These are the three goals of Blue Quill Community League’s Energy Efficiency Initiative. As one of the larger community halls in the city, the facility has a high energy demand and cost all year long; in the summer, it’s air conditioning loadsenergy-efficientand in the winter, it’s the heating and lighting loads.
In order to help reduce consumption, they took advantage of an Energy Assessment (ASHRAE Level II) program, sponsored by Green Leagues, to identify some more cost-effective ways of using energy. Thanks to an energy audit completed by Generate Energy, Blue Quill made some easy upgrades including replacing their emergency exit, skating rink, gym, and outdoor lights with new energy-efficient LEDs. They also added motion-sensor light-switches in low traffic areas like washrooms and back hallways to ensure the lights are only on when needed. The power-use reduction from all these changes is nearly 75%, which also freed up some money allowing the Community League to add new LED lights to the outside of the building, improving visibility and safety in the hall.
Blue Quill’s next project was to utilize a rooftop solar PV system to reduce expenses. The hall has a large roof area, and this summer, Kuby Renewable Energy designed and installed a 156 panel, 54 kW array. This is the largest solar Community League project in Edmonton!
As the solar array was a big investment, Blue Quill did an assessment of fund in hand and grants available to build a cashflow timeline that determined that the investment was worth it. This array was paid for in parts by grants from the Alberta Municipal Solar Program as well as from the leagues’ AGLC casino proceeds. This investment helps reduces the community league’s monthly power costs, while cutting down on their greenhouse gas emissions.
Interesting in the performance of the system? Check out the real time numbers here: https://monitoringpublic.solaredge.com/solaredge-web/p/kiosk?guid=7c2713d8-9a08-4abd-ae1b-391562dcae68
Blue Quill has been conserving energy, by using a web-connected programmable thermostat that has the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system on a schedule. It also provides them with alerts if the A/C units or furnaces are not operating as they should be. The Community League is looking into the benefit of a heat pump system to increase the efficiency of the building heating and cooling system.
Garth Williams is the Facilities Director at Blue Quill and he feels good about their Facility Sustainability Plan, as they are now paying less each month for power, taking advantage of new technology (inverters, shown to the left), and are being more fiscally and environmentally responsible. “The technology is amazing… to see how much direct current (DC) these solar panels generate and then how it gets converted into alternating current (AC). We live in an amazing age.”
Is your league interested in undertaking sustainability initiatives? Garth stressed that “knowledge is power.” Completing the energy assessment was a catalyst for the changes that Blue Quill has done. They also found a great contractor in Kuby Renewable Energy to, not only look after the solar PV installation but also helped identify grants and filled out compliance paperwork. Garth is glad Blue Quill acted on this project sooner rather than later as he predicts that, “as time goes by, solar will become more commonplace, and grants will diminish.” He stresses that “if there is desire and if there are funds, then now is the time.”
If you are feeling inspired by Blue Quill Community League, the EFCL can help you get started. The Green Leagues Program offers workshops, resources, and tools to help guide your sustainability initiative.
Interested in learning more? Email Green Leagues.
This spotlight was written by the EFCL’s Energy Transition Officer, Ronak Patel.