Reporting Energy and Water Use in Condominiums
Ontario’s Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking Initiative (EWRB)
The province implemented a performance benchmarking initiative in order to assist large buildings in saving money by tracking energy and water usage, identifying energy and water efficiency opportunities and comparing building performance between similar buildings.
We have previously blogged about this requirement here.
How does it work?
Pursuant to the regulation on Reporting of Energy Consumption and Water Use (the “Regulation”) under the Electricity Act, 1998, buildings which are 50,000 square feet or larger will be required to report their energy and water use once a year to the Ministry of Energy.
The dates have been recently amended. The current initiative is being phased as follows:
- Buildings 100,000 square feet* and larger were required to start reporting by July 1, 2019
- Buildings 50,000 square feet* and larger must start reporting by July 1, 2023
*How is the square footage calculated?
As per s. 4 of the Regulation, the gross floor area of a building is measured by the total number of square feet between the principal exterior surfaces of the enclosed fixed walls. This includes all supporting areas such as common areas. However, it excludes any exterior, unroofed or open-air spaces (such as exterior parking areas).
Does this apply to condominiums?
The Electricity Act, 1998 requires that “a person prescribed by regulation” report their water and energy consumption to the Ministry. Therefore, every person who is an “owner” of a “prescribed property” has this obligation.
Section 2 of the Regulation specifically mentions that, for this purpose, an “owner” includes a corporation declared or continued under the Condominium Act, 1998.
Additionally, “prescribed property” is a building or structure that meets the following requirements:
- Any part of the building or structure is situated on a property classified by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation by way of a code listed in the Guide.
- Electricity or gas is consumed at the building or structure.
- Electricity or gas consumption information for the building or structure is available from a distributor.
- The building or structure at which electricity or gas is consumed has a gross floor area of at least 50,000 square feet.
- In the case of a multi-unit residential building, it contains more than 10 units.
Accordingly, if your condominium corporation meets the above criteria, the condominium corporation is expected to report your water and energy consumption for the previous year to the Ministry.
What needs to be reported?
If you are required to report, you will be required to provide your building information, your EWRB ID (a unique number assigned to your property by the Ministry) and your usage data for the reporting year.
Further information about how reporting works can be found by reading our previous blog post on the subject. Note that while the Regulation is no longer found under the Green Energy Act, it is now under the Electricity Act and works in the same way.
Thankfully, the province has prepared many resources to assist owners in reporting their consumption. These resources include:
- An informative website
- A checklist
- Several guides including a Guide to Energy and Water Reporting which gives details on the steps listed in the checklist and a Guide to Submitting Data Through Portfolio Manager for Ontario’s Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking Initiative to assist in submitting data.
Stay tuned to Condo Law News to keep up to date on the latest developments on reporting energy and water consumption in condominiums!