City and arguably our greatest financial risk, the need for energy efficiency has never been greater. The Corporation’s water, electricity and heating bills are expected to exceed $8 million next year and this expenditure, if left unchecked, could double in the next seven years. All governments are experiencing tough fiscal times, which is why the provincial incentives that we have received through Guelph Hydro and Union Gas for our energy audit program are so important. They enable us to leverage the City’s operational budgets to the maximum, and develop the robust business case required to get to the next step of implementing energy reduction projects.”

Mayor Karen Farbridge, City of Guelph

“We value the partnerships we’ve developed with our utility providers – Guelph Hydro and Union Gas. This is just the beginning, and we look to continue the working relationship and support as we implement our Corporate Energy Management Program.”

Mayor Karen Farbridge, City of Guelph

“Energy audits are a key element of the Corporate Energy Management Program that was recently presented to Council. The reality of rising energy costs, together with the City’s commitment to show leadership on energy matters in support of the Community Energy Initiative, both compel the Corporation to move quickly on energy conservation projects.”

Rob Blakeney, Energy Manager, City of Guelph

“Union Gas is committed to helping our municipal partners make smart investments in energy-efficient equipment and technologies. These investments will not only help to reduce their energy consumption and operating costs, they also help the environment.”

Jackie Caille, Director of Residential and Commercial Sales, Union Gas

“Guelph Hydro congratulates the City of Guelph for serving as a role model in the community for their commitment to conserving energy and wise use of Ontario Power Authority saveONenergy incentive programs that are available to businesses of all sizes. After taking advantage of the saveONenergy AUDIT FUNDING program, businesses can then apply for rebates under the RETROFIT program when they undertake the energy conservation projects identified in the audit. We look forward to working with the City as they prioritize and begin work on the many projects that will result in cost savings for taxpayers and environmental benefits for all.”

Barry Chuddy, Chief Executive Officer, Guelph Hydro Inc.

Background information

Energy Audits – City of Guelph Facilities

  • City Hall
  • Centennial Park Arena
  • Exhibition Arena
  • Centennial High School Pool
  • Main Library
  • River Run Centre
  • Sleeman Centre
  • Transit Facility
  • Victoria Road Recreation Centre
  • West End Community Centre
  • Municipal Works Yard (45 & 50 Municipal Street)
  • Evergreen Seniors Community Centre


Programs are funded by the Ontario Power Authority and offered by Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. The AUDIT FUNDING program provides incentives to commercial, industrial and institutional customers to evaluate the energy performance of their buildings and spot energy-saving opportunities. Business customers are eligible for incentives intended to cover up to 50 per cent of the cost to complete energy audits assessing the potential for energy savings to be achieved through equipment replacement, operational practices, or participation in Demand Response initiatives and other building systems and envelopes projects.

The RETROFIT PROGRAM provides substantial financial incentives to businesses for replacing old, inefficient lighting, ventilation, heating and cooling systems, compressed air systems and motors with high-efficiency equipment. It also provides rebates for installing new control systems that will improve the efficiency of operational procedures and processes

To learn more about the saveONenergy programs for audits and retrofits, visit:

Subject to additional terms and conditions found at Subject to change without notice. OMOfficial mark of the Ontario Power Authority. Used under license.

About Union Gas EnerSmart Energy-Efficiency Incentive Program

Union Gas administers grants through its EnerSmart energy-efficiency incentive program, which helps customers implement projects that will use natural gas more efficiently. Since the EnerSmart program was introduced, Union Gas has helped its business customers reduce their natural gas consumption by about 5.6 million cubic metres of natural gas – or the equivalent of heating over two million homes for a year. To learn more about Union Gas EnerSmart incentives, visit

About the City of Guelph

Located in one of the strongest economic regions in Canada, Guelph is the ideal destination for companies to access major markets and customers. Guelph is a vibrant, growing, historic community of over 118,000 residents offering an educated work force, established economic base and an outstanding quality of life. Guelph offers competitive land and building development and business operating costs partnered with a variety of employment lands and buildings available to meet most business needs as well as fully interconnected and scalable telecommunication network and services.

About Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc.

Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. delivers a safe and reliable supply of electricity to approximately 50,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Guelph and Rockwood. The company is owned by Guelph Hydro Inc. which received the Guelph Chamber of Commerce 2012 Environmental Stewardship Award and was named Large Company of the Year by the Ontario Energy Association in 2011. The company is actively developing sustainable energy projects as a key implementer of the City of Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative. For more information, visit

About Union Gas

Union Gas Limited is a major Canadian natural gas storage, transmission and distribution company based in Ontario with 100 years of experience and service to customers. The distribution business serves about 1.4 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in more than 400 communities across northern, southwestern and eastern Ontario. Union Gas’ growing storage and transmission business offers a variety of storage and transportation services to customers at the Dawn Hub, the largest underground storage facility in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The Dawn Hub offers customers an important link in the movement of natural gas from Western Canadian and U.S. supply basins to markets in central Canada and the northeast U.S. Union Gas, one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 2011, 2012 and 2013, and one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 2012, is a Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE) company with assets of $5.8 billion and approximately 2,200 employees. For more information, visit

Media contacts

Rob Kerr
Corporate Manager, Community Energy Initiative
City of Guelph
T 519-822-1260 x 2079

Sandy Manners
Director, Corporate Communications
Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc.
T 519-837-4703
C 226-218-0157[breakE

Andrea Stass
Manager, External Communications and Media Relations
Union Gas Limited, A Spectra Energy Company
T 519-436-5490
C 519-365-1010