Energy and Water Reporting – Regulation Guidelines

INTRODUCTION
The Regulation
Program Components & Details

  1. BUILDING TYPES
  2. ANNUAL REPORTING
  3. ANNUAL DISCLOSURE
  4. DATA VERIFICATION
  5. REPORTS

INTRODUCTION

In the 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan, the government adopted a policy of putting Conservation First before building new energy infrastructure, wherever cost effective. Conservation is the cleanest and most cost-effective energy resource. It also offers households and businesses a way to manage their energy bills and reduces the need to build new energy infrastructure.

Large building owners can play an important role in helping Ontario meet its conservation and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction objectives. Buildings in Ontario including office buildings, condominiums and retail stores accounted for 19 per cent of Ontario’s total GHG emissions in 2013. To support owners in improving the efficiency of their buildings, Ontario’s Ministry of Energy (ENERGY) is introducing an Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking (EWRB) initiative for large private sector buildings.

The owners of large commercial, multi-unit residential and some industrial buildings greater than or equal to 50,000 square feet (ft2 ) are now required to report their building, energy, water and GHG emission data annually to ENERGY using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager™ (Portfolio Manager). Building owners and managers recognize that reporting and benchmarking is a best practice that assists them in understanding how much energy and water is being used in their buildings to help them identify where energy and water efficiency improvements can be made.

Energy and water reporting and benchmarking can help building owners:

  • Better manage energy and water use and costs
  • Identify best practices and energy and water-saving opportunities
  • Set and achieve measurable goals
  • Evaluate results by comparing to similar facilities across the province
  • Measure improvement over time
  • Value energy efficient and water efficient buildings

Disclosure of building performance information can motivate building owners to compete with one another and strive to improve their building performance year over year. It can also allow property and financial markets to compare building performance and value efficient buildings, enabling market forces that can drive efficiency investments.

Ontario’s Large Building EWRB initiative builds on the success of energy and GHG reporting initiatives for Ontario’s government-owned facilities and broader public sector organizations as well as lessons gleaned from CivicAction’s voluntary Race to Reduce challenge for the office sector in the Greater Toronto Area.

Key to the success of developing this initiative has been the support received from organizations representing building owners and managers such as the Building Owners and Managers Association, Real Property Association of Canada, the Canada Green Building Council as well as the City of Toronto. Together, we are leading the way in Canada as the first province to introduce a large building energy and water reporting and benchmarking initiative for privately owned buildings on a province-wide scale.

The Regulation

On July 1, 2016, the Energy Statute Law Amendment Act, 2016 came into force, which included amendments to the Green Energy Act, 2009 that enable implementation of Ontario’s Large Building EWRB initiative through regulation. Ontario Regulation 20/17: Ontario’s Reporting of Energy Consumption and Water Use outlines what building owners must do to comply with the initiative.

The regulation establishes:

  • Who is required to report as part of Ontario’s Large Building EWRB initiative
  • What building types are required to report
  • How and when building owners are required to report their data on an annual basis to ENERGY
  • Which building owners can be requested to verify their data and the professionals that are recognized as eligible verifiers
  • The circumstances under which building owners can be exempted from reporting
  • Requirements for electricity, natural gas and water distributors to make aggregated whole building consumption data available to building owners.

Program Components & Details

The five key components of Ontario’s Large Building EWRB initiative are:

  1. Building types
  2. Annual reporting
  3. Annual disclosure
  4. Data verification
  5. Reports

I. Building Types

Building types and reporting requirements

Privately owned buildings that are 50,000 ft2and above including commercial, multi-unit residential (with more than 10 units) and some industrial buildings (such as warehouses and industrial condominiums) are required to report their building, energy, water and GHG emission data to ENERGY on an annual basis.

Building types are defined by Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) codes. Building owners can review Ontario’s Large Building Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking Requirement: Building Types document to determine whether they are required to comply with the initiative based on the MPAC code that pertains to their building / property.

All properties in Ontario are provided a property code by MPAC. Building owners can access their code by visiting MPAC’s AboutMyPropertyTM website. To register for AboutMyProperty, owners will need the Roll Number and Access Key located on the Property Assessment Notice received from MPAC in 2016 for the 2017 to 2020 tax years.

If an owner owns more than one property, each will have its own unique Roll Number and Access Key.

If there is more than one owner of a building / property, then all owners are jointly responsible for complying with the reporting requirement.

Condominium corporations are required to report on behalf of condominium buildings.

Exemptions

Most industrial buildings, including manufacturing facilities and all agricultural facilities, government (federal and provincial), government agency and publicly owned buildings as well as data centers, television studios and trading floors are not required to report under the regulation.

Further, building owners that meet the conditions for any of the exemptions set out in the regulation are exempt from the reporting requirement if they provide notice and any required supporting documentation to ENERGY in accordance with the regulation.

Building owners can be eligible for an exemption from the requirement to report on an ongoing or annual basis. Building owners who believe an exemption applies to their property must notify ENERGY by completing an exemption form specifying which criterion set out in the regulation applies to their building and provide supporting documentation as specified in the exemption form.

Exemption forms will be provided on the Government of Ontario’s Central Forms repository.

Ongoing exemption from reporting

Building owners are eligible for an exemption from the reporting requirement on an ongoing basis if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. The building is owned by a government agency or organization that meets the criteria of a “corporation” as outlined in the regulation
  2. The building owner is already required to report under Ontario Regulation 143/16 (Quantification, Reporting and Verification of Greenhouse Gas Emissions regulation)
  3. At least 50 per cent of the gross floor area of the building is occupied by a public agency
  4. At least 10 per cent of the gross floor area is occupied by a data center, television studio or trading floor
  5. At least 10 per cent of the gross floor area is used for manufacturing processing, commercial processing, agricultural processing or industrial processing, if the environmental conditions within the property are governed mainly by the operations or processes within the building.

Building owners are not required to provide notice for exemptions 1 and 2 to apply. If criteria from exemptions 1 and 2 above are applicable to a building, then the exemption automatically applies.

Owners must notify ENERGY that the exemption applies and provide the required supporting documentation for exemptions 3, 4 and 5 to apply.

Exemption from reporting for one reporting year

Building owners can be eligible for an exemption from the reporting requirement for one reporting year if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • At any time during that year, any owner of the property is an insolvent person as defined in the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada)
  • At any time during that year, the property is subject to:
    • A tax arrears certificate that has been registered against the property
    • A power of sale or foreclosure under a mortgage
    • A writ of execution
  • During that year, the property has an average occupancy rate of less than 50 per cent
  • The property is newly constructed, and a certificate for the occupancy of the property is issued in that year.

Building owners must notify ENERGY that the exemption applies, and provide the required supporting documentation for their property for each year they believe the exemption applies.

Measuring building size

The gross floor area of a single building or structure is the total number of square feet measured between the principal exterior surfaces of the enclosed fixed walls of the building or structure, including all areas inside the building or structure’s supporting areas (e.g. any common areas), but excluding any exterior, unroofed or open air spaces (e.g. any parking area).

If a building owner is required to report at a property level, rather than for a single building, the combined gross floor area of two or more buildings or structures is the sum of the total number of square feet measured based on the above description in respect of each building or structure.

Building owners can determine specific elements of their building that should be included in the measurement of their building’s gross floor area based on their building type according to requirements established in Portfolio Manager. This information can be accessed through the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager glossary available online in the tool.

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager building types for reporting

Building owners are required to report using the Portfolio Manager property type that corresponds to their building’s MPAC code. Building owners can review Ontario’s Large Building Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking Requirement: Building Types document to determine which of the more than 80 Portfolio Manager building types should be used, based on their building’s MPAC code.

Criteria to report as a single building

Owners are required to report as a single building if electricity and natural gas consumption information is available for their building separately from any other single building or structure on their property.

Other energy information such as oil, propane and district energy, and water consumption should be reported at a building level as well. If other energy information and/or water information is not available at a building level from a building’s utility, then building owners should make reasonable assumptions and calculations to allocate that information to the single building. If a building owner makes an assumption to allocate energy and/or water consumption, then this should be noted in the “property notes” section of their report to ENERGY.

Criteria to report as a property

If a property includes multiple buildings where electricity and natural gas information cannot be made available for single buildings or structures on the property because, for example, the buildings are metered together as one, then building owners can report these buildings together.

The building owner can indicate there is more than one building on the property that will be benchmarked together when setting up the property in the Property Manager. All information reported for the property should be aggregated for all buildings that are being benchmarked together and include building characteristic information such as gross floor area as well as energy and water consumption/usage information.

II. Annual Reporting

Establishing a lead or contact for benchmarking

It is recommended that building owners identify a lead who is responsible for reporting to the government on an annual basis. A benchmarking lead could be the building owner or another designated party, for example a property manager or operator, leasing agent or third party consultant.

Once a benchmarking lead is established, please submit their contact information (name, position, phone number, email and address) via email to ENERGY (EWRBsupport@Ontario.ca). This contact information will be used to communicate important information regarding reporting deadlines.

Building owners should ensure the ENERGY made aware of changes to their lead and update ENERGY as required.

Timelines

The reporting requirement will be phased-in over three years beginning July 1, 2018, beginning with buildings that are greater than or equal to 250,000 ft2.

The schedule is as follows:

Phased Mandatory Reporting Timeline Commercial / Industrial Multi-Unit Residential
By July 1, 2018
(information for 2017 calendar year)
250,000 square feet and larger Not required to report in first year
By July 1, 2019
(information for 2018 calendar year)
100,000 square feet and larger 100,000 square feet and larger
By July 1, 2020
(information for 2019 calendar year)
50,000 square feet and larger 50,000 square feet and larger

Data Elements

The types of data elements building owners are required to report on an annual basis include:

  • Monthly energy and water consumption and performance data (e.g. energy and water use intensity, and ENERGY STAR score, where available)
  • GHG emissions and intensity
  • Building characteristic information, such as gross floor area.

Building owners can review Ontario’s Large Building Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking Requirement: Data Elements document for a full list of all data elements they will be required to report.

Electricity, natural gas and water utilities are also required to make whole building consumption data available to building owners so they are able to comply with the requirement.

Accessing ‘whole building’ information

Building owners are required to obtain all necessary information to meet reporting requirements and deadlines; they can access their energy consumption and water usage information by contacting their utility. Electricity, natural gas and water distributors are required to provide building owners or their agents with aggregated information on how much electricity, natural gas or water was consumed or used at their property broken down on a monthly basis. If a distributor does not collect consumption or usage information on a monthly basis, then they are required to break down the information by the next shortest period possible.

Utilities are also required to make this information available to the current owner of a building or property even if they did not own the property for the period during which the energy or water was consumed and if required for benchmarking.

To ensure utilities have enough time to make data available before the July 1 deadline, it recommended that building owners or their managers request this information from their local utilities by February 28 every year. Building owners and/or their managers should make their request in writing for all of the buildings in their utility’s service territory.

Reporting tool

Building owners are required to use Portfolio Manager to report building data on an annual basis. Portfolio Manager is a free, secure, web-based energy rating tool created by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that compares energy and water consumption, as well as GHG emissions, across a single building or a portfolio of buildings.

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) collaborated with the EPA and launched a Canadian version of the tool in August 2013 that included Canadian source energy, GHG emissions factors, and weather data. The Canadian version is managed by NRCan.

Building owners are required to make an online account and property profile, and enter information about their building and the data required to be reported. After populating the required data elements, building owners will submit their data to ENERGY in Portfolio Manager.

Further guidance will be provided on how to use Portfolio Manager on ENERGY’s EWRB webpage.

How to generate an Energy Star score

Portfolio Manager uses a 1 to 100 ENERGY STAR score. A score of 50 indicates average energy performance while a score of 75 or more indicates top performance. Building owners are able to evaluate energy performance against similar buildings in their portfolio –as well as with similar buildings nationwide – using this score.

Building owners must enter certain data elements into the Portfolio Manager, so it can calculate their score. Based on the information building owners enter about their building (i.e. size, location, number of occupants, number of computers, etc.), the Portfolio Manager’s rating system estimates the energy intensity of the building. The tool then compares the actual energy data entered to determine where the building ranks relative to other similar buildings.

NRCan has developed technical reference documents for each score, which outline the data elements building owners need to input into Portfolio Manager to calculate each score. The reference documents are available on the NRCan website.

Types of buildings with ENERGY STAR scores

ENERGY STAR scores are currently available in Canada for the following building types:

  • Commercial office buildings
  • Hospitals
  • K-12 schools
  • Medical offices
  • Senior care communities and residential care facilities
  • Supermarkets
  • Food stores

If your building is privately owned and required to report under this initiative and an ENERGY STAR score is available for your building type, the score must be reported to ENERGY on an annual basis. NRCan is working to develop additional scores for other building types.

NRCan has developed technical reference documents for each score, which outline the data elements building owners need to input into Portfolio Manager to calculate each score. The reference documents are available on the NRCan website.

III. Annual disclosure

Public Disclosure of Data

ENERGY will publicly disclose a subset of the data reported by building owners on Ontario’s Open Data website on an annual basis. ENERGY will not publicly disclose the first year of reported data for each of the three roll-out phases to provide an opportunity for building owners to gain experience with reporting before their data is made publicly available.

ENERGY will not publicly disclose some of the data it collects on a building by building basis, including total energy and water use, GHG emissions and gross floor area. Data elements that ENERGY will publicly disclose on a building by building basis include property identification and building performance information, such as ENERGY STAR score, energy, water and GHG intensity, building age and confirmation of whether data was verified by an accredited or certified professional.

Upon request, ENERGY will share information collected including data not publicly disclosed on a building by building basis with government ministries, organizations, agencies, boards, commissions and consultants acting on behalf of these organizations, so the data can be used to inform their policy and program development. Certain information including MPAC codes and assessment roll numbers will not be disclosed. ENERGY will review requests for data on a case-by-case basis. Release of data that is not publicly disclosed is at the discretion of ENERGY.

Data elements that will be disclosed

ENERGY will publicly disclose the following information collected from building owners annually as part of the EWRB program, on the Province’s Open Data website.

Category Type / Measurement unit (if applicable)
Property Identification Property name, parent property name, address, city, province, postal code, property GFA (ft²), primary property, year built, number of buildings, property notes, third-party certification
Property ID Numbers Portfolio Manager parent property ID, Data verification confirmation
Energy Performance Metrics ENERGY STAR score, site Energy Use Intensity (EUI) (kBtu/ft), source EUI(kBtu/ft), weather normalized site EUI(kBtu/ft), weather normalized source EUI (kBtu/ft), weather normalized site electricity intensity (kWh/ft2), weather normalized site natural gas intensity (therms/ft), water/wastewater site EUI (kBtu/gpd), water/wastewater source EUI(kBtu/gpd), weather normalized water/wastewater site EUI(kBtu/gpd), weather normalized water/wastewater source EUI(kBtu/gpd), weather normalized water/wastewater site electricity intensity (kWh/gpd), weather normalized water/wastewater site natural gas intensity (therms/gpd)
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Total GHG emissions intensity (kgCO2e/ft2)

IV. DATA VERIFICATION

Data verification requirements

Buildings that are ≤ 100,000 ft2 will be asked to have their data verified by an accredited or certified professional in the first year they are required to report, then every five years thereafter to ensure the reliability of publicly reported data.

Data verifiers may be in-house building staff members or third-party professionals. The professional must have an accreditation or certification from a recognized body in Canada or the United States that qualifies the person to perform data verification with respect to the information required to be reported by the building owner such as energy consumption, water use, gross floor area and other building characteristics.

Examples of acceptable accreditation bodies include:

  • American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers
  • Association of Energy Engineers
  • Ontario Association of Architects
  • Building Owners and Managers Institute International
  • Canadian Institute for Energy Training
  • International Association of Certified Indoor Air Consultants
  • International Code Council
  • International Facility Management Association
  • Ontario Building Envelope Council.

Examples of acceptable accreditations and certifications include:

  • Building Energy Technology Certificate
  • Building Operator Certification
  • Building Science Specialist of Ontario
  • Certified Building Commissioning Professional
  • Certified Energy Auditor
  • Certified Master Inspector
  • Certified Measurement and Verification Professional
  • Professional Engineers of Ontario
  • Any accreditation or certification that is specific to Portfolio Manager.

Building owners are required to confirm their data has been verified by filling out a field in the Portfolio Manager as part of the report they submit to ENERGY on an annual basis. This information will be publicly disclosed.

Data verification by an accredited or certified professional is voluntary for buildings that are 50,000 square feet to less than 100,000 square feet.

V. REPORTS

ENERGY will produce reports that summarize key findings from all the energy, water and GHG usage and performance data it collects.

Best practices from jurisdictions such as New York, Chicago and Boston show that reports help building owners, the government and organizations involved in improving building efficiency understand the building stock’s condition. Reports can be used to develop policies and programs that focus on building types that are the source for the most significant efficiency gains.

For further information organizations can submit their request to the Ministry of Energy using the following email address:

EWRBsupport@ontario.ca