Important Message for BEC Participants – Impact of the Pandemic on Building Energy Performance

February 17, 2021

In addition to the health consequences generated by the pandemic, COVID-19 has also had a fairly significant impact on building energy management. With that in mind, the BEC has decided to introduce a new award, the Resilience Award, in tribute to those who employed diverse ways and means, in the specific context of the pandemic, to achieve responsible energy management.

  • In addition to providing their energy data for the period 2018-20, all participants must also update specific information on the impact of the pandemic on energy consumption in their buildings, i.e. corrected hours of operation per week as well as the occupancy rate.

These two parameters, together with the questionnaire that will be sent to BEC participants, will allow the jury to assess the impact of COVID-19 on all participants.

Hours of Operation per Week

We will be asking participants to multiply normal operating hours by the average percentage of occupants present in the building. For example, for partially occupied buildings (e.g. 25%), the normal hours of occupancy (55 hours) will thus be 14 hours (55 hours X 25%). The date on which those hours of operation took effect (e.g. March 23, 2020) must then be entered in the “To Date” field. As for buildings that were closed during the pandemic, we ask that the hours of operation per week be noted as 0%, even if security, maintenance and operations staff were present in the building.

As defined in the ESPM instructions, hours of operation per week are the number of hours per week that the majority of occupants were present. When a building is occupied only by security, maintenance and operations staff, weekly hours of operation will be deemed to be nil.

ESPM allows you to enter the average weekly hours of operation for each of the building’s reported uses in the Details tab.

Occupancy Rate

The occupancy rate is the ratio (as a percentage) of rented or used space to the total amount of available space. That value can also be modified in the Details tab. The value reported in the ESPM dashboard corresponds to the last value entered.

We ask that participants use as the value entered the average percentage of useable space occupied in 2020. Consequently, unless the rented spaces were vacant, the value entered must be 100%.

For more details, consult the ESPM Guide or contact the BEC.




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