HRAI symposium focuses on green initiatives

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Former Toronto mayor David Miller addresses participants.

By Bruce Nagy

Former Toronto Mayor David Miller was the lead speaker at Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy, the Annual Symposium of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), held April 23 at the Joyce Center of Partnership & Innovation at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ont.

Miller is now North American director for the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, which connects 90 of the world’s top cities, representing 650 million people. He said that this group is projecting peak carbon emissions by 2020 and carbon neutrality by 2050. He provided details on what 18 large cities are doing with building and energy codes, mandatory auditing, retro-commissioning, building ratings, benchmarking, reporting requirements, incentives and other actions.

“With about 80 percent of Canadians living in some kind of urban area, the role of municipal governments is becoming tremendously important in the journey toward a low carbon future,” said Miller.

Federal funding

Joyce Henry of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) talked about recent funding announcements from the federal government, including a $1.1 billion for built environment initiatives in cities through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and a new electric vehicle package of purchase and charging infrastructure incentives worth $430 million.

The government has also announced the Canada Training Benefit, which includes a worker training tax credit and some re-training benefits, launching next year.

Mohawk research chair Tony Cupido leads a tour of the award-winning facility’s green features.

She reviewed the Market Transformation Roadmap for Energy Efficient Equipment in the Building Sector, and the carbon pricing and rebates of the Pan-Canadian Framework, developed by federal and provincial governments.

The Roadmap includes initiatives relating to space heating, water heating and windows, such as financial and non-financial incentives, tax changes for clean energy equipment, training for the industry, establishment and harmonization of new codes and standards, research and development, lab and field testing, product and system demonstrations, information and awareness to educate consumers.

Renewable generation jobs

Alice Rosenberg, senior program manager for the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, said that the carbon price and the Pan-Canadian Framework are creating 118,000 Canadian jobs each year in renewable power generation and related businesses. She talked about electricity storage, smart load management, electronic monitoring and analytics, and noted that distributed power generation and electric vehicles are changing the way utilities operate.

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