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Energy Efficiency

The City works to better align planning functions with energy impacts in the hope of helping to build a more energy-efficient community. We also encourage residents to works towards conserving their personal energy use!

City Initiatives

In 2011 the Province implemented Regulation 391/11 requiring the municipal sector (and others) to report annually on their energy consumptions and associated greenhouse gas emissions for their facilities; further, municipalities must each develop a Conservation and Demand Management Plan to focus on energy conservation and efficiency.

Energy Management Plan

On October 22, 2012, City Council adopted the Energy Management Plan (prepared by IndEco Consultants), which outlines a strategy for the City to meet the Provincial reporting requirements established under the Green Energy and Economy Act and reduce energy consumption within facilities. The City will implement projects over 6 years that will avoid the Corporation over $4M in energy costs. 

LED Streetlight Conversion Project

As part of the 2015 Budget, Council approved a plan to convert all 11,000 streetlights in Barrie to LEDs (light-emitting diodes). The cost of the conversion is $5M, but it will save more than twice that in energy and maintenance costs over 10 years. The conversion took place July–October, 2015.
 
LED streetlights are projected to reduce energy use by 67% and maintenance costs by 80% per year (LED lights come with a 10-year warranty). Energy savings are estimated at 5,423,256 kWh per year, which is equivalent to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 542 metric tonnes per year. This represents a cost avoidance of $11,300,000 over 10 years.

In summer 2014, a new Ontario Power Authority Incentive Program, specific to LED exterior lighting,  was made available. City staff applied for the program and received an incentive in the approximate amount of $911,000 to complete the conversion. 

FAQs: LED Streetlight Conversion Project
Do LED lights give off less light?

The level of lighting provided by the LED lights remains the same as previous lights. It was not the City's intent to increase light levels on city streets; light levels were maintained or reduced to the standard RP-8. LED street lights provide a safer light source with better visibility to both pedestrians and motorists. They offer better clarity and improve the ability to identify colours at night.

Roadway lighting criteria is governed by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America standard RP-8-14 and this project is designed to meet this criteria.

The LED Streetlight Conversion Project included a change from a drop glass fixture to a flat glass fixture, which changes how light is distributed on the roadway and associated area. This change supports the cities design criteria of being "Dark Sky Compliant" and preventing light from trespassing onto adjacent spaces where it is not intended to be. 

The primary purpose of roadway lighting is to provide drivers the ability to navigate roadways safely and recognize objects or pedestrians within the road allowance; the intent is not to provide perimeter lighting for homeowners (in fact it is discouraged and often a source of complaints). 

Please note: Pedestrian lighting systems are a separate set of poles and fixtures at reduced heights/spacing and are reserved for areas with high pedestrian volume, downtown, or where pedestrian security is an issue (ie. sidewalks tunnels or alleyways).

How were the streetlights replaced?

Within 4 zones, areas that had the oldest street lights were revamped first to avoid older lights from malfunctioning.

What wavelength/colour temperature (°K) are the LED lights?

The light colour is a cool white (not a daylight). Glare and other factors were fully considered.

What are the environmental benefits of LED lights in comparison to the previous lights?

The estimated energy savings of 5,423,256 kWh per year is equivalent to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 542 metric tonnes per year. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions that will be reduced each year is equivalent to the amount of carbon sequestered by 14,000 tree seedlings grown for ten years.

LED is a more environmentally-friendly option: it contains no mercury and lasts four times longer (four high-pressure sodium bulbs would need to be disposed of properly for every one LED recycled).

How do streetlights turn on/off?

Streetlights are controlled by an individual photo cell which turns the lights on/off based on light levels present, so lights turn on when it gets dark and off when it gets light.

How were the old lights disposed?

All of the old lights will be recycled in an IESO-licensed recycling facility

How do I report a burnt-out streetlight?

Residents should report burnt out streetlights to 705-739-4255 or rpfcityinfo@barrie.ca

Annual Reporting

The City is required to report annually on its energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions by facility and post the report publically. These reports are available within the Downloads section of this page.

Reduce Your Energy Consumption

Energy consumption from fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal) is directly related to the creation of greenhouse gases. By reducing your energy consumption, you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money on your energy bill. Consumption consists of 2 components: 1. the amount of energy the device uses when turned on; 2. the amount of time the device is on. 

Household Energy Conservation Tips
Use energy-efficient devices
Replace devices with ones that use less energy by switching to a smaller, more efficient devices:
  • energy star appliances
  • high-efficiency furnaces or water heaters
  • low flow toilets
  • CFL lights
Keep devices on for short periods of time
  • turn devices off when not in use (lights, TV, computers etc.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to lower temperatures when a home is unoccupied
  • reduce heat loss by insulating or caulking and weather-stripping (furnace, A/C will run less)
  • maintain your appliances properly (clean filters, and coils, yearly tune ups by professionals)
Appliances

Appliances use approximately 15% of the energy consumed in our homes and are responsible for approximately 7.5% of the green-house gas emissions for each Canadian.

  • Generally, the larger the appliance, the more energy it uses so ensure you buy the right sized appliances for your needs.
  • Maintain your appliances properly (clean filters, and coils, yearly tune ups by professionals).
  • Turn off your appliances when they’re not in use and ensure you buy the most energy efficient type. Energy star-rated appliances are your guarantee that the product is energy efficient.
  • Some small appliances such as TVs, DVD players, Satellite decoders, and computer monitors continue to consume power even when turned off and should be shut-off with a power bar (if recommended by manufacturer).
  • Save up to $125 a year on your electricity costs by getting rid of your old, energy guzzling fridge or freezer. PowerStream offers free Fridge And Freezer pickup (conditions apply).
Use renewable power

You can purchase green, non-polluting power from various electrical re-sellers including Bullfrog PowerDirect Energy and Ontario Power Generation.

The Provincial Government began a small scale residential renewable energy purchase program in 2009 called the Micro-fit Program. This program allows residents and organizations to install renewable power systems up to 10 kW in size and generate revenue!




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