Enbridge Gas recognizes that upgrading the energy efficiency of social housing and improving living conditions for residents has become a key mandate for municipalities across Ontario.

Our Affordable Housing Multi-Residential Conservation Program offers financial incentives to help identify and implement energy efficiency initiatives and is designed to help participants save energy, cut operating costs and reduce carbon emissions.

Simcoe County Housing Corporation owns and operates 1,292 rent-geared-to-income units as well as 49 affordable housing units. Recently, Simcoe Housing took advantage of incentive programs from Enbridge Gas to help offset the costs of replacing storage water heaters, domestic hot water heating tanks, new boiler systems and air make-up units at several of its properties.

Bradley Horner, Facilities Engineer at Simcoe Housing, explained that the large mechanical equipment upgrades were part of an end-of-lifespan replacement that had been planned through asset management software and the corporation’s maintenance and facilities management team.

“Enbridge’s Affordable Housing Multi-Residential Conservation Program allowed us to incorporate new high-efficiency equipment with night setbacks and scheduling efficiencies to optimize the operating capabilities of the system and ensure tenants’ safety and comfort. As well as gas and electrical consumption savings, the retrofits helped to improve the projects’ sustainability by lowering operating costs,” said Horner.

Switching out regular domestic hot water heating tanks with high efficiency (96 per cent) condensing systems resulted in a reduction in gas consumption of 30-40 per cent. Buildings that house more family units typically use a greater volume of DHW, and demonstrated the highest savings.

Upgrading the existing boiler plants with 96-98 per cent efficient condensing gas fired boiler systems resulted in a reduction in gas consumption of 20-40 per cent.

Various housing sites in Simcoe County had their air make-up units upgraded to 90 per cent efficient condensing gas fired AMUs or with hydronic AMUs supplied from 96-98 per cent condensing gas-fired boiler systems.

Where appropriate, variable frequency drives were incorporated to help generate greater electrical energy savings (factoring in scheduled airflow adjustments). With adjustable temperature schedules incorporated into the designs, they generate greater gas reduction savings.

“Switching out these systems with high-efficiency condensing systems typically results in a reduction in gas consumption between 20-40 per cent (not including electrical savings), depending on the site and tenant composition,” added Horner.

The retrofits have helped to improve sustainability by lowering operating costs and increasing household comfort and quality of life for tenants, explained Terry McErlean, Public Housing Manager, Simcoe County.

“These projects across the county offered significant GHG savings, as they targeted reductions in both gas and electric consumption and combined well with pre-existing energy retrofit and capital projects,” he said.

For more information on the Affordable Housing program and available incentives, call your Energy Solutions Consultant at 1-866-844-9994 or email energyservices@enbridge.com.