In the Canadian city of Toronto, the need for energy is constantly growing. The electricity grid has reached its maximum capacity and therefore, power plants are encouraging the inhabitants to save electricity.
Toronto is the fifth largest city in North America and one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Its population grows by more than 100,000 every year, and currently, the Greater Toronto Area is home to some 6 million people. Because of this, energy consumption is rapidly becoming an increasing problem.
The main contributing factor is the newly constructed high-rise buildings. The Toronto area already has 5,000 buildings of various sizes and plans are in place to construct another 300 new high-rises, with nearly 200 of them being built in the city centre this year alone.
Change through incentives
At Toronto Hydro, one of the area’s largest energy providers, a comprehensive energy saving incentive programme was launched in order to help the customers administer their energy consumption, explains Albert Payne, Senior Project Consultant at Toronto Hydro:
“Many customers have completed lighting retrofits and are now looking for other areas with huge savings potential. And in that search, old booster pumps in high-rises have turned out to be one of the blind spots that needed some attention. Thanks in part to Grundfos’ support and expertise, we have developed an auditing programme to really look for the potential energy savings,” he says.
Old, oversized and inefficient pump systems account for 30 per cent of the total amount of wasted energy, and the obvious solution is a complete upgrade.
Toronto is the capital city in the Ontario region. In order to reduce the electricity consumption of the entire Ontario region by a much needed 62 gigawatt hours of electricity within the next few years, the Ontario Power Authority wishes to replace thousands of old pump systems.
“To encourage building owners to replace old pumps with new, high-efficiency pumps we offer up to 50 per cent of the total project cost. But in order to qualify for the incentive programme we require a pump audit and Grundfos’ expertise has helped some of our applicants through this process,” explains Jennifer Grado, Technical Energy Consultant at Toronto Hydro.
And this is where Grundfos comes in. Grundfos is currently the only pump manufacturer with a pump-specific audit program.
Focus on booster pumps
“Grundfos’ pump audit programme is focusing on booster pumps, because old booster pumps are known to be oversized by three to ten times of a building’s actual need, they are operating at a constant speed and have reached their end-of-life condition at 15 years of age”, says Feras Marish, Business Development Manager and head of the Grundfos pump audit programme in Canada.
According to Marish, some buildings waste as much as 15,000 Canadian dollars annually on power consumption.
"Thanks to Grundfos’ support and expertise, we developed an auditing programme to really look for the potential energy savings."
Albert Payne, senior project consultant at Toronto Hydro
“The average payback time is around two years, but I have had projects where it has been as short a time span as six months. The incentives offered also help make the projects even more attractive with short paybacks and energy savings, and that has really been an eye opener in the market,” says Feras Marish.
During a six-month period, Grundfos audited 45 booster pump systems. The resulting pump retrofits brought about a reduction in the power consumption by more than 2.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) annually, leading to savings for building owners worth more than 300,000 Canadian dollars annually.