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Powering up the Conversation. Reducing GHG Emissions Through Electricity Efficiency.


As the issue of climate change becomes more pressing, it’s important to consider how our use of electricity impacts the environment. In 2022, the production of heat and electricity saw a peak in emissions growth, increasing by 1.8%. To address this, we need to examine our current electricity consumption and find ways to reduce emissions in our businesses.

Measuring your electricity consumption

Emissions from electricity consumption are considered Scope 2 emissions as they are indirect emissions that come from another source. Even though these emissions are generated elsewhere, your organisation still has the ability to control its use and consumption. This can help you identify areas for improvement in energy consumption and costs, which can lead to a more efficient workplace, lower environmental impact and savings on utility bills.

Set a Baseline. Setting a baseline for your building’s energy consumption is a crucial first step to saving energy. It helps you understand where you stand and identify areas for improvement. In our Sustainability Leadership Program, we teach businesses how to create an effective baseline.

Energy Audit. Conducting an energy audit for your business can help you identify areas for improvement in energy consumption and costs. Following an audit, you can develop a plan for optimising your ventilation system or implementing other energy-saving strategies to reduce your carbon footprint and create a healthier indoor environment for everyone.

Working with what you have

Utilise Ceiling Fans. By supplementing your HVAC system with a ceiling fan, you can save both energy and money. A ceiling fan uses only around 50 watts, in contrast to an AC unit which uses 3,500 watts. This can help reduce costs while still keeping you comfortable. In the summer, switching your fan blades to spin counterclockwise creates a cool breeze without using the AC. Use a ceiling fan with your thermostat during winter to save up to 15% on heating bills. Set it to rotate clockwise at a low speed to circulate warm air near the ceiling, maintaining a comfortable temperature without turning up the thermostat.

Improve Insulation. Insulation is an affordable method to reduce the need for heating and cooling. It works as a shield for your building, retaining warmth in winter and keeping cool air in during summer. Compared to having no insulation, a fully insulated building can reduce the cost of heating and cooling by around 40 to 50%.

Take Advantage Of Natural Light. Did you know that in commercial buildings, electric lighting can account for as much as 35% to 50% of the total electrical energy consumption? It’s a significant cost that can be reduced by making use of natural light whenever possible. Not only is it a money-saving strategy, but it also contributes to better employee wellness. By exposing workers to natural light, they may experience fewer issues such as headaches, eye strain, and blurred vision. Consider arranging your workspace so that employees can work closer to natural light sources to make the most of this beneficial resource. The WELL Building Standard™ is an excellent resource which provides guidance on thresholds for indoor sunlight exposure to support circadian and psychological health.

Turn It Off. Another simple way to reduce emissions and save on energy bills is to turn off electronics after business hours and unplug machines not in use to reduce energy drain. Doing this can potentially save businesses up to 20% on monthly electricity bills. It also helps to maintain computers for optimal performance!

Program Your Thermostat. Reduce natural gas and electricity consumption by using the right settings on your thermostat. By turning your thermostat settings back 10°-15° overnight, you can save about 5%-15% a year on your heating bill. Installing a programmable thermostat means you can set the temperature to change automatically overnight and on weekends.

Energy Programs & Incentives

Ontario has  energy programs and incentives available to help overcome financial barriers of implementing some of these strategies.

In Ontario, the IESO offers a Retrofit program to help organisations upgrade equipment and improve operations. For larger organisations, the IESO offers an Industrial Energy Efficiency Program which supports industrial customers in improving their processes and optimising systems through incentives up to $5 million for large complex industrial energy-efficiency projects. Learn more in our whitepaper


Reducing electricity consumption is crucial in reducing your environmental impact. By cutting down on energy use in your office, you can save money, boost energy security, and minimise the emissions of pollutants from non-renewable energy sources. Both big and small changes can make a massive difference in reducing your office’s carbon footprint, playing a huge part in creating a better environment for all of us.

Learn More

Sustainability Leadership helps businesses achieve their sustainability goals through the Sustainability Leadership Program (SLP). Our growing resource of whitepapers also shares the science and economic influence behind sustainability so you can better understand why investing in sustainable best practices will benefit your business.

Contact us to get started today.