Standards help drive innovation and new technology within the energy efficiency sector. This crucial message was delivered to 150 World Standards Day (WSD) 2012 participants in Ottawa October 12. The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) hosts an annual WSD event alongside the global standardization community. The LEED silver-certified Ottawa Convention Centre set the scene for WSD 2012, under the global theme, Less waste, better results – Standards increase efficiency. SCC’s event focused on energy efficiency in standards and accreditation. In his opening remarks, Industry Canada’s Deputy Minister, John Knubley, pointed to standards as being a necessary complement to regulations, and important to Canada’s regulatory regime. He highlighted that SCC’s work on harmonizing standards with the United States, carried out through the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council, is a significant priority for the Government of Canada. SCC’s Chief Executive Officer, John Walter, announced the organization’s launch of Energy Management Systems Accreditation Program for ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems standard. Carol Buckley, director general of the Office of Energy Efficiency at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), stated that, through NRCan’s Office of Energy Efficiency, the federal government is offering cost-shared assistance to industrial companies seeking to implement the new standard.
Melissa O’Mara, vice president Education/Government Solutions and High-Performance Green Buildings at Schneider Electric, provided WSD’s keynote address. She highlighted the importance of energy aspects of high-performance green buildings, given that by 2050, global energy demand will double and we must reduce our CO₂ emissions by half. Net-zero energy buildings generate as much energy as they consume, said O’Mara, which can diminish the energy and carbon intensity in cities. She underscored that standards are often an overlooked part of the path to high-performance buildings—and so we need to determine how to leverage standards to help us embark on this path. A high-powered panel discussion topped off the morning’s events. Panel moderator Ross Hornby, Vice-President, Government Affairs and Policy, GE Canada, led panelists Carol Buckley, Elizabeth McDonald (President and CEO, Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance) and Ralph Suppa (President and General Manager, Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating) through a lively exchange on how: standards benefit water efficiency; Canadian and international standards dovetail; energy efficiency standards benefit trade; and international standards are developed, and discussed the importance of harmonizing standards, energy codes for buildings, and standards versus regulations. Next year’s event will also take place in mid-October. Lynn Gauker is Senior Corporate Communications Officer for the Standards Council of Canada.