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Energy efficiency in existing buildings

As Canada's economy grows, so too does our built environment. As we continue to shift toward a knowledge-based and service-oriented economy, the share of the commercial and institutional buildings will follow.

Statistics show that between 1990 and 2010, the commercial buildings sector grew by 22 percent. Buildings in this sector used roughly 1,057 petajoules of energy, or about 12 percent of Canada’s energy use.

In most commercial buildings, most of that energy is used for lighting, heating and cooling, motors for large equipment such as elevators, and water heating.Footnote 1

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The Office of Energy Efficiency has programs, tools and other resources you need to benchmark your energy performance, recommission your building, and train your staff to achieve your energy - and cost - saving goals.

Improve energy efficiency using a whole-building approach

Most buildings are upgraded bit by bit as their components age and need repair. Often, a better way to improve energy efficiency is to use a whole-building approach and take advantage of the opportunity to implement deep retrofits. The upfront cost may be more, but the potential long-term savings will be greater over the life of the building.

Energy management for buildings

Building performance, best practices, energy benchmarking, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, energy management training.

Energy benchmarking for buildings

Energy management key steps, best practices, resources, performance analysis, energy benchmarking using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, ENERGY STAR certification, buildings of the future.

Existing Building Commissioning

Natural Resources Canada’s Recommissioning (RCx) Guide, advanced training, financial support, commissioning resources.

Tuning Up: A Framework for Existing Building Commissioning

Tuning Up, a framework developed by the Existing Building Commissioning (EBCx) Working Group, focuses on broadening awareness of EBCx and highlights key actions for increasing its use in commercial, institutional and multi-unit residential buildings.

The key actions can be used to develop new programs and activities or be integrated into existing approaches.

Efficient Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning (HVAC) Operation during a Pandemic: Self-evaluation Tool and Guide

Natural Resources Canada’s self-assessment Tool and Guide provides feedback on the impact of your HVAC strategies during and after pandemics.


Energy-efficiency retrofits, minor retrofits and major retrofits.

Energy benchmarking best practices

Energy management tips, tools, methods and approaches to integrate energy efficiency in your existing building.

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Energy benchmarking with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager


Energy management best practices

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