Toronto’s ‘Race to Reduce’ Garners 9% Energy Cut

April 9, 2014 By Leon Walker

rave2Since CivicAction launched the Race to Reduce smart energy office challenge in Toronto in 2011, participating landlords and tenants in that city have reduced their collective energy use by 9 percent, reports The Globe and Mail.

Currently over 175 buildings are registered in Race to Reduce, representing over 67 million square feet – or over 32 percent of the region’s office space. The program has a goal of reducing energy use of its participants by 10 percent by the end of 2014, the paper reports.

CivicAction calls Race to Reduce “a friendly corporate challenge” that represents collaboration between office building landlords and tenants to encourage smart energy use. It encourages behavioral and positive team-building among landlords, tenants and their employees.

Race to Reduce is a plan of action and a tool kit of technical advice and case study intelligence and know-how that aims to guide organizations in:

  • increasing awareness of their energy use
  • measuring and monitoring their energy use
  • changing the way they operate or changing the equipment they use to reduce their energy use/increase their energy efficiency.

Office buildings in the Greater Toronto Area consume 37 percent of the area’s electricity. Tenant use of office space can represent 25-to-50 percent of a building’s total energy use, according to CivicAction.

In December, the City of Seattle adopted a Resource Conservation Management Plan that outlines how the city will reduce energy use in city-owned buildings 20 percent by 2020, when compared to a 2008 baseline. Such a reduction would result in utility cost savings of roughly $2.75 million per year after reaching the reduction goal, the city said at the time.

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