Welcome to the “Green” Dome

I have a piece in today’s Toronto Star about how the Rogers Centre, home of the Blue Jays baseball team and formerly known as SkyDome, is in the middle of a three-year retrofit program to dramatically increase its energy efficiency. Rogers Communications Inc., owner of the ball club and the stadium, has a goal of reducing the centre’s electricity bill by 33 per cent. So far, it has automated the lighting systems in about a third of the building, including private boxes, corporate offices, the underground parking garage and eventually all hallways, corridors and stairways. Sound, motion and sunlight sensors are being used to manage when the lights go on and off and when they should be dimmed to maximize efficiency. With the work done so far, savings on retrofitted lighting are expected to reach 75 per cent, according to Terry Mocherniak, CEO of Encelium Technologies, the Toronto-based company hired to do the lighting retrofit. The $3 million retrofit is expected to save more than $1 million a year with a payback of a few years. It’s an ambitious and inspiring plan that should be applauded and copied by others in the city and province.

5 thoughts on “Welcome to the “Green” Dome”

  1. Nice story. What I wonder about is why the Ontario government doesn’t provide more incentives for large building owners to install energy-efficient/saving technology. And why aren’t there rules that compel office towers to turn off their lights at night?

  2. There are ‘incentives’ that are used very effectively elsewhere in the world (but apparently not in Canada), such as increasing the cost of electricity. I think you’d be amazed at how quickly large building owners would invest in energy saving technology if electricity prices weren’t kept artificially low in North America.

  3. Heartening to read about this move to increase energy efficiency rather than purchase offsets, as has been done by other sports organizations / events. Great story.

  4. Tyler – The Skydome will be glowing a different kind of green, even with all the energy retrofits due to a deal struck with Rogers and the Bruce Nuclear Power Plant to have them supply the dome with ‘sustainable green energy’ *cough*. I’m sure you know of the deal.. or not. (maybe already written on it.. sorry if I’m recapping!). If the dome really wanted to do something, they would go with bullfrog, or even sign a deal with the new hydro project at the falls.
    I have commented over at TH, so I won’t go into my personal feelings. I’m not a nuke guy in general and am more a proponent to decentralizing the grid as necessary.

  5. If the payback comes in 3 years and it’s 30% of original capital extra to the bottom line each year after that… and yet companies still don’t act on it, what incentive do you think would get them to act? This is already a no brainer ROI. The problem is that it is probably such a drop in the bucket compared to their overall operations. Making the payback time 2 years instead of 3 or even 1 year, probably isn’t going to make that big of a difference… light bulbs simply aren’t on the radar screens of most CEOs unless they are betting on PR value.

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