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Worksafe BC saves over $141,000 by participating in Continuous Optimization Program
Worksafe BC covers over 200,000 registered employers and 2.3 million workers in British Columbia.
In 2010, as part of BC Hydro's Continuous Optimization (COp) program, Prism conducted an energy audit of three Worksafe BC buildings (representing a total of 640,500 sq ft) at 6951 Westminster Highway, in Richmond, BC. The purpose of the study was to gather information to provide recommendations to reduce energy consumption while preserving indoor environmental quality. The challenge was finding low-cost solutions with short paybacks and significant savings that also resulted in improvements to the facility's mechanical equipment, lighting, and related controls.
Prism investigated the site and reviewed building systems and equipment with an eye on opportunities for improvement. Using trend logs and sensor readings, Prism optimized a variety of controls and equipment in order to decrease energy and fuel consumption. Twenty-five measures were identified in the investigation report, 20 of which were implemented by Worksafe BC. These measures included:
- Shutting down air handling units during unoccupied periods
- Adding a return air duct to a 100% outdoor unit that no longer requires 100% outdoor air
- Reduce night flush on kitchen ventilation system
- Implementing night shutdown for heating water pumps
- Reducing flush periods for kitchen exhaust fans
- Revising zone control for the cafeteria air handling unit
- Aligning weekly chiller plant schedule with occupancy
Once these measures were implemented, Prism generated a final report that reviewed the newly commissioned buildings and validated the savings achieved from the project. The overall savings from the 3 year COp work, which had a projected simple payback of only 1.1 years, included:
- Electric savings of 2,265,000 kWh, representing $93,300 in cost savings
- Fuel savings of 4,965 GJ, representing $51,600 in cost savings
Since the end of the year long coaching period, the benefits of the implemented measures have persisted, and a consistent savings rate has been maintained.
As a result of this program, Worksafe BC has witnessed the positive impact energy management can have on fuel and electricity costs, and has drastically changed their approach to building operations. They now periodically review their Energy Management Information Systems to track their building performance and proactively identify new opportunities for further improvement.