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“There’s no typical day,” says Matt Carty, the corporation’s assistant manager of housing services (facilities management). “We try to support our tenants as much as we can.”
Taking care of such a large and varied portfolio comes with a lot of challenges, including managing energy costs. That’s why in 2013, the corporation turned to us for help.
“We talked to our Union Gas account manager about what we were planning in terms of capital upgrades,” says Carty. “He was able to help us identify how to fully benefit from the Union Gas energy efficiency program for social housing for those upgrades.”
Work began in 2013 and wrapped up at the end of 2016. Over that three-year period, the corporation undertook a number of upgrades across its portfolio, including replacing aging inefficient furnaces.
“We started with furnaces, and we then looked at bricks and mortar,” Carty explains. “Roofs, windows, doors. If you have a new furnace, but a leaky building envelope, you’re losing 26 per cent of your energy.”
Thanks to the Union Gas energy efficiency program, the corporation received more than $150,000 in rebates to defray the cost of the upgrades. Based on current rates, the new equipment is expected to lower the organization’s costs by $15,000 a year over its useful life and save enough natural gas to fuel more than 17 homes for an entire year.
The savings will go back into the corporation’s capital budget. “We’re going to reinvest in our portfolio,” says Carty.
It’s not only the corporation that is benefitting from the upgrades, as Carty explains. “A big part of it is we have a lot fewer ‘no heat’ calls, that was a big thing … for the upgrades we did on family properties, our clients are seeing the savings directly, because we don’t pay the utility bills- they do.”
“Our Union Gas account manager was great,” Carty says. “We’d ask for help, and he’d say, ‘Just leave it with me.’ … I’d absolutely recommend others in the social housing sector to work with Union Gas to leverage this great program. I know we have saved money and in doing so made our clients a little more comfortable too.”
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