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Hydro Ottawa’s Envari generates high-tech insights into energy use of buildings

Using smart technologies, system minimizes costs and environmental impact for commercial customers

Hydro Ottawa is giving its commercial customers a full picture of how their property is consuming power and offering solutions to help reduce their consumption. The utility recently launched Envari, an offshoot of its Energy Ottawa affiliate, in recognition that the energy sector is evolving.

“The energy sector is undergoing transformational change that is being driven by technological, political and socio-economic factors,” says Adnan Khokhar, Envari’s Chief Energy and Infrastructure Services Officer.

Now in its 17th year, Energy Ottawa has grown to become a leader in Ottawa’s energy management sector. As an evolution of Energy Ottawa, Envari’s mandate is to help commercial customers – whether businesses, municipalities or other utility companies – manage energy usage using data and smart technology. Its goal is to minimize both the cost and environmental impact of its clients’ energy demands.

“Having a strategy combined with solid execution is one thing, but don’t forget to use a data driven approach,” says Khokhar.

New technologies

Though the brand’s main focus is electricity, Envari also has the capacity to measure and manage consumption of other utilities, including water and gas, through digital dashboards and meters.

“Our objective is to empower the commercial customers similar to how the Hydro Ottawa app empowers a residential customer to understand what’s going on,” says Khokhar. Currently, several businesses, including KRP Properties and Morguard, are employing Envari’s dashboard services.

Along with its energy monitoring offerings, Envari is also a provider of CableQ, a non-destructive tool for testing underground cable without the need to dig down to access the infrastructure. CableQ was developed by the National Research Council, and stands to revolutionize the way utilities manage underground assets.

Last summer, before Envari’s inception, Energy Ottawa was called upon by Oakville Hydro to help assess the utility’s underground assets.

“It was perfect because we have a lot of underground development, similar to Ottawa, and it’s at the age where we really don’t want to wait for failures to occur and create outages; we’d rather have more predictive capability,” says Mike Brown, the utility’s Chief Operating Officer.

Smart cities

Beyond large companies, Envari’s scope also includes municipalities and their respective utilities. In recognition of this mandate, Hydro Ottawa launched Envari in May at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Halifax.

Though Envari itself is relatively young, it’s already making headway in establishing itself as a preferred partner for municipalities.

In Ottawa, Envari is working in partnership with the City to replace more than 60,000 streetlights with highly efficient LED systems that consume two-thirds less energy. The upgrade is expected to save the City of Ottawa $6 million annually.

Learn more about how Envari can help revolutionize your energy systems at