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Westin Ottawa targets 30% energy savings by 2020

Recognizing the Westin Ottawa nearly 10 years ago for its innovative conservation projects and strong environmental leadership, Hydro Ottawa continues to work with the downtown hotel as it becomes one of the first Westin hotels to reduce 30 per cent of its energy use by the year 2020, a conservation target instituted by its ownership in addition to a 20 per cent water reduction target.

“We have so much that we’re planning on doing,” says Jeff White, the hotel’s director of engineering. “Even after we hit the 30/20 target by 2020, we’re not going to stop. We’re just going to keep striving and moving forward. It’s the right thing to do.”

Others have taken notice of the Westin Ottawa’s efforts. The hotel is a three-time recipient of the Hotel Association of Canada award recognizing energy and environmental sustainability, while Mr. White himself was recently awarded a Global Engineering Leadership award from Marriott International.

In a 500,000 square feet facility and working with its 250 associates, White had no shortage of energy saving recommendations. From the piano staircase initiative that encourages staff to use the stairs instead of the elevators to replacing 35 year-old equipment, the engineering department uncovered 3.5 Gigawatt hours of savings, an equivalent to removing 450 homes off the electricity grid.


Here are some of those opportunities:

The Westin Ottawa took a multi-step approach when retrofitting lighting throughout the building. It started with the low-cost opportunities which saw the replacement of 300 exit signs with LED signs. The simple change saved the hotel $10,000 in annual electricity costs. The next step was to concentrate on public areas. These spaces saw more than 4,000 light bulbs replaced with LED bulbs, reducing lighting’s electricity costs by 75 per cent.

Cooling system
The cooling system underwent an energy efficiency overhaul. With $232,000 in financial incentives from the Save on Energy programs, the hotel installed high efficient chillers, cooling towers, and variable speed drives on its pumps. The pumps, used to distribute chilled water to cool the building, were running at full capacity, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Now the system ramps up and down depending on demand.

The hotel implemented similar control upgrades with the kitchen ventilation system. The newly installed demand control ventilation system has the ability to run only when needed and automatically ramp up when chefs are preparing a Sunday morning brunch, and dramatically ramp down when little cooking is taking place. This small change has reduced usage by 90 per cent.

Save on energy
Save on Energy initiatives are funded provincially by the Independent Electricity System Operator and offered by Hydro Ottawa to encourage businesses to implement measures that increase energy efficiency. The Save on Energy incentives offset the costs of upgrading to the most efficient equipment. The results of energy efficiency mean energy savings, reduced operating costs, lower maintenance costs and typically a longer life cycle.

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