News / Winnipeg

Manitoba businesses race to reduce energy use

Those who operate some of the largest commercial office spaces in Manitoba compete to save at least 10 percent of their energy use in the next four years.

Building owners gather at the starting line as they get ready to spend the next four years finding ways to reduce energy consumption by 10 per cent.

Michelle Bailey/For Metro

Building owners gather at the starting line as they get ready to spend the next four years finding ways to reduce energy consumption by 10 per cent.

Three, two, one – and they’re (turning the lights) off.

The Manitoba Race to Reduce is underway as those who operate some of the largest commercial office spaces in Manitoba compete to save at least 10 percent of their energy use in the next four years.

“If all landlords, tenants and employees in Manitoba worked together to save 10 per cent of their energy use, it would be the equivalent of taking 1,000 cars off the road for a year,” said incoming chair of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, Johanna Hurme.

Hurme joined those in the commercial building industry to get the race started on Wednesday at the Artis building on the corner of Portage and Main.

Owners of commercial buildings say the point of this exercise is to change behaviour and learn how even a small adjustment in thinking can lead to big savings. 

They don’t expect tenants or employees to work in the dark or wear three layers of clothing to stay warm during this spirited battle.

“We’re not trying to make people uncomfortable while we strive to reduce energy use,” said Manitoba Race to Reduce Co-Chair and Artis REIT Executive Vice-President, Property Management, Frank Sherlock.

“It’s about learning how to adopt good habits, such as turning off lights when a room isn’t being used.”

“Even getting into the practice of unplugging phone chargers and other devices when not in use can make a difference,” he said.

The challenge is also extended to owners who can make changes to the building itself, such as switching to LED lighting.

There are already a number of contestants in the competition. So far, the equivalent of 5,000 residential homes have committed to the race.

However, it’s not too late to get on board. Any commercial office building in the province with a minimum 30,000 square feet of space can still join.

Hurme said that a similar competition was held in Toronto that saw a 12-per-cent reduction in energy use.

“Wouldn’t it be great to challenge their record?”  

For more information about the energy saving challenge, visit manitobaracetoreduce.ca

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