May 30, 2005

CIPEC marks 30th year as industry group honours energy innovators

Outstanding energy saving achievements by Canadian companies were recognized by the federal government at the presentation of the Industrial Energy Innovator Awards last week during the Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation's (CIPEC) Energy 2005 conference in Ottawa.

"Canadian industry has made impressive gains since CIPEC began 30 years ago," said CIPEC chair Doug Speers, head of Emco Corporation. "But industry needs to do more, and these awards are an indication of what is possible."

The Industrial Energy Innovator Awards honour noteworthy achievements in the areas of corporate stewardship; monitoring, tracking and reporting; integrated energy efficiency strategy; and employee awareness and training. Winners and their achievements are summarized below.

Integrated Energy Efficiency Strategy: An Alberta company, Dura-Lite Heat Transfer Products, combined geothermal energy and process waste heat in its unique space-heating system. Its innovative approach to energy management has proved to be 80% more efficient than a standard system.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. implemented an innovative employee awareness and incentive program, used statistical tracking software and retrofitted a waste-heat recovery system to increase energy efficiency by 12% at the company's Winnipeg facility.

Corporate Stewardship: Unilever Canada implemented employee incentive programs, energy management workshops, a Watt Watchers program and an aggressive energy-reduction target of 5% per year at its food and beverage operation, yielding substantial energy savings.

Teknion Furniture Systems implemented an environmental charter across its 17 facilities in Canada, and the creative ideas of its GreenWorks environmental teams have improved energy efficiency by 8%.

Monitoring, Tracking and Reporting: General Motors of Canada developed a real-time energy consumption reporting system to seek out energy conservation opportunities and monitor and track these initiatives. As a result, its Oshawa, St Catharines and Windsor plants reduced energy use by 6.2% between 2003 and 2004.

Pratt and Whitney Canada has reduced energy consumption by 5% and has developed a unique software program to predict energy consumption accurately over a 12-month period. The system helps the company improve long-term budgeting and achieve energy-efficient financial savings.

Employee Awareness and Training: Cascades realized immediate savings of 3.6% at its Kingsey Falls pulp and paper facility in Quebec through an employee energy awareness week, an energy efficiency ideas contest and a series of workshops.

Dofasco trained energy co-ordinators, who then held workshops for 500 employees at its 7,000-employee Hamilton steelmaking facility, and highlighted the impact of energy use on the environment and business costs through a computer-based program. Dofasco aims to reduce its energy intensity by 2.3%.

The Energy 2005 conference also marked CIPEC's 30th anniversary. John Efford, Minister of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), joined CIPEC chairman Doug Speers in congratulating industry on its accomplishments and challenging it to do more.

The release of CIPEC's annual report reflected the program's long-term success, at the same time noting that improvements in energy efficiency have levelled off in recent years. CIPEC has a membership of 49 associations representing 5,000 companies companies in the manufacturing, mining, construction and energy-producing sectors. Together, they make up 98% of Canadian industry.

Between 1990 and 2003, says the report, CIPEC companies improved energy intensity (the amount of energy required per unit of production) by 8.7%, leading to savings of $3.4 billion in energy costs and avoiding the release of 27.8 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in 2003. The rate of energy intensity, however, has remained constant over the last three years.

"We're working hard, but as the CIPEC annual report shows, we've got to be working harder," Speers said. "We know that effective energy management helps to strengthen our bottom line and make us more competitive. The issues are not easy, but Canadian industry has the courage, conviction and expertise to see itself return to a pattern of improving energy intensity."

Established in 1975, CIPEC is a voluntary partnership between government and industry, administered through NRCan's Office of Energy Efficiency.

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