About the Energy Benchmarking Program (EBP)
The EBP helps faith communities take practical and cost-effective climate action decisions by raising their awareness of, and helping them become more knowledgeable about, their building energy use and emissions. The EBP is a free program funded through a grant from the Ontario Trillium foundation, City of Ottawa, Community Foundation, and Sustainable Capacity Foundation.
We use the Energy Star Portfolio Manager, an energy management tool, to display your energy costs & usage. We show you your baseline energy use, and identify areas for improvement over a 3 year period. We do this work for you, and every year we provide an annual report detailing your energy consumption and changes over time.
Why is it Important?
Your building typically accounts for about 42% of your faith community’s carbon footprint*. With over 27,000 faith communities in Canada, the faith sector can do a lot to lower emissions and make a real impact, starting from their places of worship. Managing your building performance also encourages your members to follow suit with energy conservation and efficiency at home.
Your building also accounts for a significant portion of the operating costs of your faith community. Therefore, reducing, and making more efficient, your building’s energy use also means reducing costs and saving money. Savings that can be directed towards other activities.
* National Inventory Report 1990-2014: Canada’s submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 2016
What is Energy Benchmarking?
Energy Benchmarking is a process by which your faith community becomes more aware of :
- How much energy your building uses.
- How much money you spend on energy.
- Your faith building’s carbon footprint.
- How your building’s energy use has changed over time.
- How your building’s performance stacks up to other buildings in your sector or your geographic community.
We Make it a Simple, Easy Process
Here are our 3 streamlined steps in the Energy Benchmarking Program:
1. Register your faith community for our free online network. Create An Account
Joining our online network connects your faith community with others to encourage one another to become leaders in environmental stewardship, not only in Ottawa but across Canada! It also allows us to send information about the program, as well as, your community’s results directly to your faith community.
2. Complete and submit 3 Mandatory FOrms
Sign in to your account and complete our EBP building form. This requires the name and address of your community, as well as, building information.
Complete and email your local utility company consent forms. You can download the forms HERE or email Hannah at email@example.com
Now that we have your consent/permission forms we will:
1) Register your faith-building with Energy Star Portfolio Manager;
2) Input your utility data into Portfolio Manager and;
3) Provide you with report updates from the tool, as well as, general information about what we are doing with the EBP at Greening Sacred Spaces Ottawa.
3. Review your reports and consider changes you can make.
In addition to providing energy performance reports we are also happy to:
1) Share energy efficiency tools, funding info, and training;
2) Help facilitate a virtual or in person building audits (if desired) and;
3) Meet with your building committee and/or Board to answer questions and ensure things run smoothly.
The Bigger Picture For The Program
Why Do Faith Communities Monitor Energy Usage Through Benchmarking?
- Supports stewardship within your faith community
- Reduces your contribution to climate change – targets carbon consumption
- Saves you time, energy & money: Assisting you in future decision-making about your building
What You Are Being Asked To Do?
- To make a commitment to save energy, something you may already be doing.
- Become a member of the Faith & the Common Good Network
- Give us your building information and consent to access your energy data (all of which is confidential unless you want us to share),
- Work with us over the next 15 months (until June 2022) to identify ways to improve energy efficiency
The EBP program has already been a critical success in the Greater Toronto, Halton and Peel Regions with over 100 faith community sign-ups. For example, Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Thornhill, Ontario found out through the program that they were saving about $3,500 each year on their electricity bills for 2018 and 2019 compared to their baseline back in 2016!
Now it’s our turn to demonstrate Ottawa’s faith communities’ Capacity for environmental stewardship and leadership.
Contact Us to Sign Up Today!
We would love for your faith community to be a part of the Energy Benchmarking Program (EBP), and join us in our journey of making Ottawa a more sustainable, energy conscious, and resilient place to live and worship.
We are here to support your faith community. If this is of interest, please contact the Greening Sacred Spaces Energy Benchmarking Team.