Becoming a sustainable business

Is Your Business Considered Sustainable?

Canadian businesses are changing the way they view energy, operational efficiency and ways to achieve energy savings while improving productivity and performance. The below statistics highlight Canada’s economy and the impact it’s having on organizations. The video above as well as the info below highlight and explain why you should start your journey to becoming a sustainable business.

Sustainability — it’s good for business

Renteknik’s research and statistics are based on various sources, including Centrica Business Solutions US.

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Existing Building Commissioning Demonstration Projects in Canada

Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan’s) office of energy efficiency is calling for Eligible Existing Building Commissioning (EBCx) Demonstration Projects

NRCan is in search of Canadian Businesses and Organizations to implement Existing Building Commissioning Projects (recommissioning, retro or ongoing commissioning), between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. 

These pilot demonstration projects will not only support Canadian Businesses to optimize their buildings and operations but also achieve significant Energy and cost savings. Showcasing the success of these projects will be a valuable tool in raising awareness of the importance of the need for Existing Building Commissioning for buildings in the Canadian market.

Actions Required:

As a Client representative, Renteknik Group will navigate the process from start to finish. This will include:

  1. Proposal Form Submission to NRCan
  2. Project Planning
  3. Existing Building Commissioning & Real-Time Monitoring
  4. Post Project Submission Requirements
  5. On-going Monitoring 
  6. Case Study Development 

Incentive Program Details and Timing:

Proposals must be submitted by February 25 2020, at 11:59 p.m. EST with “Existing Building Commissioning – Project Proposal” in the subject line.

NRCan will contribute up to 40% (to a maximum of $50,000) of total eligible costs, for projects to commence on or after April 1, 2020.

Eligible costs are incurred between Contribution Agreement sign-off with NRCan and March 31, 2021.

Post-project monitoring for case study purposes (NRCan will have access to) is into the following fiscal year, concluding by March 31, 2022.

Potential Projects must meet the following criteria:

  1. Project’s location
  2. Climate zone
  3. Building type and purpose
  4. Projects that are invested to showcase the benefits of successful Existing Building Commissioning 
The goal of NRCan is to showcase a range of projects that they have yet to support. If your building is listed under one of the UNCHECKED BOXES below, then you are eligible to submit an application. (note Tables 1 and 2 below).

Contact Renteknik Today To Be Your EBCx Representative !

Proposal Evaluation Process

  1. An NRCan committee will evaluate the project proposals.
  2. NRCan will have full discretion in choosing the projects selected, and reserves the right to accept or reject any or all responses to this call for proposals.
  3. NRCan will carry out this call for proposals in a fair and transparent manner. All submissions will be treated impartially. To that end, objective evaluation criteria have been established and will be applied equally to all applicants.
  4. Once the selection process has been completed, successful candidates will be required to be entered into a Contribution Agreement with NRCan.

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From Beginning To End, We Are Here To Support And Provide You With Energy Engineering , Project Management And Incentive Program Support.


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Smart Water Meters – The Key To Going Net Zero By 2050

Gain Control, Save Money and Help The Environment


Author: Darren A. Cooper, P.Eng, LEED® AP, CBCP, President Renteknik Group Inc.

With Canada on the path to investing millions of dollars to increase efficiencies, sustainability and reduce our carbon footprint, Smart water meters are stepping-in and replacing conventional, mechanical meters as renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar emerge.

Smart meters offer immediate end-user benefits, such as more accurate and potentially lower bills – based on consumers changing their behaviour due to greater visibility of their consumption. If everyone uses less energy, the reduction in emissions would be considerable and help in obtaining the 2050 emissions targets. 

The days when water was simply consumed without constraint at a low yearly cost is long gone. Water is a precious and limited resource that can and must be metered as accurately as possible.

Visibility

The powerful information your business will gain using smart versus mechanical water metering will allow you to see exactly where your company needs to focus its operational efforts and goals. Remote reading will enable you to eliminate misreading errors and time-consuming follow ups.

Providing real-time updates, smart water meters will allow you to monitor your water usage as it happens. Through an online dashboard, you can understand when and where your water is used. You can view your monthly, daily and real-time consumption in easy to understand graphs.

Access to easy and secure meter data – without having to disturb the end-users will increase the quality of your analytics and makes it easier to report as you review consumption and supply data from readings made at the same time. The increased reading frequency allows you to evaluate your improvements and discover problems a lot sooner and easier, than with traditional mechanical metering, which is typically just once a year. 

You will begin to notice that your energy consumption and carbon emissions will decrease and improve your bottom line by understanding and avoiding peak demand so you can improve your overall building operations.

Savings

Smart water meters are designed to help you reduce excess water usage and take control of your consumption. It is also accurate, quick and simple to use on a daily or weekly basis. Once businesses adopt these methods, they’ll find more opportunities to optimize their water usage, have less waste and save time and money.

Accuracy

Traditional water meters are not only less accurate than smart meters, but they tend to lose accuracy over time as they age. The equipment must be replaced every 15-20 years on average.

One of the biggest water management problems in the utilities industry is inaccurate readings. That’s because they can result in inaccurate billing and many customer complaints.

A smart meter is more sensitive to low water flows, making it noticeably more accurate and providing in-depth reports. In contrast, a traditional water meter measures total consumption of a building or home, meaning leaks are difficult to detect and customers struggle to pinpoint inefficiencies.

Cleaner & Greener

As governments and utilities worldwide look to conserve energy and reduce carbon footprint, they are using wireless Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to transform traditional energy infrastructure into interconnected “smart grids.” Smart metering is an essential element in smart grid implementations.

Improving daily operations is vital for our environment and carbon footprint. Smart metering provides the basis for businesses to improve their daily consumption and overall building operations. With a better understanding of usage, it’s easier to see where small changes can be made to reduce energy consumption and lower energy emissions. This leads to lower bill payments and a smaller carbon footprint.

Smart metering also opens the door to better manage the supply and demand of energy to reduce waste, and also shift energy usage away from traditional peak times, which are currently reliant on fossil fuel energy, making more use of renewables.

Smart meters also provide more flexibility to businesses. By monitoring usage through collecting, analyzing and reporting on consumption, supply and demand, it can then be determined how to save water during peak times or other significant times of the year.

We all want an energy system that is geared to the future, not the past. And to make big changes, sometimes we have to start small. Smart meters can’t solve climate change on their own, but with a smarter, more efficient energy system they help to create a noticeable step in the right direction.

Leak Detection

Imagine a scenario where a company’s heating system is leaking water. If the problem goes unnoticed in the basement of their facility, the building manager is on the hook for thousands of gallons of wasted water.

Now imagine that same building manager has the ability to detect that the water has been running in the basement at this facility for the past twenty-four hours. Detecting, managing and fixing this utility issue can help solve a wasteful situation, that could have gone unnoticed for an extensive amount of time, resulting in an expensive issue and potential water damage.

Traditional water meters do not perform well when it comes to detecting and measuring low flows, missing the mark and signal on detecting leaks. Newer water metering technologies are sensitive to low flows and are therefore more reliable at detecting and reporting leaks.

“Smart Meter With Ears”

The most effective way to find leaks in underground water pipes is with acoustic water leak detection equipment. This new technology allows for audible mechanical vibration if a water leak is present.

Identifying and locating system leaks can be difficult. Acoustic leak-detection technologies use sound waves to help locate leaks in distribution systems and prioritize leak repair by identifying the largest leaks. Having the means to target the problem area(s) for repair or replacement is important for effective building management and water conservation.

A Danish company called Kamstrup sees non-revenue water as one of the main challenges driving innovation, with many utilities locating leaks like “finding a needle in a haystack due to limited knowledge”.

Kamstrup and a third-party agency conducted a survey among 37 utilities in Northern Europe, finding that 31 per cent of the water loss comes from leaks in service connections and 36 per cent from leaks on distribution mains. SOURCE: https://www.aquatechtrade.com/news/article/smart-meters-tech-dive/

Driven by this data and feedback, Kampstrup developed a brand new system that combines smart metering and acoustic leak detection technologies.

The flowIQ 2200, is the “smart water meter with ears”. 

 

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Case Study: Cascades Containerboard Packaging – Etobicoke, ON.

WOMEN OF INFLUENCE – Featured Story

HOW COLETTE COOPER TRANSITIONED FROM TRAINED NURSE TO SELF-TAUGHT CO-OWNER OF A SUCCESSFUL ENGINEERING COMPANY

With four small children and the challenges of juggling home, her nursing career, and her husband having his own business, Colette Cooper made the decision to step away from a demanding career as an intensive care nurse — and never went back. Instead, she joined forces with her husband Darren, ultimately taking on the role of Executive Vice President at Renteknik, their energy efficiency and operational management, engineering and consulting company.

by Shelley White

When Colette Cooper first entered the world of entrepreneurship alongside her husband Darren 16 years ago, she thought it was just a temporary career change. 

Colette was an intensive care nurse by training, and had stepped away from that demanding career to look after her four small children. Darren had just started a renewable energy engineering company and asked Colette to help him structure the business. She found the new vocation suited her and that she and her husband made a great team.

“I’m a better mom when I’m doing things, and I’m a career-driven individual,” says Colette, who’s based in Burlington, Ontario. “Darren’s very entrepreneurial, very personable, he can inspire confidence to embrace change with anybody. I’m more behind the scenes — very organized, very ‘Type A.’ But everybody has their strengths and I think that’s why we work so well together.” 

Now, Colette is Co-Owner and Executive Vice President of Renteknik, an energy efficiency and operational management, engineering and consulting company. She and Darren founded Renteknik with a since-retired colleague nine years ago. Colette says they came up with the name, which means “clean technology” in Swedish, around a kitchen table over a few cups of coffee.

“We are a boutique company working with our clients using state-of-the-art, real-time technologies to monitor their operations, efficiency and productivity,” Colette says. “If there is energy wastage, we can identify operational efficiency and energy management opportunities, helping them to be more competitive and successful and also sustainable from an environmental standpoint.”

 

 

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The company’s clients include hospitals, arenas, recreation complexes, office buildings and manufacturing facilities across Canada (with some clients in the U.S.). Renteknik leverages innovative technologies like the ClimaCheck Performance Analyzer, which optimizes HVAC systems by recording and reporting on operations in real time. Another important technology is Panoramic Power, which provides wireless electricity monitoring through self-powering wireless sensors to identify malfunctions and inefficiencies through a cloud based software platform.

Colette says they are currently working on integrating their different analytical platforms into a single watchdog-type software portal that both they and their clients will be able to use.

“It’s going to provide the visibility that our clients need to achieve greater efficiency and fuel their business success,” she says. 

Renteknik has been helped along in their quest to create this software portal through Cisco’s Women Entrepreneurs’ Circle (WEC) — and more specifically, the Circle of Innovation program that’s a part of this broader initiative. WEC is designed to provide technological and advisory support for women-owned and part-owned businesses across the country, and the Circle of Innovation pairs up companies with interns from Canadian universities to help them complete specific technological goals and projects. Colette says she heard about the program through their relationship with BDC — Canada’s bank for entrepreneurs, and a key supporter of the Circle of Innovation program.

“BDC brought forward this opportunity for us and said, ‘Your company is 50 per cent owned by a woman. And we think that this would be a wonderful opportunity for you,’” Colette says.

“I try and take every opportunity to influence and show other women that it is not just about getting a business education or being the smartest or prettiest. I am self-taught in business and have achieved success by following my core values which include responsibility, integrity, creativity, learning, teamwork and partnership.”

This past summer, Renteknik was paired up with Harsh Guraya, a McMaster University student in his third year of the Electrical and Biomedical Engineering Program. Colette says the experience was a positive one, and she would recommend the program to other women entrepreneurs. 

“Through Harsh’s contribution, we are well on our way to completing the back-end stage of the project,” she says. “So we’re working now towards creating a front-end solution that will incorporate automatic analysis and machine learning algorithms.”

Colette says programs like WEC are crucial supports for women entrepreneurs. As a female business owner in a male-dominated industry, Colette says she sometimes struggled to get the respect she deserved. “It would be like, ‘Oh, you’re in business because your Darren’s wife,’” she says. Now, she hopes she can be a role model for other women entrepreneurs in male-dominated spaces.

“I try and take every opportunity to influence and show other women that it is not just about getting a business education or being the smartest or prettiest,” she says. “I am self-taught in business and have achieved success by following my core values which include responsibility, integrity, creativity, learning, teamwork and partnership.” 

Colette says she also feels good about the WEC program because it provides valuable learning opportunities for the students who take part as interns. At Renteknik, providing opportunities to students and new graduates is a key priority, she adds, as they are our future.

“Our company is very multicultural, and we’ve hired a lot of people that couldn’t get their foot in the door in Canada,” she says. “And we have a lot of women professionals including engineers, we’re probably at about a 40/60 split.”

With their tech goals on the road to completion, Colette says she and Darren have plans to expand their services throughout Canada and beyond. She admits that being an entrepreneur can be challenging — “It’s not for everyone,” she says — but over the years, she and Darren have figured out how to keep their home lives and their business lives in balance.    

“I think that it’s just all about communication,” she says. “And our kids, we’ve brought them up to know that you don’t get anywhere in life if you don’t work hard. We all just have to work together.

The Cisco Women Entrepreneurs’ Circle — a program led by Cisco in partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) — addresses some of the obstacles women-led businesses face in building their tech capabilities.