October 24, 2019

For participants in the Collaboration category of the Building Energy Challenge (BEC), here are a few tips on maximizing energy management. This advice is aimed at building owners, tenants and managers.




  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
  • Open and close the blinds in response to natural lighting.
  • Remove lamps from illuminated areas.

Electronic and Electrical Appliances

  • Unplug a device when it won’t be used for a lengthy period.
  • Activate the energy saving option on your computer and other electronic devices.
  • Use manual tools (e.g. a manual pencil sharpener).

Heating and Air Conditioning

  • Turn on the heating and air conditioning systems only for rooms you use.
  • Open the blinds in the winter to take advantage of heat from the sun.
  • Keep air vents clean so that air flows freely and that dust does not drift into the room.
  • Close the door of any room not being used.

Raising Energy Awareness

  • Post the building’s energy performance by means of letters, e-mail or notices on the bulletin board in the lobby.
  • To hone in on opportunities to save energy, create a BEC team composed of employees.
  • Organize meetings on energy use and energy costs, and outline the objectives and responsibilities of all concerned.




  • Replace incandescent and halogen bulbs with LED light bulbs.
  • Replace red Exit signs with LED green exit signs.

Heating and Air Conditioning

  • Maintain minimal room temperature during opening hours, adjusted for seasonal weather.
  • Clean or change air filters once a month.
  • Repair air leaks and adjust the pressure in compressed air systems.
  • Ensure that insulation is in good repair. Replace it if necessary.

Equipment Operation and Maintenance

  • Organize energy audits for the building to pinpoint opportunities for saving energy.
  • Frequently verify that equipment is in optimal operating condition, and carry out regular maintenance.
  • Optimize operating hours of equipment so that machines are running only when necessary.
  • Set objectives and strategies to measure energy saved, and publically applaud gains and improvements.

Raising Energy Awareness

  • Talk to building occupants about the impacts their behaviour has on energy consumption.
  • Ensure that members of each department attend basic training sessions on energy management and energy-saving practices.
  • Measure and monitor energy performance with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. To help you get started, the free online tool Participant’s Guide is an excellent resource.
  • In order to monitor the building’s energy performance, create a group on the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager platform, a group that includes all tenants. The Participant’s Guide explains the procedure to follow for tenants who want to register in the BEC and share their property with that of the building owner (section 2.1.6), as well as the procedure for creating a rental space group in Portfolio Manager (section 2.1.8).



  • Use a green lease.
  • Plant deciduous trees (plants that lose their leaves in the fall). They help provide shade in the summer and to maximize natural light in the winter.
  • Share the building’s energy consumption info with tenants.
  • Measure and monitor energy performance with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.
  • If the building is occupied by several tenants, install sub-meters for power and lights so that each participant has a precise summary of his or her energy consumption.
  • Other practices can also be employed. The Transition énergétique Québec (TEQ) document on building energy management presents ways of implementing energy efficiency solutions. A publication describing Energy Efficiency Measures is available on the Natural Resources Canada website.




  • Kennedy Associates (2010). Sustainable Tenant Improvement Manual. The Kennedy Associates Sustainable Tenant Improvement Manual, 2010.

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