Facility Forum - Spring 2016 - (Page 44)
By Ian Storey, P. Eng., President, I.B. Storey Inc.
conserve. In essence the question is,
"If we've done an energy project once,
haven't we done our part?" It reflects a
general logic that there should be some
end to our energy management activities.
The answer to the question, however,
is, "Never stop squeezing the beaver."
Recreation facilities consume enormous
amounts of energy. (Yes, even the really
efficient ones.) Responsible use of that
energy falls to the team that inherits
the building. Regardless of how well or
poorly the construction process went,
your recreation facility is what you are
given. The challenge is to make what you
have into the most efficient cost-effective
recreation facility possible, understanding that the facility exists to provide the
service of recreation. It is not an energy
management research laboratory.
So, when do we stop squeezing the
beaver? Never. Why? Because while technologies advance and fiscally responsible business cases emerge with these
improved technologies, being an energy
champion is also about promoting a
culture of responsible energy use. If we
could heat our pools or freeze our rinks
by a wave of our hand and mumbling,
"abracadabra," then we would not need
to use energy to deliver these services.
A mumbling more probable than
"abracadabra" at a recreation facility
can't be printed here, but is often heard
due to the somewhat mystical appearance of utility changes such as the "global
adjustment charge" that some consider a
type of sorcery, undermining all of their
energy cost-reduction activities.
RECREATiOn FACiLiTiES COnSUME
EnORMOUS AMOUnTS OF EnERGy.
RESPOnSiBLE USE OF ThAT EnERGy FALLS
TO ThE TEAM ThAT inhERiTS ThE BUiLDinG.
Step 1: Start with a review of what an
energy champion would call "infrastructure and resources." In this case, the
resources aren't necessarily referring
to financial. Ask the question, "Who's
Welcome to the Energy Champion Series
developed exclusively for the ORFA. In
the last 10 years, the topic of energy
management has emerged from niche
to mainstream. However, you don't have
to be a dedicated energy manager to
be an energy champion. It's important
to broaden our thinking as it pertains
to the topic of energy. If your facility is
municipally owned, it's very likely that
someone within your organization has
already been given the duty of energy
management. The specific dedicated
goals and objectives of that role illustrate just how mainstream this topic has
become in our society. However, being
an energy champion is about promoting
responsible energy use in your facility
and encouraging the culture of improving
efficiencies whenever possible.
"Squeezing the Beaver"
I once had a student ask, "At what
point do we stop squeezing the beaver?"
This was a truly Canadian moment, the
nuances of which my American students
might not appreciate. The beaver, proudly
appearing on the flipside of the Canadian
five-cent coin, seems to be continually
squeezed in pursuit of responsible energy
usage at recreation facilities.
Though seemingly straightforward,
there is a lot one can derive from this
question. It's actually highly insightful, conveying the sense of being overwhelmed by the need to constantly
44 | ontario recreation FacilitieS aSSociation
It's not sorcery. It is, however, one of
the many constraints that we need to
accept as part of the reality of our world.
These apparently random changes on our
utility bills frequently act as a de-motivator. I would suggest that in a true sense
of competitive sport, it should actually
be the motivator. If you've tried to make
improvements and feel like everything
you do is just being "taken back" in cost
increases and miscellaneous charges,
you probably aren't scoring yourself
effectively. How we measure success has
a lot to do with our motivation. A poor
system involves the dollars at the bottom
of the bill. Yes, that's right, measuring by
dollars is actually a poor system. External
market issues often cause havoc on the
total utility charges. A 10 per cent reduction in usage may appear as a 2 per cent
increase in cost. But a 10 per cent reduction is a big win for everyone, despite the
When we talk about becoming an
energy champion in your organization,
it's not about large multimillion dollar
capital projects. It's about leveraging the
hand you have been dealt. Even if there's
someone else that deals with that in your
team, that doesn't mean you can't also
be an energy champion.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Facility Forum - Spring 2016
Rink on the Roof
ORFA Professional Development Pillars
A World without Grass
Asset Management for Public Facilities
Modernization of Safe Food and Water Regulations under the Health Protection and Promotion Act
Health & Safety
An Amazing Transformation
Hockey Injury Lawsuit Dismissed
Index of Advertisers
Facility Forum - Spring 2016