Welcome to The Atmospheric, the e-newsletter of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund. In this issue, learn how a high-rise residential condominium was able to achieve savings through a retrofit supported by a TAF loan, read about changes to the Toronto Green Development Standard (TGS), and hear how the City of Mississauga will be reducing maintenance costs and energy consumption through the adoption of LED street lights.

Old buildings get an energy facelift with TAF retrofit loans

Retrofit at Old Shep Brings Great Energy Savings

A 1970s-era highrise residential condominium at 5 Old Sheppard Avenue has significantly reduced energy consumption after undertaking a retrofit supported by a TAF loan. The building updated their 30 year old heating and domestic hot water boilers as well as their make-up air units. As a result, the building is achieving a 27 percent savings in annual natural gas use – just slightly ahead of the 25 percent estimated by project engineers. To find out more about TAF’s available financing for energy efficiency retrofits, please read about our innovative Energy Savings Performance Agreement.

TAF approved a $355,000 loan to YCC 132 in 2011 to upgrade their hot water and space heating systems.

Toronto Green Standard can raise the bar

Toronto Green Development Standard

The City of Toronto will soon be proposing a new version of the Toronto Green Development Standard (TGS). The original TGS included energy efficiency requirements that were the strictest in the continent, helping to make Toronto the epicentre of green building activity in North America. But now other codes and standards, including the Ontario Building Code, have caught up. In response, the Planning and Growth Management Committee will consider updating the standard on June 20, 2013. To prepare for the update, TAF and City Planning sponsored a research project by Sustainable Buildings Canada. The report recommends raising mandatory energy efficiency requirements by 15% in 2013. This would reduce CO2e emissions by over 750,000 tonnes and create $100M in energy bill savings over the next 10 years. The incremental cost to developers was pegged at less than 1% of the market value of a typical building, and is projected to fall quickly as developers adapt to the requirements.

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A focus on sustainability helps pick financial winners

TAF Directs Endowment Investments to Climate Solutions

The Toronto Atmospheric Fund is pleased to announce that as of year-end 2012, 70 percent of the TAF endowment fund is impact invested with a focus on leveraging sustainability outcomes. Peter Knight, President of Generation Investment Management LLP and former chief of staff to Al Gore, was the guest speaker at TAF’s 2013 annual meeting event last week. Generation manages a significant portion of TAF’s endowment fund, along with Canadian management firm Green Chip. TAF also makes direct investments in local climate-solution profit-makers like energy efficiency retrofits, energy saving technology for transport trucks, and car-sharing. Peter explained how a focus on sustainability and long-term thinking is a hallmark of top-performing companies, and how a focus on sustainability helps Generation achieve superior financial results. We couldn’t agree more.

New benchmarking study highlights major energy efficiency opportunities

U of T Benchmarks Energy Performance

A recent University of Toronto study has created an updatable energy consumption database for multi-unit residential buildings to better understand energy retrofit opportunities. The study showed that the best energy-saving measures included improved boiler efficiency, reduced air leakage, and improved envelope thermal resistance through added insulation and window replacement. A key finding of the study was a surprising lack of correlation between building age and energy performance, and the broad range of energy consumption between the best and worst performers, underscoring a major energy efficiency opportunity among Toronto’s building stock. The study also recommends changes to the City of Toronto’s Official Plan to promote energy retrofits as part of regular building retrofits and maintenance.

TAF approved a $25,000 grant over one year to the University of Toronto in 2011 for the Energy Study of Toronto Multi-unit Residential Buildings.

Mississauga goes full-tilt LED

The City of Mississauga is undertaking a citywide Light Emitting Diode (LED) street lighting conversion project to be completed in December 2014. The process will see all 49,000 of Mississauga’s street lights converted to white LED lights, significantly reducing maintenance costs and providing 55 percent reduction in future energy consumption for the City. LED street lights will also increase safety, visibility and reduce light pollution in the sky.

Mississauga was the first municipality to undertake an LED street lighting pilot under TAF’s LightSavers program in 2009.